January 16th, 2019
2019 is here, which means many of us may have started New Year’s Resolutions and some of us may have already abandoned them by now. Oftentimes our goals are rooted in finances or fitness—but have you considered thinking outside the box? Check out these alternative new ideas that put a different spin on growth in the new year. Every day is a new day and the perfect time to make a change for the better.
Start single tasking
We live in a fast-paced world with high demands. Our daily schedules are full of tasks, appointments, bills and responsibilities that can make multitasking feel like a must. Research shows, however that multitasking is taking on the form of task switching—which studies show actually lowers productivity and increases stress. This new year, perhaps you explore the practice of single tasking. Try starting with just 20 minutes of dedicated single tasking every morning. Maybe it’s reading, watching an informative video, art or going for a walk. Whatever it is that you do, only do that activity or task. No checking your phone, talking to someone, typing on the computer or folding laundry. Just one single task. You may be surprised at how challenging this can be, but the benefits will be appreciated. You may feel more present, more in tune with what you’re doing and relaxed by not having to divide your attention between multiple things.
Learn something new each day
Make a list of all the topics or ideas that interest you that you’d love to learn. They can be big ideas or small things. It’s not to say that you’ll become an expert in each of these things, but challenge yourself to learn something new about one of these topics each day. Try and set aside 10 minutes per day to dedicate to learning. Maybe before you go to bed, when you wake up, or after your lunch break. Many of us spend a lot of time aimlessly on our smartphones, perhaps you can replace the time spent browsing social media by researching something new!
In adulthood we lose the drive to play and feel playful. Perhaps subconsciously we feel like being playful means we are being childish? However, studies show that increasing our “play” time as adults has tremendous impact on our mental and emotions health. Adults who incorporate play in their daily lives are happier, have less stress and increased ability to cope with life’s challenges. But how do we play more? Dance, sing, do puzzles, play board games, color, blow bubbles, anything that is fun. You may start by making a list of what “fun” means to you. What activities make you smile, or laugh? When you were a child, what did you love to play? Do that!
Start a meditation practice
Meditation has been proven to increase memory, decrease stress, improve spinal health and overall wellness. This new year, try sitting quietly for at least 5-10 minutes per day. Some people enjoy having their eyes closed and like to sit in a quiet space to lower distractions. Others prefer to be outdoors in nature. Whichever works best for you, the goal is to quiet the mind. Not to say that you won’t have any thoughts at all, but to let your thoughts just flow naturally without any direction or “active thinking.” You may see that over time your “monkey mind” becomes less and less active during your sittings. If so, add 5 more minutes. There is no wrong way to meditate, so enjoy the experience and take notice of how you feel before, during and after.
A great tool for building wellness in the new year is to create an outlet for your thoughts, inspirations, ideas or worries. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged journal entry every night, but challenge yourself to start writing more. We recommend buying a notebook that can be carried with you wherever you go, to capture ideas or thoughts of note. Maybe you sketch drawings as well, whatever is personal and feels right for you. A journal is also a great tool for reflection, to look back over time and reread the things that came up for you. To see where you were, how you feel about them now.
Do you have any other new ideas for New Year’s Resolutions? Share them with us!
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