New Year’s Resolutions. Doesn’t the term just make you cringe? At the same time, though, it is a blank slate that typically comes at a time when we are needing a bit more—ahem—discipline in our lives. There is something to be said for resetting the clock each year and, while it’s a good time to cut back on calories, there are plenty of other areas that are worth examining in our lives, too.
Need some inspiration? Read on for five New Year’s Resolutions to put on your radar.
- Get Up Earlier
You might already be an early bird. If so, good on ya. Many of us, though, fall victim to pressing the snooze button over and over. The thing is, notoriously successful entrepreneurs often wake up before dawn, and some names you might recognize are Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington. So if you’ve been itching to get ahead, many business experts will recommend this technique. Whether you use the time to get right to work, exercise, decorate your home, or meditate, you will most certainly notice an increase in your productivity.
As The Muse notes via this article on Inc.com says of his own early rising habit, “The average U.S. individual wakes up between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m, which means when I’m up at 5 a.m., I have a good one to two hours before my phone starts buzzing. There are no urgent emails, no calls, no fires to put out just yet. The only question I have to ask myself is, ‘What do I feel like doing this morning?’” If you’re a known night owl and would like to give this a shot, gradually get up 10 minutes earlier per day until you’ve reached your goal. Hey, it’s worth a shot.
- Become a Master of Something
Another thing many of us fall victim to is being a Jack of All Trades. You know what means though, right? Very few of us have actually mastered anything because our interests are varied while the time we have to spend on them is spread thin. Use this next year to pick one thing you’ve always wanted to be good at, and make it happen. Hone your musical abilities. Better yet, up the ante by making a music visualizer online. Learn how to cook. Become an expert in cake decorating. Write that book. Trying to do all of these things can be overwhelming but if you narrow your focus, you will undoubtedly be proud of your results.
We used to think this was just for “those new age hippies” but study after study continues to uncover the many benefits of meditation. These run the gamut from stress reduction and improved sleep to better emotional health and improving attention span (and so much more). Much like getting up earlier than you’re used to, this simply needs to become a habit. Use an app like Insight Timer and Headspace until you’ve got it down. Set your timer and shoot for about 10 minutes each day. If you’ve got more time to spare, go for it, as you’ll only benefit even further from this life-changing practice.
- Give More
No, we’re not necessarily talking about donating your life’s savings to your favorite cause. What many people don’t realize is that giving truly is better than receiving and, although this might sound selfish, you will benefit from this more than you realize. As associate professor of neuroeconomics and social neuroscience Philippe Tobler notes in this Time article, “It is known that actually helping others and being generous to them increases happiness. He goes on to point out, “I would still consider that the primary route to boost happiness; however, making a commitment to help others is a first step to follow through.” Find a reasonable amount of time or resources that you can donate and just do it.
- Set Your Intention
Yoga Nidra has become a popular meditation for going to sleep and, although “nidra” does mean “sleep”, it is essentially the process of awakening yourself to your true nature. When you do the Yoga Nidra meditation, you set a “sankalpa”, or an intention. As this article by YogaInternational.com puts it, “The sankalpa becomes a statement you can call upon to remind you of your true nature and guide your choices.” While this might sound too “out there” for some, there is something to be said for putting what you want for the year out in the universe, as it is essentially planting a seed. Try it!
While a weight loss or fitness focus resolution is all well and good, try going a bit deeper this year with your resolutions. Whether you choose one (or all) of these New Year’s resolutions or you come up with your own, try going below the surface.