We all know the typical New Year’s resolutions: weight loss, healthy eating, focus on appearance, etc. It is a daunting thought every time we change the calendar. Gyms are packed, “how-to” articles litter our social media, and the overwhelming nature of it all can hurt more than it can help. The issue taken with New Year’s resolutions is that they’re usually a one-time deal. Meaning, why should we only take care of ourselves the second the clock strikes twelve? The main issue stems from the impossibility of our goals. “I’m going to lose 50 pounds.” “I’m going to eat 1,300 calories per day instead of 2,000.” “I’m going to meal prep every day.” “I’m going to go to the Y 4 times per week.” These long-term goals are admirable, but they serve to overwhelm and intimidate. They are intended to literally whip you into shape. How often do they work? What can we do instead? The answer is easy: simplify your goals. This article is going to explore simple, short-term goals you can create for yourself to help live healthier in 2018 and beyond.
Fix Small Annoyances at Home
Has your porch light been out for a while? Is your second-favorite pair of work pants missing a button? Is your kitchen faucet still leaking? These are relatively small agenda items that always get pushed to the bottom of the list. They are never necessary until they are. These tiny tasks definitely assist in alleviating anxiety. Taking a little time to rectify them can increase your quality of life in a big way.
It is harder than a lot of people think. Our phones are always there, in our pockets, on our desks, usually within one foot of us. Turning our phones off or putting them away is freeing, but at what cost? You’ll miss that confirmation email that your shoes shipped. You’ll miss your Words with Friends notification with so-and-so you went to college with. All you need is one hour. The rush of productivity when you hit that “Airplane Mode” button is unreal.
Drink More Water
This one is a no-brainer. It’s even a trending New Year’s resolution. It’s an easier goal to accomplish, as most of us have sinks or water fountains at our disposal throughout our work days. You can walk into any Target store and grab a reusable water bottle for less than $20 if you don’t already have one stashed away in your kitchen pantry. I recognize soda cravings; this is something that isn’t discussed often in the plight to drink more water. Nothing is more refreshing to me than an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Try drinking flavored carbonated water. It’s cheap, it’s refreshing, and if you squint and think hard enough, it could be Coca-Cola. Either way, drinking more water every day is a self-care marvel.
Write It Down
There are two kinds of people in this world: people who express their every thought, and people who don’t. It doesn’t take much for emotion to get bottled up. A healthy, easy solution to this problem is to grab any scrap of paper near you and write down exactly what you’re feeling. Whether it’s a quick list or an epic analysis, writing it down is a true catharsis.
Take Another Way to Work
Most of us are slaves to routine, but it helps to mix things up a little bit. Changing the order of how we do menial, everyday tasks can help keep our brains active. Instead of going the usual route that you’ve deemed to be the fastest and most efficient, perhaps get up a few minutes earlier and take an alternate route. Seeing new scenery and different views in the morning can help inspire your entire day.
Let’s say you took your hour and unplugged. You plug back in, take a look at your Facebook feed, and there’s drama. No matter what age you are, drama always makes its way onto social media. People have opinions and whether they’re positive or negative, they are going to be shared without provocation. If you’re afraid to delete these people from your feed, you can always “mute” them – quiet times without severed ties. I personally think the world is a better place when all you see on your feed are puppies and cooking videos.
Make Tiny Connections
We live in a fast-paced world, one where conversations are monosyllabic and usually unintelligible. Socialization is a vital key to human understanding! If you get coffee at the same spot most days, try striking up a conversation with your barista. Hold the door for someone. Ask someone how their day is going and wish them a better one. Not only will you make yourself feel better, but you’ll be making someone else’s day, as well.
–Madeline Kelly, Digital Communications Coordinator