Ever notice gyms, diet products, meal prep services start advertising around mid-December? That’s because it’s New Year’s Resolution Season. This is the time of year that people start making promises to themselves that things will be different in the coming year. People will proclaim to family, friends, and on social media that they will eat better, exercise, stop smoking, spend less money, stop drinking alcohol, etc. But what typically happens is they’ll start with a 100% effort, but quickly fizzle out within a few weeks.
According to a study conducted by Strava, people will give up on their resolutions by January 19th, which they’ve dubbed as “Quitter’s Day.” This is based on their data analytics, activity on the app falls off on that date worldwide.
This information can be mildly discouraging especially if you’re trying to make some real changes in your life. Rather than having lofty goals for your resolution, perhaps starting with small habits is the best way to go.
Naval Admiral William McRaven, author of the book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World; stated in a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin, “if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another, By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can never do the little things in life, then you’ll never do the big things right.” The point that Admiral McRaven made is to start off with the small things. If you can handle the small things, you’ll be able to handle the bigger things in life. This is an important concept for anyone who wants to pursue new years resolutions, that taking baby steps towards attainable goals will be easier and more effective in the long term.
A study conducted in 2009 by the European Journal of Social Psychology, stated that it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. This means if you start making your bed first thing in the morning, it will eventually become a habit. The same could be said by going on walks every few days. Setting some time aside throughout the week to go for a walk can help make it a habit. Eventually, adding a slight jog to one of those days and then a brisk run on another, and then next thing you know, you’re running each of those days.
In terms of dieting/eating better, cutting out certain foods or eating only a few hundred calories is going to be an unpleasant experience for anyone. However, introducing 1 piece of fruit into your daily diet could have some positive effects on your overall health. Fruits, in general, are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. They are not calorie-dense, which means it is perfect for people who are looking to lose weight. Fruits can satisfy cravings for things that are sweet and prove to be filling when consuming apples, citrus fruits like oranges, and grapefruits.
The National Library of Medicine published a study that claims, drinking more water helped test subjects lose more weight than those who didn’t drink more. Drinking more water is probably one of the easiest ways to build on a healthy habit and it yields some long-term results. Start off by bringing a reusable water bottle everywhere you go. Make it a habit to drink 1 full bottle per day and work your way up to 2-3 per day. We’ve published some great tips in a previous article: 5 tips to help you drink more water every day that can provide some insight on how to easily increase your water intake. In that same article, it was mentioned that having a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System(RO) is the best and safest way to obtain pure water. RO systems are capable of removing a number of contaminants from tap water. These include chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, herbicides, volatile organic compounds, bacteria, cysts, viruses, and more. Furthermore, an RO system will dramatically improve your water’s taste and odor. This means, if you’re enjoying what you’re drinking, you’ll end up consuming more.
To sum things up, having New Year’s Resolution isn’t a bad thing. However, they can be discouraging especially if there are some lofty goals involved. Rather than losing motivation after a few weeks due to very little to no progress being made, consider taking baby steps towards creating beneficial habits. These habits included making your bed each morning as a way to train your mind to accomplish a simple task in order to get used to taking on bigger tasks. Then adding a few easy walks during the week to help introduce exercise to your life. After a few weeks, these walks can slowly become a nice jog around the neighborhood and eventually it becomes a run. Most importantly, drinking more water can be easily executed with a proper reverse osmosis system installed in your home and simply making an effort to take a few sips of water from a bottle throughout the day.