It’s easier than you think.
A new year symbolizes a new chapter in our lives, and like every year before the next, we create a list of goals to be achieved. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions have a habit of being broken more than any other goals. One of the problems that contribute to this is the fact we sometimes treat it like finishing up a marathon.
Resolutions and goals aren’t short-term solutions and there are ways we can make them a permanent part of our life. Here are some useful tips for you to honour your resolutions to self-improvement and health change.
Find Projects to Volunteer
The act of giving feeds the soul. In fact, a study in Social Science and Medicine suggests that volunteering might contribute to happiness levels “by increasing empathic emotions, shifting aspirations,” and helping people to re-evaluate their own life situations. Volunteering for a cause as little as two hours a week brings greater happiness, and sense of purpose.
Take More Breaks
You might not believe it but, if your aim is to become more productive, the best way to achieve that goal is to take more breaks. Do less to do more according to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology. It also states that frequent, short breaks as early as a few hours after you start working are most effective at refreshing your mind. Overworking could lead to exhaustion and increase your stress hormones, which can create cycles of burnout.
Just because it’s called a “New Year’s” resolution doesn’t mean you only start preparing for it when the new year rolls in. Prepare for it now, and don’t wait for the countdown to announce your goals and plans to friends and family. You should begin by deciding on which goal to pursue in advance and then continue with the specifics on how you will achieve those goals.
Reward Yourself Wisely
Focusing too much on the progress you’ve made can be counterproductive. This is one of the main problems when it comes to weight loss. We are guilty of rewarding ourselves with indulgent treats after making progress with losing weight. But, when you don’t acknowledge your progress, you will lose steam and possibly give up in the long run. Do celebrate your accomplishments but perhaps try rewarding yourself with your favourite things besides food.
Choose Something Requiring Less Willpower
One of the secrets to following through on any resolutions is to start with those that don’t require willpower. When you exert extreme willpower, a function of the prefrontal cortex exhausts other functions like mental endurance and the will to follow through. Willpower is a mental muscle that must be trained, so try kicking off the year by choosing a resolution that adds something to your life like learning how to cook healthier meals instead of ones that require taking away things from your daily routine.
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