A new year is quickly approaching and with it hopes of new beginnings – and New Year’s resolutions. As you begin making your resolutions, consider this list of resolutions we have put together that will enrich you in mind, body, and spirit. These aren’t major changes, but they can be life altering all the same. Take a look and choose one, two, or all ten! Then share your resolutions with us in the comments below.
Read more – Essayist and writer, Joseph Addison said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Just as we need to exercise our bodies, we should also be exercising our minds. Reading provides not only a wonderful escape from the stresses of the world, it also enriches our vocabulary, broadens our mind, and often increases our knowledge.
Eat healthier – If weight loss is a goal, then eating healthier is a great place to start. The changes you make don’t have to be dramatic, just make a few at a time. As you gradually make changes in the way you are eating and what you are eating, you will find that they become ingrained in your lifestyle. Eating healthy is a lifelong commitment, not a temporary diet.
Nurture relationships – Sometimes life gets so hectic the important relationships in our lives seem to fall by the wayside. As you move into this New Year, resolve to set aside time to nurture those relationships with your spouse, children, parents, family, and friends. This is not only good for them, it is good for you as well. Humans are social creatures and our healthy relationships are good for us both psychologically and physiologically.
Exercise – Exercise is another activity that benefits us in both psychological and physiological ways. While it can help you lose weight, reverse certain health conditions, and improve your overall wellness, exercise also stimulates your brain’s production of dopamine which boosts you mood and even helps to relieve pain. Get your heart rate up for 15 to 20 minutes in order to reap the benefits of this natural way to feel better and live better.
Say, “I’m sorry.” – We already know that our relationships are important to us, so think of those that have been lost or damaged. Sometimes we do have to put unhealthy relationships behind us, but many times a healthy relationship is damaged because of our pride or a refusal to see the other person’s perspective. Reconciliation can be good for you in many ways. Sometimes we have to take the first step toward it even if we were not responsible for the rift. A little humility and care can go a long way. Write a letter, make a phone call, sit down over coffee – and say, “I’m sorry.”
Set a budget – Financial stress is a leading cause of stress related conditions such as hypertension, migraines, anxiety, and marital strife. Setting a budget will help put your finances into perspective and allow you to pay your bills and maybe even set aside a little in savings. As you create your budget, be realistic and honest. Lay it all out there. You don’t want a budget that is too rigid and restrictive, though. That leaves little room for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Plus, it is much more difficult to stick to, so give your budget a little flexibility and give yourself some wiggle room.
Volunteer – One of the most fulfilling things you can do is help someone else. Volunteering will help you psychologically, but studies also show that people who volunteer experience better overall wellness and are generally healthier than people who do not. So set aside a few hours a week or month to reach out and help someone else. There are many different ways you can help. Contact your state VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) or visit www.volunteermatch.org and find your place in helping others.
Learn something new – Learning new things make you feel better about yourself which, in turn, can help you stay healthier. A positive outlook has been linked to better health in many people. Take a little time to learn something new, a hobby or craft. Craft stores such as Michael’s offer craft courses, or find a group in your area that gets together and does what interests you. A quick internet search will turn up groups on photography, dog training, poetry, and many others. You might also check out www.meetup.com for interest groups in your area, or take a course at your local community center or college. How you get there isn’t as important as actually getting there.
Keep a journal – Self exploration is very healthy and can provide insight into you that you may not have realized. Journaling is a great way to examine yourself and your life. Use it to set goals, record dreams, inspect your motivations, and remember the beautiful things in your life. The better you know yourself, the better equipped you are to direct your life down positive, healthy paths. Start small, you don’t have to write a novel. You also don’t even have to write in complete sentences. Give yourself permission to toss out any writing rules and just go with what your heart directs.
Take time for YOU – Remember, you won’t be any good to anyone if you aren’t in good physical or mental health. Take time to take care of YOU. Do something nice for yourself once in a while. Take care of yourself, making sure you eat right, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and have a way to escape the stress in your life. When you are taking good care of yourself, you are much better equipped to take care of the people you love.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you think you will take on any of these listed here? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!