New Year, New You: Tips and Habits to Start the Year Strong
The new year often brings with it an overabundance of hopeful resolutions, lofty goals, and well-intentioned promises to live better, eat healthier, and improve various aspects of oneself and one’s life.
Oh, the pressure of it all!
While the start of a new year can be exciting with all of the unlimited possibilities that lay before us, it can also leave many of us feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or guilty if we fail to immediately live up to our self-imposed expectations.
Which is why, rather than offeryou advice for how to achieve your New Year’s resolutions and goals, we want to inspire you to feel fulfilled, positive, and to live boldly and confidently ALL year long!
Healthy Advice from the World’s Longest-Lived People
Forget New Year’s resolutions that focus on losing a specific amount of weight or improving only one aspect of your health – let’s focus on living a more healthful life filled with wellness in general.
And who better to take advice from than people in communities where it is very common to healthfully live well beyond 100 years old?
Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California all boast individuals that have seemingly cracked the code when it comes to living a positive, health-filled, and long life.
Forget fad diets and ‘of the moment’ health treatments – these Blue Zoners (Blue Zones are the places in the world where people both have the healthiest and longest lives) have several simple pillars of healthful living baked into their lives which results in preventative medicine that they don’t even have to think about. Things like “eating healthful diets rich in local plants, walking most places, and lots of intergenerational social interaction” keep these Blue Zoners in the Blue Zone!
Let’s take a look at a few more tips from these infinitely wise and eternally healthy individuals:
Enjoy an alcoholic beverage but limit it to one or two drinks a day; savor that red meat that you love so much but not too often and not too large portions.
Limit Sugar, No Junk Food
No refined sugar or processed, packaged foods.
Get plenty of regular sleep.
Walk, jog, stand more – you don’t have to hit the gym, just keep your body in motion more than it is not.
Do the tough, less enjoyable task first and bundle it with joy by then following it up with an enjoyable, more pleasurable task.
Our society is too busy; give yourself a break and just enjoy the silence, the stillness; sit and meditate, draw, read, walk – move more purposefully slowly.
Isolation is not good for the body, soul or mind; spend time interacting with friends, family, or get to know someone new.
Practice consciously being grateful; take some time to reflect on what you are grateful for each day or each week.
Poised for Positivity
When many of us think of living a life filled with more positivity, we may not know exactly where to start. Some of us may need a bit more guidance than simply being told to “be more positive” or “start each day with a smile”.
Here are a few small and simple ways that you can work towards a more positive life in the new year and all year long!
Find an empty jar and each week, or even each day, jot down one good or positive thing that happened on a slip of paper and stick it in the jar. Next New Year’s Eve, or anytime that you are feeling really low, grab your jar, pull out a few slips of paper, and remind yourself of all the wonderful things that have happened in your recent life!
Clean Space, Clean Mind
Clearing out the clutter in your physical space can help clear out the clutter in your emotional and mental space. But you don’t need to spend days clearing out the clutter in your surroundings –take just 10 minutes a day for the next five days to tackle one small area in your home, office, or physical area where you spend the majority of your time. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in such a short time and how clearing out clutter, both physical and mental, can leave room for more positive things!
As humans, we are often overly focused on our own problems, regrets, or struggles. And while it may sound counterintuitive, forgetting ourselves and helping others for a moment can do wonders for your own happiness and positivity.
Tchiki Davis, a psychologist and founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute says, “In America, we’re so individualistic, that we think, ‘Oh I have this problem, I should focus on me and fix me. But really, the more we focus on other people, the more effective we are in terms of positivity.” Try volunteering at a local shelter or organization or even helping a friend or neighbor with something.
Whether you keep a gratitude journal, a gratitude jar, or simply jot down things you are grateful for on the notebook handing on the refrigerator, writing down things that you feel grateful for at the close of each day is scientifically proven to lower stress and promote feelings of calmness.
Inspiring Quotes for an Inspiring Life
Creating a positive life for yourself is likely something that you’ve been working toward, well, your entire life! And while there are numerous ways to infuse your life with positivity, sometimes it is as simple as reading a few inspiring words from truly inspiring individuals…
- “Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas.” – Charles Kettering
- “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States
- “What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan, author
- “Difficult and meaningful will always bring more satisfaction than easy and meaningless.” – Maxime Lagacé, professional hockey player
- “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
- “Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” – Mike Dooley, author, speaker, and entrepreneur
- “Although no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” – Carl Bard, writer
And to wrap it all up, some comic relief…
- “Many years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to never make new year’s resolutions. Hell, it’s been the only resolution I’ve ever kept!” – D.S. Mixell
What do you do to start the New Year on a positive note and maintain that positivity year-round? How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? Share your thoughts and comments below!