Refresh in January
A new year can bring new energy to refresh your well-being! The truth is we don’t need a new year to make positive changes, but sometimes the fresh start can be what it takes to get us started. If you’re thinking about making some changes this year, be sure to think small. It is common to get carried away with a grand new year’s resolution, but habit-building science confirms that small, consistent changes lead to better outcomes.
Here are six small and simple ways you can refresh your well-being in the new year!
Reflect: Take some time to look back on the past year. What went well? What was challenging? What kinds of things do you want to do again? What types of things do you want to avoid, if possible? Looking back on where you’ve been can help you determine where you want to go. Use your reflection of 2021 to help you establish and define your intention for 2022.
Clean Your Physical Environment: Start the new year with a clean and organized space, whether that’s at work, at home, or both! Think about your goals and intentions for the upcoming year and determine which areas could use a little tidying. Maybe you want to clean out your kitchen pantry or purge your clothes closet, or finally tackle that old filing cabinet. You don’t have to do it all at once, but start somewhere and do one space at a time…even if that means you won’t be done until next January.
Clean Your Digital Environment: Don’t let technological noise take up precious space in your brain and life. Use the new year as an opportunity to unfollow and unsubscribe from digital content that is no longer serving you. If you’re feeling bold, you may delete some apps altogether!
Update Your Routine: Routines can help you manage change, stick with healthier habits, and reduce overall stress. If you’ve noticed yourself out of your regular morning or evening routine (or you’ve never had a routine), now is the time to get on track. Think of a few things that make you feel your best, and try incorporating them into a simple routine. Perhaps that means getting up 20 minutes early to read or journal before the rest of your family wakes. Or maybe you’ll start putting on your walking shoes as soon as you get home so you can take the dog for an evening walk. It could even be setting aside time on Sunday afternoons to grocery shop and meal prep for the week ahead. Keep track of how many days or weeks in a row you can maintain your routine to add extra motivation.
Resolutions are easy to make but hard to follow through with. This is because most resolutions (I want to get healthy. I want to lose weight. I want to be more organized. I want to save more money.) are too vague and do not incorporate concrete actions. On the other hand, effectively developed goals are specific, finite, and help you stay focused on your desired outcome.
- You can set a goal for almost anything! Whether you are training for a race, trying to eat more vegetables, or saving for a big purchase, making your goals SMART sets you up for success!
- Be purposeful in your goal setting. Choose a small number of objectives that are the most important to you. A goal should include a metric that lets you know you have accomplished it.
- It is easier to stick to a new behavior with a supportive network. Accountability can be motivating and is critical for success. Tell friends, family, and co-workers about your goals and ask them for support.