You've finally polished off the holiday cookies (except for those cinnamon stars that Aunt Gloria insists on making every year), and the in-laws have officially left the building. Attention has now turned to the year ahead and the pledges that we’ve all made to be better people over the next 12 months.
OK, let’s get real—that excitement lasts for, like, three days, max.
To curb the inevitable drop-off, we scanned this ComRes survey to determine the most common New Year’s resolutions and compiled tips for sticking to them, no matter how much time you’ve got. Take a peek to see if your resolution made the list. Spoiler: The last one might surprise you.
Have a Healthier Relationship with Food
Couples Therapy, But For Food
When it comes to healthy habits, food can be the worst culprit. We tend to beat ourselves up about the shape we’re in, set unrealistic goals for getting into better shape, then beat ourselves up all over again when we fall right back into our old patterns. But the trick to eating better is taking baby steps. Here are three solutions anyone can get behind.
Easy: Start Your Day With a Probiotic
Maybe this is the first time you’re dabbling with wellness or maybe it just hasn’t stuck before. Either way, start overhauling your relationship with food by zeroing in on the source: your gut. Take a daily probiotic like Renew Life Ultimate Flora Women's Care, which promotes digestive and immune health so you feel lighter and more energized. After all, your gut is home to up to 70% of your immune system—make sure yours is healthy. Once you start feeling better in general, you might be able to ease up on some other unhealthy triggers.
Intermediate: Keep Sweets Out of Sight
Under no circumstances are we telling you stop eating cookie dough ice cream, but rather than storing a tempting tub in the freezer, go out for ice cream the next time the mood strikes. You’re not denying yourself (everything in moderation), but you are regulating the situation since the chances you’ll go out each time visions of moose tracks pop into your head are much slimmer than scooting over to the freezer.
Expert: Eat Mindfully
We know, we know, that might sound hokey. But it’s actually pretty simple. First, only eat when you’re hungry. It’s totally fine to skip your usual 12:30 p.m. lunchtime and eat at 3:00 p.m. if that’s when your stomach beckons. Second, treat the act of eating kind of like meditation. Try to tune out the world around you while slowly taking bites and savoring flavors. It’ll be much easier to tell when you’re actually full.
Vow to Stop Procrastinating
The Time Is Now (Like, Right Now)
Good ole procrastination. Just when you thought those days (and by days we mean all four years of college) were a thing of the past, you find yourself procrastinating on even the smallest of tasks (um, you’ve been wearing that chipped nail polish for three weeks now). This endless cycle of “I’ll do it later” needs to stop, and here are three easy ways to do just that.
Easy: Write It All Down
Jot down a list of all the items you keep putting off and assign a deadline to each. That’s the key part here. Once there’s a due date involved, it’s nearly impossible to push it off indefinitely. Plus, it’ll feel real nice once you start crossing off to-dos.
Intermediate: Practice the Two-Minute Rule
This requires a teeny tiny bit of effort up front, but we promise it’s nothing you can’t handle. David Allen, author of the best-selling book Getting Things Done, swears by his two-minute rule. Essentially, if you can determine a task can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then and there. You’d be surprised at how many menial tasks (cough, washing dishes) you can quickly eliminate from your day.
Expert: Get a Support System
Say you’ve wanted to start training for a marathon but keep putting it on the back burner. Go out and befriend someone (even if this is out of your comfort zone) who has at least one marathon under their belt. By connecting with this person, you’re seeing that your goal is actually attainable, which will lead you to take action and not delay it any further.
Pick Up a New Hobby
It’s Easier Than You Think
Food for thought: What if you spent your leisure time doing something that promotes creativity or relieves stress instead of lounging on the couch balancing a bowl of popcorn on your stomach? If you’re having trouble figuring out how to exactly find a hobby or where to even start, let us help you out. Below are three ideas to get you going.
Easy: Consider Your Current Interests
Take a look around your home and see what you love to buy. For instance, if your countertops are covered with candles, try making your own. Or, if your fingers stacked with cool bands, find a jewelry-making workshop. The great thing here is that you know you already have a passion for these items, so turning it into an dedicated hobby should be a breeze.
Intermediate: Tap into Your Friends
Looking to step out of your comfort zone just a bit? Reach out to your friends who share mutual interests and ask if you can take part in their downtime hobby. On a Sunday, tag along with Lauren where she volunteers at a local animal shelter. This will be a way to try something you never thought of before. Plus, since you have a buddy it won’t be as intimidating as going at it by yourself.
Expert: Join a Club
Assuming you already nailed down a basic hobby, we highly encourage you to seek out new opportunities to make this a more serious commitment. By joining a club, you’ll be able to meet an entirely new group of like-minded people. They will know exactly what you mean when you say you PR’d your last 5k or just finished your first embroidery hoop. This type of social interaction is not only positive, it’s a fantastic learning experience.