After the challenges of the past two years, most of us are looking forward to the hope that comes with a New Year. For many people, that means making a list of new year’s resolutions or a “resolve” to replace bad habits like regularly eating junk food with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
If only it were that easy! Our resolutions are often easier said than done – and, despite the fact that over 80% of Americans fail to keep their resolutions, our obsession with New Year’s resolutions is as strong today as it was almost 4000 years ago. Back then, new year’s resolutions were religious traditions that included prayers for bountiful crops, a good harvest or rain.
Today, almost two out of five Americans make a New Year’s Resolution. With many people having “multiple” resolutions planned, the number one goal remains including more exercise, closely followed by losing weight and eating healthier. Although, since the pandemic, paying attention to mental health and finances also feature on many resolution lists.
As a doctor who has worked in the health industry for over 40 years, I encourage everyone to make positive changes to their lifestyle at the start of the year and throughout the year! Although, after a year that has left many of us a little worse for wear, I started to think about the value of the New Year’s resolution.
While our intentions are good – are they added stress and is it time to relax the pressure that surrounds the New Year’s resolution?
This year, instead of frantically trying to lose weight or run a marathon, perhaps we can rethink our New Year’s resolution to become our purpose for the year ahead.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that our health and wellbeing is always a priority. I advocate eating wholefoods, taking the right supplements and exercising every day; these are lifestyle choices that we keep trying to achieve each day.
This year, why not be kind to your soul and create a New Year’s purpose instead of a stern resolution? Consider dedicating time to things that you are passionate about, to friends and to yourself. Start out with these simple tips:
Dedicate a few minutes every day to you. It’s a good way to slow down and listen to your inner voice.
Try reading something you find inspiring when you wake up in the morning or spend 10 minutes meditating.
Meditation gives your mind space to focusing on your breathing, to think about your goals and to visualise your dreams. There are many free apps available with guided meditations.
You might often hear people say they don’t know their purpose. The truth is, we all have a purpose in life, we just need to listen to follow our own inner voice. Finding your purpose is a journey, and that means no matter how old we are we are still rediscovering our purpose, finding a new purpose, or helping others achieve their purpose.
We have seen many positive lifestyle changes emerge since the start of the pandemic, although, being busy and hurrying through the workday are hard habits to break.
Long days at work and late nights, stress and trying to balance too much has left many of us exhausted, tired and in need of a good rest. Finding our purpose and becoming the best version of ourselves is best done when we are well rested.
Why not try to go to bed one hour earlier and wake up one hour later if you can?
And if you have trouble sleeping, try a bedtime ritual like a warm bath followed by a cup of herbal tea before bed.
I believe that our health and wellbeing is always a priority. I advocate eating wholefoods, taking the right supplements and exercising every day; these are lifestyle choices that we keep aim! Just be kind to yourself along the way.
With a new year fast approaching, let’s take the time to appreciate who we are and how we have overcome the challenges of the past year. And, while we might not know what 2022 will hold for us, we do know that if we focus our energy on finding our purpose and living a thoughtful life, we will be in the best mental and physical condition to take on any challenges the new year brings.
Do you think you’re ready for whatever 2022 brings on? What does the new year look like for you? What changes are you prepared to make in your life to create better habits? Have you found your purpose for 2022?