Every December people are faced with the realization that the New Year is quickly approaching and they need to work on a list of resolutions for their inevitable change. Unfortunately, by the second week of January these resolutions are usually forgotten and life returns to the usual way it has always been. Why is it that we want to start out the year so strong but quickly lose our resolve? Perhaps it as something to do with arbitrary dates and deadlines, quitting cold turkey and forced submission to things we otherwise wouldn’t be doing. This year, perhaps the key is to start earlier and do small changes with no deadline in mind and no guilt or shame. Here are our 6 tips for starting the New Year off right:
- Focus on getting more sleep. This doesn’t have to be several extra hours per night, but it should be something measurable, even if it means going to bed an extra 30 minutes early every night. Most people are lacking in quantity and quality of sleep and it impacts their daily lives more than they are aware, since it is a chronic condition. Adding an extra few minutes to hours per night of quality sleep may make a huge difference, but not take much in the way of sacrifice.
- Add an extra fruit of vegetable to the menu per day. Trying to hit the daily recommended amount of every nutrient is difficult, especially with a hectic schedule, but buying 6 apples at a time and eating one a day while in the car or on the run, is a completely doable change. Try adding something green as well to get in those extra nutrients the body relies on, especially in dark, cold winter months with cold & flu season in full swing.
- Add in 30 minutes of any exercise every other day. This doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the gym – try a walk to the grocery store instead of driving, or park at the far end of the parking lot and walk to and from the store. Even getting out of the office chair every hour for 5 minutes of walking around the office can make a difference in the level of exercise the body is getting. If all else fails, turn on some music at home and dance while dinner is cooking.
- Give time, money or extra items to those in need. Clutter can lead to an increase in stress levels, so a quick de-clutter of the home can show marked improvements in mood and outlook, plus donating the items feels good too. It also helps us to feel better when we help others, so make small changes to open up time in the weekly or monthly schedule to assist someone else, even if it is just a visit to chat with someone who is lonely. This small change can make a big difference to more than one person.
- Turn off the technology, at least briefly. This one may be a bit tougher since a lot of people are actually addicted to their technology, but the brain needs time to wind down and this may help. The key is to actually press the power-off button, not just to put the ringer to silent or vibrate. It doesn’t have to be for an entire day at a time, but choosing to do this simple thing can show improvements over time, plus the electronics could use a break too.
- Use moderation in all things. Depriving oneself of their favourite foods, pastimes or vices can lead to all sorts of negative effects – it is an unfortunate part of being human. These treats can be motivating and uplifting, two things that we still need.
If we choose to view small changes, such as the above, in a positive way, they can make a huge impact on the future. Instead of focusing on missing out, being too busy or trying to do too much, too quickly, we can focus on the benefits of even the tiniest improvements. Every step forward is a step in the right direction, no matter how small.
So what about you? What changes are you planning on making in 2017? For many of the people connected to us it is using coaching and coaching skills to bring positive change to their lives and the lives of others! If you want to learn more about we do please connect with us!
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