SMALL CHANGES. BIG IMPACT.
Officially, we are one month into a new year! You know what that means? Many of your peers are several weeks into their New Year’s Resolutions and now is when you’ll notice a decent bit of them starting to lose steam. We call this the ‘dissolution of resolutions’ and it happens every year. Often times, we are idealistic about who and how we will be in the new year and trick ourselves into believing we are capable of massive changes in lifestyle at the snap of a finger, rather, the stroke of a clock. Good intentions don’t necessarily complete our goals for us.
The solution? SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. The aim is to set expectations and standards that are approachable, consistent, and easily integrated into our existing patterns instead of making promises to ourselves that likely are just committing us to excuses and fall off. It’s not about making CHANGES per se, it’s more about making slight adjustments that lead to good habits and promote better decision making. Micro-manipulations to an average day can ripple into great rewards.
Here are a few tweaks we find have a major impact as well as some of the science behind it!
Drink one (maybe even two!) more bottles of water everyday!
Studies show that the majority of us are chronically dehydrated. Try beginning and ending your day with a glass or bottle of water. Drinking more water can lower your caloric and sodium intake. Sugar and cholesterol consumption also shows sign of decline with the deliberate introduction of more water.
If you want to figure out how much water you should actually drink, there are charts and tools all over the web! The Mayo Clinic could be a good place to start though!
Switch up your hands.
Or try to do one consistent activity with the opposite hand as usual everyday. We wouldn’t recommend trying to shave or straighten your hair or anything like that! Maybe start small like drinking your coffee with the opposite hand or brushing your teeth with your nondominant hand.
The brain has to be regularly exercised. Not only does it strengthen your non dominant hand’s basic functionality and capability, but it actually helps you fortify and create neural connections. Science indicates we can reduce our age-related loss of memory and motor skills with basic mental conditioning.
Do something that YOU feel is beneficial for 20 minutes everyday.
Do anything you think is badass or productive or calming or exciting for 20 minutes everyday. Everybody could use a little more of something.
Find a part of your life or your day you’d like to enrich.
Figure out how you would feel that enrichment.
Do it for 20 minutes everyday,
Meditate, Swim, Read a book, Listen to a podcast, Catch an online lecture, Practice an instrument, Pick up a new language, Try a new hobby.
Healthy habits are the key. Consistency and continual progress is the goal.
Plan your day the night before.
Gather around everyone. I’m going to tell you a little story.
One day I was sitting at work on a Monday after I had mapped out my week based on the notes i=I left myself from the previous week. I was strategic and pragmatic in the way that I organized my week and thought myself efficient… until i realized it took me almost 45 min just to plan to do work.
First, I thought that this 45 minutes could arguably be allocated to a more productive task if only I would have taken the 45 minutes the night before and prepared. This mentality has given me a lot more than 45 minutes. I tend to feel more focused on Monday mornings (well… most of them) because I am clear and prepared for the week ahead. I’ve actually found that my Monday productivity overall has increased.
Plan your day, plan your chores, plan your meals, plan your free time, but also try not to freak out. Plan for the unexpected and allocate time to pivot and be able to take the slack when things inevitably don’t stick to schedule.
I mean it’s worth a shot, right? Afterall, small commitments that are approachable don’t seem nearly as overwhelming as that one-year gym membership you signed, right? We thought so too! Again, the goal is to set yourself up for success and promote better habits in general. Refocus from a mechanized schedule to a harmonious and efficient lifestyle that facilitates increased health – mind, body, and soul.