New Year’s resolutions often fail because they require radical changes in behavior or are chosen from a perspective of lack or self-hate. This year, instead of swearing off entire food groups or setting double-digit goals for weight loss, try for something more attainable that comes from a perspective of self-care or expanding personal horizons. A few ideas for inspiration:
Try one new recipe a week. When is the last time you cracked open one of those lovely, illustrated cookbooks you have sitting on the shelf? Or check out Pinterest, cooking and baking blogs, food-magazine websites, and cable food network shows. The supply of free recipes is virtually endless. While you’re at it, try recipes from different world cultures or bond with family and friends by cooking together or perhaps organizing virtual cookoffs where you all try the same new recipes together.
Become a plant owner. Did you know that certain plants can improve the air quality in your home? If you have a sad history of killing off house plants, make this the year you resolve to research specific ways to care for any new plants you adopt. The information is out there and readily available online.
Commit to taking work breaks. Especially if you are newer to working from home or likely to be doing so for the long-haul, you might benefit from stronger boundaries between work and leisure time. Try setting a periodic alarm to remind yourself to get up and move around. Also, commit to sitting somewhere other than your workspace to enjoy tea, coffee, and meal breaks.
Move your body more. Whew! That is so much easier than, say, joining a gym or plonking down for an expensive piece of cardio equipment that you’re going to be draping clothing on by mid-February. Stretching. Walking in nature. Dancing. Shooting hoops in the driveway. Building a snowman. All count toward this one simple resolution.
Plan a vacation from digital screens. If you’re checking social media once or more every hour or running out of streaming TV shows to binge, it might be a time for a digital or screen-media break. Replace with old-fashioned, analog pleasures such as soaking in a hot tub, indulging a new skin or personal care routine, reading hardcopy books or magazines, playing board games, gardening, doing puzzles, or just talking (versus messaging) with friends and family.
Do one thing at a time. Somewhere along the line, we have been persuaded that multitasking is a superpower. You might accomplish more, but the quality of your work can suffer, and burnout is common. This goes for mental focus too. Work not only on doing one thing at a time, but also on keeping your mind focused in the present on the task at hand.
Start a new before-bed ritual to improve sleep. Especially at a time when immunity is so important, try prioritizing both your quantity and quality of sleep. Moving more during the day, eating earlier, limiting liquids in the evening, stretching, meditating, taking hot baths or showers, going to bed earlier, and avoiding in-bed screen time can all work wonders. If you have trouble resisting the lure of phone or tablet in bed, consider powering down your wireless router at night and resolving to charge devices from somewhere you can’t easily reach.
Make your home more fragrant. Pleasing scents are a fast-track to producing more dopamine – the chemical that signals and mediates pleasure in your brain. For inspiration, check out our past post featuring pleasing simmer pot recipes.
Teach yourself a new skill. Maybe you’re dissatisfied with your job. Resolving to change careers might feel insurmountable just now, but you can start taking small steps in the right direction. Sites such as Udemy or Lynda.com offer thousands of cost-accessible courses to develop valuable capabilities to add to your resume or just to support a new hobby.
The possibilities are endless. So, go ahead: Shift your mindset from big, negatively inspired New Year’s resolutions to just “small positive steps I can take every day to make my life feel better,” and get ready to succeed.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021 from your friends at MaidPro!