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5 New Year's Resolution Ideas for a Happier and Healthier You!

A new year's celebration party announcing resolutions at countdown with champagne gold streamers and confetti

It is a shock to realize that we are now firmly in 2022 when we are still processing 2020. Living in a world in the grips of a pandemic has become the norm, and notable events in the past couple of years are a dime a dozen, but life urges us to look forward. As they say, new year, new beginnings, and new resolutions.

Allegedly, the origins of New Year's resolutions started long ago when Babylonians would make promises to the gods to earn good favor for the coming year. To most of us, New Year's resolution is a promise to ourselves that we would change our lives for the better.

In the first week of 2022, let set our sights on five quality-of-life new year's resolution ideas.

1. Live healthier with small, manageable goals.

some grilled beef as a healthy and balanced meal on a white plate with asparagus and cherry tomatoes

If there's anything we learned in 2021, it's not to take your health for granted! Healthiness is never achieved in one step. Setting small, attainable goals that can be ticked off every week or every day lends to more motivation in the long run.

Exercising can come in all forms that would not cut into your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Walk to lunch over at the next block instead of driving. Schedule a house-cleaning routine helps you stay active and is also highly effective in keeping your living space neat and tidy.

Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is tantamount to living a healthy lifestyle. A heart-healthy diet emphasizes natural produce balanced by fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins. Eat nutrient-dense foods such as Certified Piedmontese Grass Fed Beef that is lean and has a high nutrition-to-calorie ratio. Switch out a few options in your fridge or pantry to healthier alternatives or set aside one day a week for a nutritionist-recommended meal.

2. Make and maintain your connection with others.

mother and daughter taking a selfie photo on smart phone smiling and happy

Stress is a significant health issue in the USA. It continues to be an escalating problem in every aspect of our lives, affecting our mental health, including our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It impacts how we think, feel, and cope with daily happenings.

One of the most effective ways to destress is the development of strong and healthy relationships with others. Humans are social beings, and having a good support circle helps relieve stress. Telling your troubles to a sympathetic ear or reaching out for a supporting hand goes a long way to maintaining the equilibrium for mental wellness, so keep your friends and family close and updated on your life.

You can also initiate connections by getting involved in workplace or neighborhood communities or local volunteer organizations to spend time with people who have similar interests. In the new year, make it a personal goal to join a group activity, reach out to a family member every weekend, or set up gatherings with friends.

3. Commit to a hobby or interest.

Playing a musical instrument or learning to play a wooden ukulele

Happiness is a byproduct of things that have intrinsic value to us and not something to be pursued in and on itself. Having a hobby allows you to home in your concentration and focus on a de-stressing activity while remaining mentally productive:

  • Find new and exciting recipes to cook and try out. Chowing down on yummy food is the easiest way to get those "feel good" vibes. After the lockdowns and quarantines, people are also more appreciative of quality dining experiences at restaurants such as Casa Bovina that take a wholesome farm-to-fork approach.

  • Play memory and problem-solving mind games. It's as simple as getting a sudoku puzzle book or downloading an app. Not only can you exercise your brain to help sharpen your thinking, successfully solving puzzles can feel like a reward, boosting your endorphins and helping curb negative feelings.

  • Become a plant parent. Responsibly caring for plants or other living creatures is reported to calm your nervous system and gain you a greater concentration. Not to mention the satisfaction you feel when your plant grows strong and vibrant due to your diligent care.

  • Learn to play a new musical instrument. The activity not only engages and stimulates your brain, but it also improves your cognitive and physical aspects like hand-eye coordination. Learning to play a new instrument will also enhance memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills.

4. Be more mindful of the environment.

A reusable net string shopping bag for shopping with a phone showing the recycle sign laying on it

You might desire to become part of the global environmental movement but are unsure of what you should or could contribute. As a consumer, you can advocate for change by choosing brands that have done the right thing and committed themselves to sustainability initiatives for a greener future. Support a company that uses sustainable product packaging such as Certified Piedmontese's biodegradable green cell foam and help reduce plastic packaging, which contributes around 30% of the yearly waste generated in the USA.

You can replace certain household items with sustainable alternatives or be more thoughtful about conserving water and electricity. Instead of disposable dryer sheets, use dryer balls that can last 1,000 loads. Use reusable bags instead of plastic bags when you do your grocery run. Turn your thermostat up or down 5 to 8 degrees when you are not home and when you are sleeping to increase energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. Water your plants using collected rainwater or wastewater (household soaps and detergents are harmless to plants). Refrain from using paper towels when rags can do the same job repeatedly.

5. Practice emotional management and be grateful.

Black coffee in a white mug with the foam showing a smiley face

We often tell ourselves to maintain a positive outlook, but in living life, we are guaranteed to feel sadness, anger, grief, envy, shame, fear, and doubt. Staying positive by willing feelings to "go away" without acknowledging the root problem is unconstructive to emotional health. Instead, when overcome by negative emotions, pause for a moment to consider the situation more objectively.

Identify the reason for your negative emotions, and work to address or change those things. With practice, you will grow to express your feelings in appropriate ways, effectively processing them without causing harm to yourself or others.

Gratitude, if seen as something that happens to you because of circumstances, may seem out of reach when you're facing a difficult situation. But being grateful can also be a practice you actively engage. You can actively bring up more positive emotions when reminding yourself of positive things around you. Make a daily list to appreciate the little moments and treasure what you have. On the other hand, accept that there are things you are not grateful for and move on to give thanks to others.

How to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions

Promises made to yourself are all well and good, but when resolve is kept secret, it's all too easy for it to dissipate.

Based on past research, 62% of Americans with New Year's resolutions would have lost steam somewhere in February, and 86% would have bailed when April comes around. Getting too busy, setting goals too high, and losing interest are the three big factors in people giving up on their New Year's resolution.

Simply wanting to change is not enough; you need to make it stick. One way to do this is to share your resolution with others. Make others check up on you, and you can help keep an eye on their resolutions too. Holding a party to publicly share your resolutions or announcing them on social media is an excellent way to let others in on your goals.

Remember: Success is always achievable with easily identifiable steps and a reasonable timeframe. So, know your limits, and gather the spirit to take that first step of change.

To a happier and healthier you, we hope you have a blessed 2022!

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