After the start of the last two years, it’s hard to know what to expect in 2022, but here’s to hoping it’s going to be a great year. And, despite the old saying, “when man plans, God laughs,” there is certainly a real, proven value in setting intentions to make it the richest, most colourful and rewarding year. Here’s why it’s not too late to use New Year resolutions to help you put your best foot forward.
According to a poll by YouGov, we’re pretty poor at making and keeping New Year resolutions. In January 2020, only 12% of British people set resolutions. And of those who did, just 26% achieved their goals in 2021.
And, that’s not just due to the pandemic. The same pattern emerged in 2015. According to an article in The Guardian, 63% of people sampled failed to keep their resolutions.
So what did that tiny percentage do differently to manage to stay on track?
Research suggests resolutions with positive outcomes are most successful. When you see results such as a more muscular body from regular exercise, for instance, you’re much more likely to compound a habit.
But the key is to be realistic and make sure your resolutions are achievable. For example, if you’re new to running, rather than aiming to do a 10k run in your first week, set smaller goals and work up from there. Keep it simple, make small changes that get results but are easy to do.
Here are 5 New Year resolutions that are worth keeping. Get ready to make some positive waves in 2022!
Drink More Water
Science-based benefits of drinking water include:
- Better physical performance
- Improves brain function
- Prevents headaches
- Prevents/treats Constipation
- Prevents Kidney stones
- Aids weight loss
The common recommendation is to drink 5 to 8 glasses of water a day. You can effectively do this by drinking water with breakfast, mid-morning, lunch-time, afternoon, and evening. You don’t have to go overboard.
In January 2020, some Japanese scientists measured the health effects of drinking more water. The subjects of the study drank half a litre of water on waking and half a litre just before bedtime in addition to their typical intake.
The results showed that one extra litre a day significantly decreased systolic blood pressure (the force with which the blood hits the artery walls when pumped by the heart.). High systolic blood pressure can cause strokes, kidney disease, and heart disease.
So try setting a goal of drinking a pint of water in the morning, and one in the evening before bed, and you have a better chance to protect your heart and kidneys.
Live More Sustainably
One of the most worthwhile resolutions you could make is to help to save the planet for future generations by reducing your carbon footprint. Being the change you want to see in the world can inspire others to do the same.
Whether it’s the food you eat or the transport you use, everything in your life impacts the planet. There are so many changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.
According to a study by the University of Oxford, switching to a vegan diet is the biggest thing you can do to help save the planet. You can also reduce your food bill drastically by not eating meat and dairy.
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use a renewable energy supplier.
Did you know that just one hundred companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions? Fossil fuel exploitation is the number one cause of global warming.
According to Greenpeace, phasing out coal, oil, and gas consumption is the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Switching to a renewable energy provider hurts the pockets of the energy giants and reduces emissions. Double whammy.
Use less energy and water by:
- Cycling or travelling by public transport wherever possible
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products
- Reuse, recycle
- Go paperless
- Switch to Renewable Energy
- Grow your own
- Donate used items
- Wear sustainable clothing
- Save water
- Don’t waste food
- Join reforestation and sustainability projects
This list may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to implement them all. Try making one change to begin with. Once you’ve formed the new habit, you can start to incorporate other changes to live more sustainably.
A truly life-changing New Year resolution is to take control of your life by being more organised. Better time and home management can increase your productivity, keeping you ahead of your schedule. Try these tips and see the difference they can make.
Use To-do Lists
A to-do list is a simple tool that can increase productivity immensely.
A 2011 study showed that people who write a plan achieve more because their unconscious brain is aware of what needs doing, even when they aren’t actively thinking about the tasks.
The process of writing lists, prioritising them, then scheduling tasks into a planner helps you gain control of your time. If you have a particularly challenging task, schedule it for the morning when your mind is fresh. Allow for breaks. Recognise that if you tend to drift off on social media, you’ll need to schedule time for it when planning your day.
Crossing off tasks on a list is a satisfying feeling, making you want to do it more. You procrastinate less and feel less anxious about the burden of a busy workload.
There are proven techniques to working most effectively with a to-do list. Start by spending at least 5 minutes working out everything that needs doing.
Then, order them in priority from one being most important. Mindtools has an excellent guide on effective to-do lists.
Work in short blasts of deep focus to get tasks done in the scheduled time. The brain can only do one thing at a time. Focusing purely on one task at a time, without distraction, will boost productivity.
Organise Your Home
If you’re one of those people whose home is in constant ‘organised chaos’ don’t aim for a spotless house every day of the year. Instead, choose one area to keep tidy, and stick to that area. One simple area to start with is learning to fold your clothes in the style of Marie Kondo. When you develop the habit of folding and putting your clothes away neatly, you’ll feel a sense of pride.
When you’ve got this habit to stick you can think about another area of the house to start on. Start small, and stay small. Then build up further habits gradually.
Connect With Friends
Next, we come to a resolution that we should all make, keeping in touch with friends and family. Research shows that a lack of social interaction is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more detrimental to your physical health than obesity and not exercising.
The reason social connection is so important is that when you hug, hold hands with a loved one, or be sexually intimate with another the brain releases oxytocin, the love molecule. Oxytocin interacts with GABA neurotransmitters, which are responsible for calming the central nervous system and regulating mood. Anxiety reduces so that we feel alive and happy.
A great way to become more connected with others is to find a hobby or activity that involves others. Yoga classes are a great way to meet others and boost your oxytocin and serotonin levels. Not only do you increase strength, flexibility, and mental health, you also get to meet a host of friendly folk who are equally dedicated to feeling good and sharing connections.
Be More Consistent
Staying strong with new habits is a matter of consistency. So why not make your resolution to be consistent. If this feels the equivalent of scaling Everest with a huge backpack, fear not. The trick is in understanding the way you approach being consistent.
A habit is a behaviour that is so deeply wired in your brain that you do it automatically. Habits are coded into the brain so that you repeat the behaviour even while you do something else.
Neuroplasticity is the function by which the brain’s anatomy can change over time, particularly through a consistent habit.
If a resolution is too ambitious, it’ll be nigh on impossible to maintain. So to be consistent and make the goal achievable by practising the new behaviour little and often for 21 days, to begin with. By then the new habit will start to cement in your neural pathways.
A 2020 study showed that it can take just 90 days to form a new habit, provided it is repeated consistently, regularly, and in the same context. So whether you want to lose weight, get fit, or learn a new language, schedule a small amount of time each day or week. Then stick to it.
Get Ready For 2022
Imagine yourself in a year – energised, positive, and brimming with a sense of limitless possibilities. We’d love to see you smash your resolutions, so why not get down to Yogafurie and become part of our Yoga family.
Or why not book on to one of our Yoga holidays?
Or join us online?
Come and join us! We look forward to seeing you.