As we enter a new year amid a global pandemic, it’s time to call BS on diets that don’t serve us and behaviors that keep us from doing what we want to do with our lives. So, for 2022, I’m going hard by chucking soft and meeting you where you are — at home, attempting to make the most significant decisions for your own and your family’s health.
New Year’s resolutions are personal and, more importantly, voluntary; you are not required to make any. However, if you’re motivated to make minor changes that can have a significant influence on your overall health, here’s a list to get you started.
Embrace a “slow morning” habit.
Consider how you can get the best start to your day. Does it entail sipping a cup of coffee and reading a book? Working exercise in first thing in the morning? Taking a leisurely stroll around the block? Do you prefer to listen to music or play with your dog? Whatever it is, make the New Year a fresh start by refining your morning routine and taking more time for your favorite things. Even if it means waking up 30 minutes earlier or simply reprioritizing your time in the morning, setting out time for things that give you purpose early in the day can lead to a more present workday.
First thing in the morning, don’t check your phone.
Because we live, interact, and work on our phones, it’s only natural that they’re the first things we look at when we wake up. And it doesn’t take a lot of research to figure out that scrolling through social media or browsing through your inbox isn’t the ideal way for your brain to start (or end) the day.
However, there is some science to it. According to Forbes, grabbing for your phone first thing in the morning “primes your brain for distraction” and disrupts the flow of different waves in your brain that help you to be more creative and focused about your day. In addition, staying on your phone for work-related concerns after you’ve signed off can make it challenging to get a decent night’s sleep.
If you’re like many others who have considered it, there’s no better time to start cutting back on screen time than 2022. Screen hygiene can be improved in various ways, including wearing blue light glasses at work and reading a book instead of scrolling through your phone before bed. So check out these suggestions for reducing screen time and reorganizing your screen time this year.
Find a diet that satisfies you while also not restricting you.
Finding an eating pattern that is both intuitive and meets your nutritional needs can be complicated, and New Year’s resolutions that force you to completely change your eating habits for a diet that may be plain unhelpful can be much more overwhelming.
Try following the advice of nutritionists and specialists who work with you to develop long-term eating habits this year (also called the “anti-diet dietitians”). Most likely, you’ll begin to value food as the fuel our bodies require to live and be healthy, making good food choices as a result, and becoming more knowledgeable about what your body needs.
Calorie restriction can lead to binge eating, making you sick, or leading to bad habits. If you want to eat healthier but don’t want to commit to a rigid diet, make sure your plate is initially filled with foods your body requires.
Every day, engage in your most creative passion.
Bronnie Ware, a caregiver, wrote a blog article in 2009 outlining the top five regrets of dying patients. The list was covered by numerous news outlets, was converted into a book, and even inspired a TED talk. What is the most critical item on the list? “I wish I’d had the confidence to live a life that was true to me rather than what others expected of me.”
Many people put off their more creative endeavors because they don’t generate enough money or have enough time.
I recommend that you set aside time in 2022 to do something creative, whether it’s 10 minutes of active thinking or an hour of functional crafts, writing music, poetry, painting, graphic design, figure skating, chess, or anything else that inspires you. If you’ve been putting it off, imagining the day when you’ll have the time, 2022 is the year to take the plunge.
It would help if you treated yourself the same way you treat others.
Be as compassionate with yourself as you are with others: The Golden Rule is the polar opposite of this. For example, would you consider your friend a failure if they established a goal for themselves to exercise for 15 minutes every day and missed two days in a row, or would you urge them to pick it up again tomorrow?
Probably the former, because unless you’re a robot, you know that a hiccup or a less-than-productive day doesn’t diminish the importance of a person’s objective or all of their previous efforts. People often need a moment to regroup and find out how to integrate their new hobby into their already hectic schedule. So, why aren’t we able to perceive it in ourselves?
Many people make the mistake of believing that something must be done correctly or not at all. Although you’ve already heard the saying “done is better than perfect,” it’s worth repeating. Consider it in the context of someone else’s creative process, and then offer yourself the same breathing room and grace. You’ll start practicing self-compassion and may wind up accomplishing more as a result of learning to understand yourself the way you understand others.