New Year Greetings to all. Today, I’ll write in hopes and share my experience of the truth of resolutions. Resolutions we make and/ or break that will nudge you to a healthier lifestyle.
You heard it right ‘the resolutions’, for me this word comes with a lot of emotional and physical baggage. To keep me motivated to achieve my goals either good health or good wealth.
For almost all of us, New Year comes with a nudge to make resolutions with gusto. Basically, to change habits, practices or clichés as well and is purely a subjective thing.
You try to acquaint yourself with some new skills or new goals to become a healthier version of you with each passing year. Evidently, to keep you motivated. All the commercials, newspapers and health websites show healthy recipes, gym subscriptions and motivational podcasts in an overwhelming amount.
We all get pretty excited to try new healthy diets, exercise regime. But in a couple of weeks or a month, most of us who were eager to start exercise or follow a particular diet fades away. Don’t worry about that because it’s a normal human tendency as experts say.
Mindfulness- In Practice
Psychologists suggest that happiness fades as one tries to achieve the next bigger or better things based on a concept known as hedonic treadmill. For instance, you take up keto diet for weight reduction and with time you see the results. But move on to next task without any acknowledge given to your earlier happiness of losing weight.
It is all because you reach a saturation point of happiness where one thing that made you happier soon comes to feel like the norm.
Giving thought to this, we all are on the same page, aren’t we? How hard we follow health experts’ advice to shed those extra kilos or eat nutritiously healthy food, cut back on sugar and salt and lip-smacking processed foods.
But how many of you have continued to stay on the course of improved health? What can we do to make our convictions transform into a good practice?
I’ll discuss some tips to healthy new year resolution that work best for me and to nudge you in a direction that may work for you as well.
# Nudge 1: Listen to your Body
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything runs on the principle of energy so does your mind and body inside you. The gamut of positive emotions is the basic energy that drives us to do work. But, to inculcate this source of energy within you your attention has to be in the present.
Psychologists say that brain prioritizes one thing in detail at a time and filters out other processes as our brain runs on limited attention. Primarily, attention is a ‘spotlight’ that amplifies your process of perception at a particular moment.
You will be surprised to know that our brain has around 12 watts of power and with limited energy, it cannot focus on everything around you.
So why not put yourself in spotlight using brains function that is evolved to focus on what counts.
Finding you ikigai every morning develops attention, will power with simplicity and listening to your body is learning minimalism. For a healthier version, you start meditation a pathway to mindfulness.
# Nudge 2: Find exercise and diet that suits you
It will take some trials of course. It’s not a problem if one exercise type didn’t work well for you because you have a lot of options such as brisk walking, jogging, cardio exercises, and weight training exercises.
Only 150 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended for moderate aerobic exercise and 75-minute vigorous exercise per week according to DHHS ( Department of Health and Human Services). Power yoga and 10 minutes of meditation are my best activities.
But which exercise goes well with your personality and energy level to be taken into account. Similarly, what food suits your physiology is to be considered. For me, plant-based diet, a handful of nuts and meditation have done wonders from improved sleep to creativity.
# Nudge 3: Find your exercise companion for the results
I know exercise can be a heavy task for people like us who are sedentary in lifestyle and to sustain on exercise routine takes an extra effort from ourselves. I used to give up before but what I discovered is that when we get a companion to exercise with can motivate us to continue.
As doing exercise together develops a sense of healthy competition that who can maintain one’s weight till longer time or who can lose weight fast. You can definitely try sacrificing something valuable to you such as a gifted pen, customized watch to give away if don’t reach your goal of maintaining weight and so on.
Also we all become supportive and friendly with each other that keep one on foot to go for exercise as well.
# Nudge 4: Learn the exercise of Gratitude
A thankful heart is not only a virtue but the parent of all other virtues’’ – Cicero
Positive psychology proves that the exercise of gratitude gives a sense of kindness and happiness to achieve better health goals. It can be achieved in many ways. I journal every alternate day about what I like, what I have achieved and what I have to in the itinerary.
Because to acknowledge others’ good qualities be thankful to yourself first. Write a thank you letter or text a thank you message to your family and your loved ones.
You should also embrace nature as it gives us a sense of connection and satisfaction between the nature and us. Knowing feelings of others and yours enhance social and emotional intelligence.
Repeat positive affirmations in the present tense to rewire your brain. For instance, ‘I control my own feelings’ or ‘I prefer’ etc. Do you believe in affirmations, if yes how and if no, why?
# Nudge 5: Upgrade yourself with new skills
Expert says skill power is the new will power. Along with physical activity your mental activity, should be strengthened. Learning new things enhances the grey matter of the brain. If you enjoy doing something new happy hormones (endorphins) generate in your body and health and happiness are buddies as proved in many types of research.
Sketching and painting are my stress busters and motivates to upgrade my skills from beginner to advanced levels. You can go for other activities as well like learn driving, learn new languages, photography or playing instruments and so on. It is all subjective to your choices. With new skills of creativity, you can develop an inventive solution to practical problems.
# Nudge 6: Reap happiness in daily activities
For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness- Ralph Waldo Emerson
To enjoy your work you don’t have to change your mindset. All you need to do is just be the ease with it. If you feel exhausted in daily routine take a day off, do breathing exercises (breathe in and breathe out). You can also go for digital detox for a month or so.
Be SMART in your approach to sustain your Healthy New Year Resolution:
- Specific-observe your thoughts try doing something new.
- Measurable– set goals that are attainable in the long-term.
- Assignable– awareness is the key to mindfulness.
- Realistic- thought bubbles are passing clouds just be at ease with your mind.
- Time-related– Do not judge your mind and learn the exercise of gratitude to reap happiness with time.
Share your tips to Healthy New Year Resolution and nudges to sustain them.