Balance, Wellness

5 Simple New Year’s Resolutions with Maximum Impact

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5 Simple New Year's Resolutions with Maximum Impact

see you at sunrise.

It is, again, that time of year to end one and begin another. Each New Year begins full of hope and fresh optimism. However, New Year’s resolutions are often recycled and left unfulfilled – “eat healthier”, “exercise more” and “stress less.” The key to making your resolution stick isn’t to set it up as a general, lifestyle change, but to making specific and reasonable goals for yourself. Don’t think of resolutions as something to accomplish over weeks and months, which can feel overwhelming, think of them as small tweaks to your 24-hour daily routine. By making these simple, specific New Year’s resolutions around-the-clock, you will have made significant difference to your internal and physical health—to make 2014 your happiest and healthiest year yet.

When you wake up…

1. Start each morning by writing down something you are thankful for. Literally wake up on the bright side! You could be thankful for the sunny, cloud-free weather, the stranger who held the door for you, a sweet child that made you smile, or a special person in your life. Beginning every morning by recording a moment of appreciation will plant the tone of gratitude into your subconscious. It also allows for a short, routine morning meditation, which leads to a calmer and clearer mind throughout the day. Experiment with this daily habit for 2014, each day you will find yourself with a more appreciative and positive outlook.

After you get out of bed…

2. Take cold showers. There are obvious economic and environmental reasons to cool off on hot showers. A home’s water tank is generally one of the costlier household expenses, and colder showers immediately relieve the stress of that bill. Chances are, if you take a cold shower, you will not spend the extra unnecessary moments with the water running, which in turn helps conserve water use. There are also many health benefits to cold showers: boosting immunity, increasing hormone production, blood circulation, energy, and metabolism, promoting weight loss, and improving the health of skin and hair.

During the day…

3. Learn something new. Maybe you have always wanted to try Bikram yoga, rock climbing, or kickboxing. Or you have always wanted to take a jewelry crafting class, a photography class, or a beer-brewing class. After one excuse or another, it never happened. Trying something new is often frightening because it is unfamiliar and out of routine. Take the risk and make it happen. Not only does challenging yourself to something different open new opportunities, the feeling of pride after completing something important to you is precious.

In the evening…

4. Turn electronics off for thirty minutes each day and read a book. Reading improves writing skills and vocabulary, but it is also a great stress reduction. No matter how much pressure and anxiety builds throughout the day in the workplace, with personal relationships, or at home, all disappears when losing yourself in a great story. Reading and other mental stimulating activities, like completing puzzle, are linked to preventing Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and insomnia. Reading also improves memory and the ability to focus. Unsure what book to pick up first? Check out Peaceful Dumpling’s Best Books of 2013.

Before bedtime…

5. At the end of each day, recognize a point of uncontrollable stress in your life, and let it go. Recognizing points of stress in your life is just as important to your happiness as recognizing points of gratitude. Many causes of stress can be altered by lifestyle choices. Avoid people who are especially stressful and examine your schedule to identify and eliminate unnecessary tasks. However, most stressors are external, and cannot be controlled. These are things like the city traffic commute or a challenging boss. At the end of each day, acknowledge what particularly stressed you out, and release it from your mind. This practice will help consciously remove stressful, uncontrollable aspects of your life in a healthy way.

Related: My New Year’s Resolution: Playing By My Own Rules

How to Create a Mindful Morning Routine

The Daily Routine in Ayurveda

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Photo: Sewcialbutterfly via Flickr

Madison Fitzpatrick

Madison Fitzpatrick

Madison Fitzpatrick is a film student at Georgia State University living in Atlanta, GA. There, she is minoring in Spanish and religious studies. Her hobbies include reading, writing, cooking, yoga, and eating.
  • This is a great list, thanks!

  • Chiste Simpatico

    love the idea of writing something down when you wake up (but not a dream journal) and the thing about cold showers.

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