The “reset button” of the New Year can be just as daunting as it is inspirational. While advertisements call on us to start the new year off right, from workout routines to fad diets, the weeks leading up to the New Year are ripe with unrealistic expectations. Of course, self-reflection and goal setting are fundamental to a healthy you, but these activities don’t have to be paired with the “all or nothing” attitude that lead people to abandon their New Year resolutions as quickly as they made them.
For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of small habits, that if incorporated into your daily routine, can have a major impact on your wellness. This is not a list of ways to maximize your productivity at the expense of your wellness (we already get all that jargon!) but rather, here are ways to increase your overall well-being so you can naturally tackle more!
1. Intentions Matter
Know what your goals are—and here’s the kicker—know why they’re your goals. The only thing less productive than burnout is working towards a goal that won’t ultimately fulfill you. Once a week take the time to reevaluate your long-term goals and the actions you’ve taken to achieve them. What can you live without? What inspires you?
2. On Meditation
Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg says, “If you can breathe, you can meditate.” Meditation is an easy, time-efficient way to lower one’s stress levels, focus energy, and hit the “reset” button at anytime during the year, month, or day (not just New Years!). The best part is that there are a number of mediation apps that are at our fingertips. We recommend the meditation app, “Breathe.” The app provides short 3-10 minute meditations that are easy to fit into a busy schedule—at work, on the train, or in between classes.
3. Tune In To Your Body
Take notes on how your body feels. They can be literal notes in your iPhone or notebook, or mental notes. Whatever works best for you. Monitoring how your body reacts to specific foods, exercise, activities, and environments will reap two benefits. The first is that you’ll gain a better understanding and a new level of control of how and when your body feels the best. Secondly, when making decisions on your wellness, from diet to meditation, you’ll have a log of notes of what has or hasn’t worked in the past, and this will help guide you to the best decisions for you and your wellness.
4. Keep A Planner
We have all become micromanagers, from checking work emails at home to managing our personal social networks 24/7, and although on the surface this is a useful skill, it often leaves little time for self-care. A great habit to set for the New Year is reguarly scheduling a non-negotiable appointment with yourself in your planner or Google Calendar, so that no matter the chaos that surrounds you, you will always have time to take a deep breath.
5. Know When To Take A Break
Aveda employee and health coach Stephanie Wagner says, “Wellness and health is just as much about being active as it is about being still. It’s all about a balance – it’s a balance of sitting and movement, being able to have both.” Although it doesn’t feel like there’s time to rest, generally speaking we waste a lot of time too. In the New Year, instead of scrolling on your phone while taking a 15-minute break, focus more on stillness . Take those 15 minutes to mediate and stretch.
6. The Bottom Line
The bottom line in the New Year—and always—is that if you’re not having fun, something isn’t right. Here we are at the beginning of another year, make it count!