By: Sarah Huda
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the “new year, new you” mantra that plagues TV and the internet each January isn’t going to cut it this year; not that it ever worked in years’ past at least. This is in part to the fact we didn’t get a chance to complete any goals we created for 2020 (anyone have ‘travel more’ on their list?) or have the chance to fail them come February. However, it is easy to see why the traditional goals, that tend to be recycled each January, are tossed in the trash quickly. All the usual goals, for example, diets/ weight loss, cutting a vice (like smoking cigarettes) cold turkey, or exercising more, tend to be dramatic 180-degree change from our everyday behaviors. While admirable, large goals tend to set you up for failure because of the overwhelming feeling dramatic change brings to you when pushing forward with an improved version of yourself or a better environment to be in. Also, we tend to pick lofty goals that we don’t have the skills for and find ourselves in an all or nothing situation when we make mistakes.
Resolution #1: Drink More Water
When it comes to resolving to making changes in your life, creating smaller and more focused goals can lead to positive changes and enhanced probability of completing a full year without giving up. However, if you aren’t ready to give up carbs or run a mile every morning, what are resolutions that are easier to pick-up? The first is something that is reminded to us often, but we always forget until our constant headaches remind us: drink more water. These days, as we spend more time at home, it is easy to have the hours pass without drinking water, as movement is minimal, and time escapes us so much more easily. While it seems obvious in the ways drinking more water makes us healthier, studies have shown drinking more water can improve your mood as well. A simple solution to start is set alarms to remind you to throughout your day to pick-up a glass, rather than only drinking when eating a meal. With alarms, a new water bottle can encourage you to stick to the schedule; there are water bottles that mark down hours as goals for the day and ensure finishing the large amount.
Resolution #2: Start Recycling
Another easy change is recycling. Just like getting a reusable water bottle, which helps your water intake and the environment from single-use plastics, recycling properly helps lower your carbon footprint and takes little effort to do so. If you already recycle, fantastic! You’re already a step ahead the rest. However, have you considered recycling isn’t a one-fits-all process? We throw everything plastic or what we deem recyclable into the bin, but each type of plastic may or may not be recyclable! Look at the number at the bottom and find how it should be recycled to make sure it’s being properly disposed of. Once you recognize the common use plastic and how they should be taken care of, you’ll be making a positive change that can impact on a larger, grand scheme.
Resolution #3: Practice Self-Care
Finally, a goal we can all get behind is self-care. However, as much as bubble baths or a good glass of wine may sound, self-care should be expanded in our minds to mean more for ourselves. These days, as we all blur the line between home and work from home, self-care can mean setting boundaries for your workday and home time, despite never leaving the location. Do you have a task that has been put off for ages? Did you promise to go to an event when you rather stay home? A redefinition of self-care can mean accomplishing a task that you’ve been avoiding or learning to say ‘no’ when needed.
Together, these simple ideas can jump start your journey to a better you, rather than a new you.