The new year is always the time people decide to reinvent themselves. New year, new me, and all that. But reinventing yourself normally doesn't last - we're all about small, simple changes that will have a great impact in the long term, rather than massive life overhauls that will last - maybe - the first quarter of 2019.
That's why we've gathered the best wellbeing resolutions for the new year - ones that you can do without much effort, and that are focused on the long-term. You don't have to try all of them - pick the best ones for you and just make it happen!
1. Incorporate daily mindfulness
Mindfulness can be really helpful with stress, and incorporating it into your routine can be a great way to stick to the new habit. You don't have to become a yogi and meditate for an hour a day - even 2 minutes a day would be good. You don't even have to meditate at all, you can pick any other mindful activity, like journaling, colouring, or even just listening to music.
2. Read more books
Reading books isn't just a fun pastime, it's also really healthy. People who read books live longer, preserve their brain health and prevent dementia, and are even stressed less (by 68%!). You can set yourself a number of books you want to read next year, create a list of books, or just decide you want to read for 10 minutes before bed. Either way, that's a great way to take care of yourself.
3. Spend more time in nature
Spending time in nature reduces the risk of disease and lowers stress levels, which are great reasons to make this your new year's resolution! You can either go for a walk, a run, or just sit down at the park and read your favourite book or listen to some music. The frequency is your choice - the more, the merrier.
4. Start walking to work
Or back from work. Or walk to work only a few times a week. Or if your work too far to walk, try to get off one station earlier and walk from there. You get the idea. What we're getting at is, find a way to increase your step count in a simple way, without setting an unachievable goal for yourself.
5. Include a quick daily workout in your routine
There are some great options for really easy 5-minute workouts you can do literally anywhere. We personally love this 5-minute kitchen workout from our Chief Wellbeing Officer, Dr Rangan Chatterjee. The trick is to find a simple workout that you can do no matter how busy your day is or where its taken you.
6. Drink more water
Drinking water is often overlooked, but it's super important. There are plenty of ways to remind yourself to drink these 8 glasses a day, like apps or special water bottles. You can also go old-school and just count your water glasses manually. Whatever you choose, just make sure you're hydrating!
7. Take care of your finances
We all hate to deal with money. It's understandable: it's scary, difficult to understand, and frankly, just outright boring. But this new year can be a great place to start levelling up your finance game! Draft up a plan to get rid of that debt, purchase life insurance, get your documents in order (did anybody say will?), or just open up that ISA so you can start saving. Even starting to use a budgeting tool like Moneyhub can be a great resolution. Any small step towards better financial wellbeing is going to help your overall wellbeing, and what better time to start than the brand new year?
8. Practise self-care at least once a week
Taking time to yourself is really important if you want to feel less stressed. But what is even self-care? The great news is that it's completely personal, so it's really up to you. Do you want to take an hour a week for a face mask and a mani-pedi? Watch TV with no interruption? Dance like nobody's watching? The sky is the limit, just choose what makes you happy and make sure you're doing it, every week, without feeling guilty.
9. Follow your workout schedule
Everyone wants to exercise more, but we're saying: focus on keeping up a routine. It can be 3 times a week at the gym, one pilates class a week or yoga every morning - really, whatever works for you. The only thing is making sure you get into a habit of doing it regularly and stick to it!
10. Add new dishes to your recipe collection
Not many of us experiment with food as much as we can, and it's a shame. There are so many amazing foods, recipes and meal plans we can try but we never get the time. Find a few recipes that you'd like to experiment with (it can be anywhere between 1 and 365 - just please, pick a number that's realistic for you) and make sure you try them out during the year. This will make your meals less boring and introduce new nutrients to your diet.
11. Go to sleep (a little) earlier every night
Most of us don't sleep enough, and we can feel the effects during the day. Make it your wellbeing goal for the year to go to sleep a tiny bit earlier every day. 30 minutes, 20 minutes, even 10 minutes early - can make a huge difference in the long run. You can either set a bedtime for yourself, or just try to see when you normally go to sleep and just get into bed a little before. Your comfy bed will do the rest.
12. Eat all of your meals within a 12-hour window
Changing our diets is really hard, but what if we told you that eating all of your food within a 12-hour window can improve your health even if you don't eat anything different? Of course, it's great to eat healthy food, but making sure you don't eat too late has its own benefits.