Everyone starts the new year strong with some type of resolution. But by the time February rolls around, that resolution might have fallen by the wayside. The main reason people don’t stick to their new year’s resolutions is because the goals they set are too unattainable.
It’s better to start off small, then build your way up from there with regular routines. Here’s a handful of super-easy wellness rituals that make for a successful year—the whole way through.
- Meditate for 10 minutes a day: In today’s get-up-and-go attitude, we forget to stop and breathe. Meditation may sound like a waste of time, but your brain needs a break! A quick session once a day will leave you feeling recharged and boost productivity. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to fit in some daily meditation. Observe the natural flow of your thoughts while sitting in traffic, taking your lunch break or getting ready for bed.
- Establish a bedtime ritual: You might not have time to read a book, take a bath, do a face mask, watch a movie and complete a crossword puzzle every single night. Start by choosing one small bedtime ritual you know you can stick to. It could be one of the activities just mentioned or anything else that puts you in the mood to catch some Zs.
- Keep a gratitude journal: One healthy bedtime—or anytime—ritual is to start writing in a gratitude journal. Keep a journal on your nightstand that’s solely dedicated to jotting down people or things you’re grateful for. You don’t have to spend hours filling the pages! You can create bulleted lists and mention small things like a good cup of coffee. The key is to practice gratitude consistently so it becomes a year-long habit.
- A day of no social media: No one’s expecting you to go completely off the grid! To give up social media entirely is unrealistic. Pick one day each month to unplug from your phone, tablet or computer. Resist the urge to scroll through newsfeeds and check what’s trending on Twitter. Instead, use all of your newfound spare time to focus on loved ones and your immediate surroundings.
- Participate in meatless Mondays: Much like social media, you can’t quit meat cold turkey (pun intended). Let’s face it—not everyone’s cut out for the vegan lifestyle! But you can still practice veganism one day at a time. On Mondays, swap that juicy burger for a plant-based protein. Meatless eating is good for your body and the environment!
- Explore new recipes: Speaking of food, new year’s resolutions are the perfect excuse to get busy in the kitchen. Don’t pressure yourself into following a strict diet. Instead, feed your curiosity for new flavors by experimenting with different recipes. You’re bound to discover one that sticks, making it easier to purchase whole foods and say no to takeout.
- Spend more time outdoors: A bit of fresh air does wonders for clearing the head of anxious thoughts. Also, sunlight is a primary source of vitamin D. Find opportunities to get outside more often by going for a quick walk around the block or riding your bike to work. Once the weather gets chilly, you’ll probably prefer to stay inside all day. Sit near windows whenever you get the chance in order to soak up some vitamin D-infused rays and enjoy the calming views of nature.
- Take the stairs: We know—you’ve heard this one before. But that’s because it actually works! Not only does it squeeze in an extra workout, taking the stairs also gives you an energy boost that’s better than caffeine. Consider adding this one to the list if your top new year’s resolution is cutting back on coffee!
- Set aside time to stretch: We could all use a good stretch, regardless of whether you’re an athlete. Reserve a few minutes each day to stretch stiff muscles or complete a simple yoga flow. Stretching invigorates the body after a long night’s rest and give you an excuse to take a break from work.
- Tidy your work space: The state of your environment is a reflection of what’s going on inside your head. A cluttered space means a cluttered mind! Boost productivity and lower stress by cleaning for five minutes at the end of each work day. This will keep clutter to a minimum and start tomorrow on the right foot.
New year’s resolutions aren’t about moving mountains. Small daily habits like the ones mentioned here serve as a catalyst for even more healthy choices. Completing a new year’s resolution every day, no matter how small, will give you the confidence to strive for more ambitious goals. Once you establish a habit, it can last way longer than the new year!