Updated: Jan 10
Photo credit: TheLamare
A new year starts and with it a new opportunity to start fresh. If wellness is one of your top priorities for this year, then you have come to the right place to find some inspiration to set your New Year’s Resolutions.
There are 12 months ahead of us, meaning 12 new chances to incorporate a new healthy habit into your routine. But how can you avoid leaving your promises unfulfilled after January has passed and the motivation of the first month has dropped? We’ve also got some tips to help you keep your word!
Below you can find a list of 12 wellness-focused New Year’s Resolutions and ideas on how to keep them!
12 Months, 12 Ways to Boost Your Wellness
#1 Sit less, move more
Photo credit: Pinterest
Did you know that 39% of the workforce in Europe carry out their work while sitting down? This means that almost half of the population in the continent spends most of their day in a passive position! This is inevitable for most of us, but what you can definitely do is try to incorporate more movement into your day by forcing yourself to stand up and do something every hour.
The recommendation from the British Health and Safety Executive is to try to take a break from screens every hour. This is not only beneficial for your physical and mental wellbeing. Hourly breaks improve your ability to concentrate, change the way you see your job and boost productivity, so keep moving throughout the day can also help you have a more productive day!
On top of that, you can also commit yourself to take the stairs instead of the lift or spend one or two hours a day working on a standing desk position!
How to keep your promise: Set alarms on your phone or your smartwatch so it buzzes every hour to remind you you need to stand up and move!
You can also ask a friend or colleague to join you in the challenge of taking the lift instead of the stairs every day or in using a standing workstation for an hour or two every day. Joint challenges are easier to meet!
#2 Sleep smarter, get more quality sleep
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Getting a good night’s rest is as important as having a healthy diet or exercising frequently. However, our work and family demands tend to reduce the time we get to rest, with many of us sleeping a maximum of 6h a day. Sleep quality is more relevant to overall health than sleep quantity, so make sure you truly relax and rest the hours you get to sleep.
This year your sleep can become one of your top priorities! The benefits of improving the quality of your sleep are so numerous that we don’t know where to start: more energy and consequently more productivity, better digestion, healthy-looking skin…
Not all of us manage to get the desired 8 hours of sleep into our night though (new parents, we salute you!). In that case, getting more quality sleep becomes even more fundamental.
How to keep it: Keep your phone, tablet, and computers in one specific room and lock it when you no longer need to use them. Commit yourself not to use them for a specific block of time every day, and add 0.50euro to a jar every time you break the rules.
You can also try to listen to relaxing and/or natural sounds, and learn how to properly massage the jaw and eyes area to prepare yourself for bed, especially those of you who suffer from conditions such as bruxism. Certain massages concentrate on relieving pressure and tension of the mouth, jaw, and cheekbones, which would help you get a good night’s rest.
#3 Have more ‘me time’ and plan it ahead!
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Children and/or a busy work schedule makes it challenging for many professionals and parents to find the time to dedicate to themselves. How often would you say you have some ‘me time’? If the answer is ‘not too often’, then this should definitely be one of your wellness New Year’s Resolutions.
Spending some time on yourself is not only beneficial for your own well-being, but also for the well-being of those surrounding you. You can take this opportunity to do something you truly enjoy or that relaxes you such as having a bath, practising some yoga, reading a book, having a massage, or going for a walk, among others.
How to keep your promise: You can plan your week or month ahead! You can use a classic planner or make use of your phone’s calendar and reminders to set a time and date you’ll dedicate to any ‘me time’ activity.
#4 Spend more time outdoors connecting with nature
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With more and more people working from home these days, it seems many of us find very few reasons to leave the house. It’s time for that to change! By spending some time outdoors, you’re going to let your lungs breathe better, your mind think clearer and your body to feel more active.
Committing yourself to get out of the house at least three times everyday would be a great start point. You can do it in the morning before work, at midday on your lunch break, and in the afternoon or evening when you finish your obligations or before you have dinner with your family.
