The New Year is here, and so are your New Year resolutions for 2018. Given the multiple failed attempts previously made in trying to achieve your goals, your self-esteem has taken a blow, as has your self-confidence. But each New Year brings with it hope, and with an optimistic attitude in hand, we’re here to help you tick every single plan off your to-do list.
“The New Year is a time when we reflect on the year that’s gone by and look forward to bring about positive changes in the year to come. However, we mostly end up setting overwhelming goals that we wish to miraculously start meeting as the calendar changes,” says psychologist Harsheen K. Arora.
So how can we successfully achieve the results that we desire? Harsheen says, “It is important to establish realistic goals throughout the year and work on them one by one. When we set smaller, attainable goals, it helps us stay motivated to continue to work hard.” Needless to say, inculcating a new habit takes a lot of time and effort, and we’ve all seen those days when we want to give up. “Make sure to pull yourself up through those difficult times. Share your experiences with family and friends and don’t shy away from asking for help or support if needed. Your mantra should be “Tiny drops make the mighty ocean,” advises Harsheen.
5 simple New Year resolutions and how to achieve them:
1. “I will exercise six days a week and shed 10 kilos in 6 months.”
Exercise doesn’t necessarily equate to you lifting heavy weights or running your butt off in the gym — it’s also the alone time that you’re spending with yourself. You love your body, which is why you work out. “There is enough evidence that exercise is crucial for healthy living and mental well-being. It helps you feel young and energetic, improves your balance, boosts your immune system and keeps your weight at bay. And to start exercising, motivation and goal setting is the key,” says nutritionist Kejal Sheth, founder of Nutrivity.
Nutritionist Mohit Savargaonkar, chef and partner of bespoke dietary experience, Pod Supply, agrees. “Self-motivation is the answer here. It depends on how badly you want it. To successfully make exercising a part of your everyday routine, one should be conscious of their motivation, ability and triggers. Everyone has always exercised at some point in their life and they have felt good about it — having a recap of that memory works as a great trigger to overcome your current stiff body.”
2. “No more junk food. I promise myself to eat healthy food at all times.”
“Eating healthy is a habit that we need to develop. What fuel is for cars, food is for us. Our choice of foods decide many factors of our life, like how efficiently we function, how attentive we are and how healthy we look,” says Mohit. “A balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce body fat, provide your body with energy, promote good sleep and generally make you feel better. Kejal seconds that: “‘Dieting’ is merely a word. Eating a balanced meal is important. The ideal meal would be healthy home-cooked food: roti, subji, dal and salad.”
Make portion control the main aim of your healthy New Year resolutions. So consume a little bit of everything — good carbs, lean protein, healthy fats, fibre-rich fruits and veggies — to master the art of eating healthy.
3. “I will stay positive no matter what life throws at me.”
Life doesn’t go smoothly for too long — sooner or later, we have some obstacle to face, and it depends on how strong we are that we face the challenge with optimism. “Adversity is part of life. What we must remember is that it is temporary and will pass,” says psychologist Harsheen. “In order to have a more positive outlook during tough times, it is important to practice positive thinking and language in our everyday life. Once we like and trust ourselves, we are able to remind ourselves of that during all our ups and downs.”
She adds, “Optimism also helps us look at problems as opportunities and learn from them that helps us grow as individuals. Don’t take problems personally, and don’t give your problems power over your mind and body. When we think positive, we feel positive, and that, in turn, keeps us healthy.”
4. “I will focus on having healthy relationships that support me and empower me.”
“The key to maintaining healthy relationships is through effective communication,” says Harsheen. “Usually when we are unable to communicate, those little things cause us stress in a relationship as they pile up and come out through a snide remark or an overreaction. If we express our feelings at the right time in the right way, it will help avoid any misunderstandings or hurt.”
Harsheen also insists that being healthy is what attracts healthy relationships, which in turn impacts our physical, emotional and psychological health. “We should know what we want from a relationship, for which we must have an understanding of our needs and wants. Once we are aware of how we feel, we will be able to communicate it to our partner with honesty and openness. This leads to mutual respect and understanding.”
5. “I will stop giving a f*ck about things I shouldn’t give a f*ck about.”
If your New Year resolutions include achieving a stress-free life, you’ll know how trying that can be. “We spend our whole day doing things: going to work, talking to people, solving problems, making decisions, planning, caring for others, fighting traffic… This leaves us with no time to relax, which reduces our efficiency and eventually burns us out,” says Harsheen. “In order to avoid this, we should begin by setting aside thirty minutes every day that solely helps us unwind and relax.”
Harsheen explains having an elaborate relaxation plan is not mandatory to combat stress. Engaging in our hobbies will help us take our mind off the humdrum routine and various life stressors. You could listen to music, read a good book, dance, sing or simply meditate. “A simple trick is to start your daily to-do list by checking the ‘self-care’ box,” recommends Harsheen.