I’m not a fan of having a new year resolution as I’ve found they rarely have a successful outcome. Of course, this could mean more about me, but I think there are many reasons why new year resolutions are not usually successful:
- have large expectations of ourselves so set large goals for a number of different areas
- feel pressured to have resolutions
- started at a time defined by the calendar not when it is right for you
- may have reduced confidence due to not meeting your expectations in the past.
Why wait for new year resolutions?
I’m a big believer that if you want to make a change you should do it straight away, when your motivation is high, instead of waiting until the new year. However, over the last year I’ve set myself a few goals at different times of the year (often related to my weight / exercise / diet) and none of them lasted. So I know that approach is not working for me at the moment.
As we approached the start of 2019 I thought about what I could do differently, because I do want to make some changes. And although I’m not a fan of new year resolutions I knew it was silly (and perhaps belligerant) to not make a change just because it happened to be the new year.
My long term goal becomes my theme
So what I’m doing differentlythis year is to work towards a long term goal. A goal that will help me achieve the life I want in the future. There are a number of goals I thought about choosing, but I chose to focus on my health as I think good health will help me achieve future goals.
I am healthy and enjoy a long and energetic life so I’m around to spend quality time with my family, my children and their children. I will live in my own home and travel to visit family and friends with minimum medical support or intervention.
This means improving my health is my focus for the year and I am starting, stopping or changing my actions to support that focus. My focus is on improving my health and not weight loss, so I’m not setting a weight target. However, it will be very nice if I lose some of my excess weight as a consequence of changing my habits.
Unfortunately, the year didn’t start well with two colds, a stomach bug and back pain. But I’m not letting this stop me and I’m sure it is onwards to greater heath from here.
You like the idea of a theme, here are some great suggestions on the top changes you can make in the new year.
Small changes together become big changes
As I mentioned before, I haven’t had much success with resolutions before, so I’m trying something new this year. I’m working on the theory that I’m more likely to retain small changes. And when lots of small changes are added together they will make a big difference to my life. So my plan is to make one small change each week, meaning over the year I will make 52 small changes all focused on improving my health.
So far I’ve introduced the following daily habits
- taking vitamins
- 2 minutes of plank (or equivalent such as toe taps)
- floss my teeth
- 15 minutes of physical exercise e.g. walking, running, swimming, dancing
- rolling a ball around my back to loosen the muscles
- putting my head down to sleep 7 hours and 10 minutes before I wake up
- meditating before going to sleep (I already do it in the mornings)
I need lots of ideas so I can keep introducing a new one in week. What habits or changes do you recommend? What has a made a difference to your health?
Reading to support my theme
I am also going to focus my reading this year on health and wellbeing books. I hope this will encourage me to stick to my habits and give me new ideas. I’ve included the books on my wish and to be read lists below. I was surprised how difficult it was to create this list because I wasn’t sure where to draw the boundary between health, well being, diet, weight loss, body positivity and even habits.
What books do you recommend?
Here are the ones currently on my wish and to be read lists. This list contains affiliate links to Amazon and books marked #gifted I recieved a free electronic copy via NetGalley.
What books do you recommend?
- Collins, James – The Energy Plan #gifted
- Cornwall, Lizzie – The book of mindfulness
- Diaz, Cameron – The Longevity Book: Live stronger. Live better.
- Douglas, Scott – 100 Things You Can Do to Stay Fit and Healthy
- Dragon, Matt – A Busy Person’s Guide to a Healthier Life #gifted
- Eliot, Robert S – Is it worth dying for?
- Ford, Bill – High energy habits
- Goddard, Jayney – Rewind your body clock #gifted
- Hay, Louise L – You can heal your life
- Holford, Patrick – 100% Health
- Holford, Patrick – Beat stress and fatigue
- Holford, Patrick – Boost your immune system
- Holford, Patrick – Solve your skin problems
- MacLeod, Jean B. – The Complete Food Substitutions Handbook #gifted
- Maté, Dr Gabor – When the Body Says No
- McKenna, Paul – I can make your sleep
- Montagu, Julie – Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You
- Nagoski, Emily – Burnout #gifted
- Ratey, Dr John – Spark
- Ricard, Matthieu – The art of meditation
- Romanelli, Dave – Happy is the new healthy
- Savona, Natalie – Good Mood Food #gifted
- Shaef, Anne Wilson – Meditations for women who do too much
- Weston, Sandy Joy – Train Your Head & Your Body Will Follow
Did you have any New Year Resolutions? How did you choose them? How are you doing with them?