Coming up with New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming, especially if you have a history of falling short come February. To help relieve some of the pressure, we’ve come up with some resolutions to improve productivity and focus in the new year, setting you up for less stress and more wins. Each of these resolutions outlines incremental steps to ease you into change and tips for when those times when consistency wanes. After all, New Year’s resolutions are popular for a reason. Studies show that goals are more likely to be met when you establish clear targets and you take small steps to get there.1
Prioritize Your Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Research shows that sleep deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression.2 And if you struggle with anxiety or ADHD, sleep can exacerbate your symptoms.
Follow these steps to help you get better sleep in 2023:
- Give yourself a cut-off time for consuming caffeine and looking at screens. Both can interfere with the quality of sleep. Aim to avoid caffeine for up to six hours before bedtime and stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
- Implement a sleep routine you’ll actually look forward to. This might include having a nighttime cup of caffeine-free tea, taking a hot bath, putting on your favorite cozy socks, or having a pre-bedtime stretch. Be as creative as you like to create a routine you’ll enjoy and you’re more likely to stick to it.
- Make your room a sleep sanctuary by investing in blackout curtains, a sound machine, luxurious linens, or an eye mask. And ensure your room is cool to help you fall asleep faster. The Sleep Foundation recommends a temperature of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.3
- If snoring, acid reflux, or restless legs are keeping you from getting quality sleep, make a doctor’s appointment to address these conditions. Doing so will likely improve your sleep as well as your overall quality of life.
Keep a Morning Routine
A morning routine is just as important as a bedtime routine. Starting your day off with more purpose and less stress will help you be productive and healthy. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, having a morning routine helps you avoid “decision fatigue,” which can take a toll on your energy reserves.4
Follow these steps to help you implement a successful morning routine:
- Try to wake up a little earlier than usual to avoid rushing during the morning. This may entail going to bed earlier than usual to ensure you get sufficient sleep. When you wake up earlier, you allow yourself time to ease into the day and set a positive intention.
- There’s a reason they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A nutritious breakfast helps energize you for the day without setting you up for a crash like a cup of coffee or sugary treat. Research shows that people who eat breakfast have more energy than those who wait until lunch to eat.5
- Meditating first thing in the morning is one of the healthiest ways to begin your day. Experts say that a morning meditation can boost your mood, improve focus and productivity, and lower levels of stress and anxiety later in the day.6
- Don’t forget to make your bed. As simple as it sounds, making your bed is actually a powerful component to a morning routine. Making your bed in the morning gives you a sense of accomplishment right away, which can be motivating for the rest of the day. It will also provide order to your home, helping you feel organized and calm.
Stick to To-Do Lists
Making a to-do list is an easy and effective way to get more out of your day, banish forgetfulness, and improve your time-management skills. To-do lists can also be highly motivating; every time you cross an item off your list, the “win” will amp you up to cross off another.
Follow these steps to help you stick to your to-do lists all year long:
- Whether you choose to keep your to-do list on your phone, in an app, or on colorful sticky notes, make sure your list is accessible and easy to edit throughout your day.
- Don’t overdo it. Try to limit yourself to three to five items per day so you don’t get overwhelmed or feel defeated if you fail to complete all the tasks on your list.
- Pay attention to the order of your tasks. It may be tempting to put the easiest tasks first to get them out of your way. But you’ll feel more productive and less stressed if you start with the most urgent task and work your way down from there.
- Try not to get distracted by things that are not on your list. When you begin a task, ask yourself if it’s on your list. If it’s not, assess whether or not you can postpone it until tomorrow so you can get back to your objectives for the day.
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Turn Off Your Phone Notifications
Phone notifications can help remind you about appointments or maybe just keep you in the loop in a running text thread. But it’s important that you implement some boundaries when it comes to your notifications. If you’re trying to focus on an important project at work, the chime of a new email or text message is likely to throw you off track.
Follow these steps to start limiting phone notifications:
- If you’re trying to meet a deadline, silence your phone for a set amount of time so you can zero in on work and meet the finish line.
- Keep screen-free zones in your home. Bedrooms should always be free from screens so that notifications don’t interrupt your sleep. But the dinner table is another place you might banish phones so that you and your family can be present to your meals and to each other.
- If you feel like your screen use is out of hand whether you get many notifications or not, try to use screen timers to assess how much time you spend on your phone and gradually cut back.
- Delete apps you don’t use. Sometimes notifications come from apps that you don’t even need to check anymore. Delete them to free up space and time. You also probably don’t need to be aware of every social media notification that rolls in. Try limiting your use of social media to your laptop or desktop computer so you’re not tempted to scroll through posts all day.
Lean into Mental Health: Meditate, Exercise, Take Homeopathic Medicine
So many people sign up for gym memberships or begin a diet at the start of the new year. Physical health seems to get all the fanfare, but mental health is just as important. Instead of picturing how much weight you want to lose, think about how much vitality, clarity, and joy you could gain from a new mental health regimen.
Follow these steps to lean into mental health this year:
- Starting a meditation practice doesn’t have to be demanding. Setting aside five minutes every morning to sit quietly might be enough for you. Maybe those five minutes will turn into 10 minutes over time, or longer. Pick a number that seems reasonable, pick a quiet spot, and create a practice that works best for you.
- Exercising might make you leaner and stronger, but it can also do wonders for your mental health. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps to relieve anxiety and depression by releasing feel-good endorphins and taking your mind off worries.7 It can also help you gain confidence and cope with stress more productively. To stick to your exercise routine, find something active that you actually enjoy doing. If you dread going to the gym, you probably won’t stick to a routine. But if you love playing basketball, going for long walks, or even just dancing, you’re more likely to thrive.
- If you struggle with anxiety, stress, or irritability, consider taking medication to help you cope. Brillia is a non-prescription homeopathic medication that offers a gentle and impactful approach to reducing anxiety and stress without harsh, synthetic chemicals or harmful side effects. Brillia’s unique antibody ingredients target the brain-specific S100 protein (S100B), an important regulator of various different intracellular and extracellular brain processes. Without causing drowsiness or masking your personality in any way, Brillia helps to promote calmness and clarity in two distinct formulations: Brillia for Adults and Brillia for Children.
Learn to Delay Gratification
Experts say that the ability to delay gratification is crucial for leading a successful life.8 But for many, it’s much easier to do in theory. We want to be rewarded now, even if tomorrow’s reward is bigger and better. Fortunately, there is a way to cultivate the skill of delaying gratification.
Follow these steps to learn how to wait for that bigger reward:
- Try “temptation building.” This technique involves coupling activities you don’t enjoy with activities you do enjoy. If you’d rather watch T.V. instead of cleaning out your closet or garage, find a creative way to mix entertainment and housework. Listen to an exciting audiobook or podcast for instant gratification while you work away at the delayed gratification of having a more organized home.
- If you’re trying to follow a more nutritious diet, stocking your kitchen full of healthy foods is an important start. But this also means getting rid of the temptation of instant gratification foods. You’re more likely to eat an apple over a cookie if you don’t have any cookies around.
- Set smaller, achievable goals to track progress and celebrate victories along the way. It’s hard to get excited or motivated for a goal that seems so far away. By breaking down one large goal into smaller goals, you will feel motivated for every incremental step.
A new year offers a fresh start, but so does a new month, a new week, and a new day. Don’t beat yourself up if life gets in the way and you find yourself stumbling. Tomorrow isn’t so far away.
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