All the Things You Need to Start — and Stop — Doing in the New Year
The fatal flaw with New Year's resolutions — and most goal-setting, for that matter — is that we typically bite off more than we can chew. We're not setting realistic goals. As such, we end up disappointed and, often, with a forgotten resolution by the time February rolls around.
Ahead are 14 realistic goals that anyone can accomplish in a calendar year — things that are not only doable but also enjoyable and will eventually become so second-nature, you'll forget they were resolutions. The best part? Each contributes to a happier life and a healthier body and brain.
Take More You Time
We're guessing you maybe gave a little too much to others this past year and not enough to yourself. Perhaps you were stretched too thin or overextended yourself. That's OK! It was a time for learning and growing. In the new year, it's OK to say "no" sometimes and take a little more time for yourself. Whether it's for getting organized, doing a solo workout, or just binge-watching your favorite show from your bed, allow yourself some personal space in 2018.
Stop Doing That 1 Workout You Hate
This is your year, this is your time. You don't have to run to lose weight, you don't have to do indoor cycling to be healthy (or cool). If you truly hate running, then why are you doing it? If the answer is "because I have to," you're dead wrong. The same goes for all other activities. Use the new year to find something else that you do love that will have the same kind of healthy effects on your body and brain.
Unplug a Little More Each Day
You don't have to break up with technology (that's ridiculous), but this year, do small things to unplug and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, and your environment. Maybe give yourself a few more minutes in the morning before you check email, or don't charge your phone next to your bed. You could even do a tech-free Sunday each week to truly let go. The world is your iPhone-free oyster.
Learn 1 New Healthy Recipe You LOVE
We're fairly certain you can accomplish this in a calendar year — after all, you only have to find one. This may take a little trial and error (particularly if you're new to the kitchen arena), but once you find something you love, you can incorporate it into your weekly menu — and thus, daily eating habits — for years to come. Start with some of our suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Ditch the Foods You Hate
If you're sick of kale, we've got news for you: it's time to stop trying. Force feeding yourself foods you hate simply because they're "healthy" is a surefire way to ensure your diet plans backfire (and your mood won't be awesome, either). Even dietitians recommend finding foods you love and indulging now and then. Let go of the crap that makes you miserable and figure out what fuels your body and your soul. It IS possible!
Add 1 Low-Impact Workout to Your Routine
We're fans of running, HIIT, and plyo, but for the love of all things holy, give your knees a break this year. They may not have let you in on their secret yet, but your knees love those activities a lot less than you do. Before you become irate: we're not suggesting you stop doing these workouts (unless you hate them, in which case, refer back to slide two) — simply that you supplement your high-impact routine with some low-impact strengthening exercises. Pilates and yoga, anyone? We'll never tell you to ditch Barry's or Orangetheory (because we can't imagine life without them), but mixing things up will help extend the life of your joints and allow for many more workouts for years to come.
Throw Your Scale in a Dumpster
And then burn it. Honestly, if you haven't set your scale on fire yet, are you really living? While it might be a helpful tool now and then for weight loss, there are so many ways to measure your success without that infernal tool. The number on the scale means nothing, and in fact, if you are also partaking in the weightlifting New Year's resolution, that number might go up thanks to compact, heavy muscle.
We're particularly excited about this New Year's resolution, because we know firsthand how much weightlifting can change your life — and your body! You'll boost your metabolism, feel so strong and empowered, and create lean, powerful muscle that will impact your everyday movements and life (walking up flights of stairs will feel completely different!). It may seem intimidating at first, but just start small and work your way up until you build strength.
Choose Gratitude Each Day
One way to inject more joy into your year? Start each day with a gratitude reflection. What are you grateful for? What makes you happy? Focus on the good to improve your mood, and your physical health will follow suit.
Ditch Your Restrictive Diet
Break up with obsessive calorie counting, food shaming, and all the things that make healthy eating miserable. It's time to mix it up and find what works for YOU. No diet or diet tip can ever be truly universal because everyone's body is different — so if you've been following something because it worked for someone else (and it's not working for you), this is your chance to reassess.
End the Negative Self-Talk
We feel quite strongly about this one: you need to stop beating yourself up this year. Do your best in 2018 to give yourself grace, kindness, and patience. Start giving yourself more compliments, and make this year about no negative self-talk — ever. The more you berate and degrade yourself, the harder your year will be; you'll also have a much harder time reaching your healthy goals.
Start Foam Rolling
With all the new workouts on the horizon for 2018, you'll need lots and lots of TLC for your muscles. Whether you're a runner or not, everyone who works out needs to foam roll. Learn the art of myofascial release and self-massage this year. Your recovery is just as important as your workout — remember that.
Create a Bedtime Routine
This year, we want you to get more sleep! One of the ways you can ensure that happens more often is by creating a nightly ritual that'll help ease your anxious feelings and soothe you into a sound slumber. Maybe aromatherapy speaks to you, or you're up for trying some CBD before bed — whatever it is, it'll help you snooze, which in turn will positively impact your health and mood all year long.