How to keep your promise: You’re likely to keep this New Year’s resolution if you make it a fun challenge! For example, set a target of 10,000 steps every day. You can easily check this with your phone’s fitness app or with your smartwatch. At the end of every week, if you’ve met your daily target, then reward yourself with a treat: your favourite dinner, a delicious organic ice cream, a massage...
Otherwise, you can incorporate some activities to your outdoor time. For instance, you can work out or do any physical activity in the park; you can take the opportunity to improve your photography skills or get some nice shots of sunrises and sunsets by playing with the morning or evening light; or you can find a quiet place to meditate outside.
#5 Change the way you clean your house, go natural and green!
If you’re not using green products to clean your house, then it’s the moment to switch products once and for all! There are some healthy options you can use to keep your house clean and bacteria-free. Some of the ingredients you can use to create your own all-purpose cleaner including baking soda and white vinegar. You can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to your home-made formula and tada! Your house will not only be clean, it will also smell clean!
How to keep your promise: Informing yourself about the benefits of natural household products! Ensure you spend some time reading about it to convince yourself this is the best alternative to clean the house. Then, add the list of products you need to your shopping list immediately so you don’t forget to buy them, or quickly order them online.
#6 Learn to cook new healthy recipes
Photo credit: unsplash
Eating healthy is a great investment in your health and well-being. First of all, you need to understand what a healthy, balanced diet involves. In order to make the right food choices, we highly advise to check this out with a professional, especially if you have any medical condition or if you’re expecting or planning to get pregnant. Remember to also consult a specialist if you would like to lose weight or if you’ve noticed you frequently feel fatigued.
When any medical concerns are solved, it’s time to add new ideas to your recipes portfolio! You can even go a step further by following the principles of shojin ryori, a concept we’ve inherited from Japanese culture and that focuses on appreciating food, using seasonal ingredients, and aiming for zero waste.
How to keep your promise: If you already have a regular workout routine, it’s time to complement it with healthy food choices! It’s a natural step to take when you’re consistent with exercise. You can also choose a day of the week to pay a visit to a local market so you can buy food from local producers. You can even plan a visit to a farm with the whole family so both you and your children learn all about local production and the colours that you should add to your meals to get as many veggies and proteins as needed!
Do you normally struggle to find time for cooking? Then you could subscribe to a weekly gourmet box and receive all the ingredients you need with step-by-step guides on how to cook meals. You can try to use Lifesum or my Fitnesspal apps, both great alternatives that can help you eat healthier and save time!
#7 Make room for some family time on a daily basis
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On a scale from 0 to 10 (0 being ‘very little’ and 10 being ‘too much’), how much time do you dedicate to simply being with your family every day? More importantly: is the quality time you dedicate to them? If your answer is below 5, then family time can become your number one priority this year!
This doesn’t mean you have to give up your career or that ‘me time’ we mentioned above, but simply fully commit to being present whilst you play with your children or have dinner with your partner in the evenings. You can also use this time to share with each other the highlights of your day, play together or get in the kitchen and prepare a meal as family!
How to keep this promise: We firmly believe that good planning is key to making everything happen! First of all, talk to your other half and children about the importance of spending time together. Then, set an alarm that everyone in the house can hear that reminds all of you it’s time to get together and that everyone is free and welcome to join the reunion.
Keep in mind that spontaneous encounters are also a great way to connect with your family, especially with kids. If you see them playing or doing homework in their bedroom and you have 15 free minutes, then it’d be great to spend those having fun with them or helping them with their school tasks.
#8 Spend less time with your phone and gadgets
Did you know that the average European person spends between two and three hours a day looking at their phones outside of work? This figure is exponentially higher if we think of the many professionals who work in an office with a computer. Taking some time away from screens will help you sleep better (resolution number 2), give you the time to do outdoor activities (resolution 4), and find more time to spend with your family (resolution 7), among others.
