New Year’s Resolutions seem to fall squarely into the “love it or hate it” category of things. The super-organized, disciplined overachievers chomp at the bit for a new challenge to follow through on. The less organized, less disciplined, “normal” achievers? Eh, perhaps not so much.
Personal feelings and diatribes aside, resolving to turn over a new leaf or improve in any area of life is a worthy pursuit. And it doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming prospect. In fact, if you actually want to do it, it shouldn’t feel too daunting so that you’ll, you know, actually do it.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let us offer some suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions that are the easiest to keep.
There’s something to be said about the satisfaction one gets from reading a book start to finish. While avid readers polish off several books per month, those readers who don’t count reading as a regular habit should set a more realistic goal of completing one book per month — that’s 12 per year for you math wizards — to outpace the average American.
Beyond the reward of starting and finishing something, reading has been shown to increase empathy, strengthen your memory and improve overall cognitive function. So pick up something that piques your interest and get moving on this resolution as soon as the new year hits.
Invest in Better Sleep
Might we suggest pairing our first resolution offering with our second — investing in better sleep? Reading is a terrific way to ease into sleep without screen consumption — we’re all getting enough of that these days, after all — and can help steer your mind away from daily stressors as your head hits the pillow.
Speaking of pillows… a new pillow or two can do wonders for an aching neck or back. Plus, it’s a good way to practice better sanitary habits. If it’s been more than two years since you invested in new pillows, chances are the ones you’re sleeping on have considerable bacteria built up. That’s not exactly a soothing thought as you turn out the light. Turn the old ones out to pasture, then, and find pillows that suit your liking. Once you’ve improved your comfort level, you might just hit that eight-hours-of-sleep-per-night goal that’s always seemed somewhat unattainable. If you bump up your average sleep from six or seven to the doctor-recommended eight, you’ll likely start to notice sharper focus and an improved mood, along with a healthier heart.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
If you’re not already in the habit of drinking lots of water, now’s a good time to start. While we’ve probably all heard about the suggested eight 8-ounce cups of water a day goal, the CDC says the average American doesn’t get enough. Staying consistently hydrated will just flat out make you feel better, make it easier to exercise and focus and make you look better.
Take Care of Your Skin
Pairing better sleep and getting enough water with a conscious skincare plan will have you looking and feeling your best self in 2021. Yeah, yeah, we’re aware how cliché and over-the-top that sounds, but give it a shot and we bet you’ll be nodding along in no time. Here’s some offerings to add to your bathroom cabinet in the year ahead:
- Use a Quality Face Cream —Applying just a small amount of a gel moisturizer for oily skin will allow your skin to breathe, increase its smoothness and enhance its ability to hydrate with hyaluronic acid. Stay away from dry or oily skin in the days ahead.
- Don’t Forget Your Body — Head-to-toe exfoliation can help make your skin look and feel healthier. Use a charcoal body scrub to offer a deep clean that clears away blemishes and dead skin. Use two to three times per week for optimal results.
- Look More Awake with Eye Cream — A daily dose of under-eye gel will help fight off wrinkles, wake up your eyes and improve the appearance of those ugly dark circles and under-eye bags.
Get in the Kitchen
Save some money and keep the healthier you theme going by committing to cooking more often. Preparing home-cooked meals can help you avoid the unhealthy fats and oils that are all too common at many fast-food and fast-casual chains. Beyond being healthier, kind of like reading, completing the task of preparing a meal on your own is a rewarding experience that may just become a favorite habit.
Get Over That Fear of the Dentist
It’s not as easy to go to the dentist when mom and dad aren’t forcing you to, is it? Get over any fear you may have and get to the dentist twice a year — heck, even once if it has been a while —for better-looking teeth. Plus, getting in the habit of going regularly will help you avoid potentially expensive treatments and surgeries in the long run.
Two and a half to three hours of exercise per week can have lasting impacts on your health and mood. Find something you can get excited about, or if you’re a variety person, mix it up so you’ll stay interested and stay in the regular habit of moving about. We’ll add that moving about shouldn’t be limited to exercise. If you’ve got a desk job or find yourself spending a large portion of nights and weekends on the couch, make a cognizant effort to get up and stretch or mix in some walks. Even if they’re brief, they’ll make you healthier and likely cheerier as well.
New Year’s Resolutions are normally about you, but why not shift some focus elsewhere, too? Whether it’s money or time, getting involved in a volunteer opportunity or charity is a great way to help others and feel better about yourself.
With these great ideas, you’re sure to get to the peak of your personal best before you know it!