It’s a new year, but don’t try to be a whole new you! Focus on improving your overall wellness instead. We all have enough on our plates right now. There is no sense in making grand resolutions that set you up for failure. Studies show that most people who make resolutions don’t follow through. In fact, more than 75% of people don’t make it past 30 days!
Three Ways to Improve Your Wellness in 2021:
1. Examine your thoughts.
When your mind wanders, where does it go? When you make a mistake, what does the voice in your head say? When you wake up in the morning, are you feeling positive about the day? We all have bad days or bad moments in our day, but if your thoughts are negative most of the time, it can be problematic. Constant negative thoughts begin to shape your reality. For example, if you constantly tell yourself you will fail at something, after a while you probably won’t even try. If you tell yourself the day is going to be awful, you will most likely focus on the worst parts in the day. Here are some ways to help combat those negative thoughts.
2. Practice gratitude.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to be grateful for the little things in life. Take a few minutes each day to think of something you are grateful for and write it down. It doesn’t have to be huge; it could be you were grateful that the store had your flavor of ice cream. Whatever it is, write it down. If you’re not sure how to get started or aren’t into writing, check out this website for ideas and a list of gratitude apps you can download to your phone. This recent New York Times article gives you more tips.
Wondering what gratitude can do for you? It can improve your outlook on life and even improve your physical health.
“In 2003, researchers writing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology randomly assigned a group of study participants to keep a short weekly list of the things they were grateful for, while another group listed hassles or simply neutral events. Ten weeks later, the first group enjoyed significantly greater life satisfaction than the second. They also felt better physically, were more optimistic about the upcoming week, and even exercised more.” -- The Atlantic
3. Start small.
Whatever habit you are trying to break or good habit you are trying to start, take baby steps. If you are trying to get in shape after being inactive for a long time, saying you are going to exercise every day for an hour is a bit too ambitious. Trying to improve your diet by cutting out an entire food group is too drastic. Instead, look for how to change your behavior in small increments. If you haven’t left your couch in months, start out by incorporating a lunch-time walk every day. If you want to eat healthier, you don’t have to avoid cookies forever, but instead of eating five, go for one. Check out this article about the “exercise snack” to find a quick way to incorporate fitness into your day.