How to keep this promise: It’s never too late to join the ‘phone-free’ nights challenge! Set a new rule in the house: phones, tablets, and any other electronic gadgets must stay in one specific bedroom in the evenings and overnight. This rule can help everyone be more productive when they use technology (kids for homework, yourself for work…) as all of you will be aware gadgets can only be used until a certain time of the day.
You can take a step further by making this a real challenge for everyone: add 0.50euro to a jar every time anyone breaks the rule!
#9 Find a physical activity you actually enjoy!
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Signing up for a gym membership and just going a couple of times in January is the classic New Year’s resolution that the majority of us fail to keep. We believe that one of the main reasons this happens is that we simply don’t enjoy going to the gym on our own. There are dozens of ways you can keep active and do exercise, so make sure you take the time to explore them!
One of the many options you might find interesting include yoga, pilates, tai chi, outdoor workout circuits, dance classes, swimming, jogging, tennis and paddle boarding, among many others!
How to keep this promise: Find out activities that your local gyms and sporting facilities offer. Once you find something you might like, book a first session today! Most of them will probably offer free trials, so you can try a few and opt for the one that better fits your needs and that you actually enjoy doing!
Many people also find it easier to do any type of physical activity in a group. If that’s your case, you can also join a jogging group, a paddle-boarding club or organise a competition with your workmates! You can also get your partner or a friend to do this. That way, it’ll be easier to get over any possible laziness and keep finding the motivation you need for this.
#10 Reduce, reuse, recycle!
We are more informed about the world’s environmental challenges than ever before in history. This means we can take the new year as an opportunity to start doing some extra efforts to help reduce our environmental footprint. Recycling is a great way to help the planet, but what about reducing and reusing products?
You can reduce the amount of plastics you buy by opting for products with environmentally-friendly packages, or you might also want to consider brands that offer refillable bottles! Any little effort counts and you’d be setting a great example for little ones.
How to keep this promise: If you don’t have them yet, buy colour-coded containers that help everyone in the house recycle. You can do this for both your office and home and kindly ask your colleagues and children to make use of them.
You can even create a fun arts and crafts competition on a regular basis! Ask kids to choose some recyclable materials every month and create a DIY craft with them. It will keep them busy, entertained, and looking forward to getting a prize! (For example, allow the winner to have their favourite ice cream for dessert or to pick the film next time you go to the cinema or have a movie night at home!).
#11 Learn about Japanese wellness
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Have you ever explored the principles of J-wellness? They are really popular because they’re truly effective! From long, relaxing baths to a daily tea ceremony, the Japanese take their well-being seriously and focus mainly on being present and looking after both mind and body.
If you don’t know anything about Japanese wellness, we vigorously encourage you to learn about it and benefit from it starting today!
How to keep this promise: First things first, inform yourself! We invite you to read our blog article on How to Infuse Your Life with Japanese Wellness for that. Second of all, choose one ritual or activity that catches your eye and sign up to a course (Ikebana flower arrangements, a cooking class…) or visit your local Japanese shop next time you go shopping to explore what products they offer.
#12 Get into new skincare habits
Photo credit: Emilie Celine facialist at Maison Ito (online coaching for self-massage or guasha)
Looking after your skin is the ultimate self-care thing you do for yourself. If you already have a consistent skincare regime you’re happy with it but you’d like to improve or optimise it, then learning how to perform an auto-massage or learning about Gua Sha might be that extra bit you can add to your routine.
How to keep this promise: You can start by creating a list of products you’d like to try or rituals you’d like to learn. Once you have that list, mark your priorities or the things that you’re more interested in. Next step is to mark a date in the calendar for each and every of them TODAY! For example, mark a day to book a session to learn how to do an auto-massage in January; pick a day to learn more about disciplines such as Gua Sha in February; choose a date for learning more about exfoliants and face oils in March, etc.).
How’s the new year started for you? If you haven’t yet, create a list with 12 New Year’s Resolutions in your calendar and make sure some of them are wellness-focused! It’s never too late to start fresh, and you now have 12 months ahead of you to improve those little bits that will help you have a better and healthier life.
BY JULIANA R. & EMILIE CELINE
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