5 Easy Practices to Make Your New Year's Resolution Work for You 1
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5 Easy Practices to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Work for You

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Five Easy Practices to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Work for You

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If you are like me, the words New Year’s Resolution turn me off. It’s all about things that are wrong with you. Things like needing to lose weight, be more organized, curb spending, etc. Most of them require a lot of extra time, effort, and planning.

What if instead, you chose to add a practice that would lift you up, reduce stress, and give you more energy?

Here are five practices that you can add in now, to make 2021 the best year ever (no matter what craziness happens). Some of them can help you achieve other goals as well which makes it a win-win!

Affirmations

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“I’m terrible at writing. I’m so bad at planning.” We all have negative self-talk sometimes (or often).

When we think like this it affects our mindset and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to overcome these negative, self-sabotaging thoughts.

They are a way to re-program your brain to think more positively. In fact: affirmations have been used to successfully improve the lives of people with low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions.

How to Use Positive Affirmations

You can use positive affirmations in any situation where you would like to make a positive change.

Some examples are: overcoming a bad habit, improving your thoughts surrounding money, overcoming procrastination, finishing projects, or being successful. 

How to Get Started

Think about areas of your life that you would like to improve. Write a positive statement in the present tense. Then repeat your affirmations several times a day. One way to make sure that you do that is to set reminders on your phone or say them after you brush your teeth.

Examples of Affirmations

  • My boss values and appreciates my work
  • I am positive and grateful
  • Money flows to me at all times
  • I choose food that nourishes my body
  • I work out five times a week to take care of my body and ensure that I can keep up with my kids.

Daily Gratitude Practice

If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your relationships or be happier, a daily gratitude practice might be just the ticket.

Gratitude is an often overlooked practice.

It seems so simple, write down a list of moments every day that you are grateful for. They don’t have to be huge.

However, this daily practice improves your mindset, makes you more resilient, happy, and improves relationships. It can even help you sleep better.

How to Get Started

There are several ways to practice gratitude. Pick the one(s) that work for you.

You can keep a gratitude journal and write down moments every day that you are grateful for. Have a family practice, for example, everyone in your family says something that they are grateful for at dinner.

Create a gratitude collage. Write a letter to someone who plays an important role in your life and tell them why you are grateful for them.

Remember to do your gratitude practice every day.

Journaling

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If you are busy it can be hard to add one more thing to your day.

However, journaling for a few minutes a day can help you to solve problems, learn from your experiences, think more positively, and manage stress (just to name a few of the benefits).

With that kind of return on investment, it might be worth spending less time watching TV to start a journaling practice.   

How to Get Started

Figure out how you want to journal.

Do you want to type your thoughts using a program like Evernote or write them in a paper journal?

Do you want to create a bullet journal, write a certain number of pages a day, or respond to the same set of questions every day?

Then make sure to set aside time each day to write about your day. Want to learn more about different ways to journal? Check out this article

Meditation

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Radically Improve Your Health

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Meditation has so many benefits, it’s amazing that it isn’t taught in school.

Practicing meditation regularly can help you to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus, increase emotional health, and be more kind or patient.

If your New Year’s resolution is to be more patient, kind, or to reduce your stress, this would be a great practice to take up.

Meditation is one of those things that pays off over time. As you keep doing it, you will notice more of a return on investment.   

How to Get Started

There are a lot of ways to meditate, so try a few different types. You will probably find a way that works for you.

In fact, you could use your Yoga practice as a form of meditation if you focus on the breath throughout your practice and redirect your thoughts to your breath if your mind wanders.

There are lots of smartphone apps that offer guided meditation or different types of meditation. You can also find several guided meditations on YouTube for free.

If you want to get started right now, set a timer for two minutes. Sit comfortably in a chair. Take long, slow, deep breaths (count to 5). Focus on how the breath feels in your body.

If your mind wanders, that’s normal, let go of the thought and return your focus to the breath. When the timer goes off, notice how different you feel from a few minutes ago.

Visualization

Visualization is one of those things that doesn’t seem helpful on the surface.

“You mean, I just sit and think about the way I want my day to go, or imagine myself acing the job interview or practicing the piano and somehow this will help?”

Here’s the crazy thing. If you visualize doing something, your mind views it the same way as if you actually did it.

You will be more motivated to take positive action toward your goal if you visualize it first because it’s that much more real to you.

Additionally, if you pick up a visualization practice, you will be in great company. There are lots of famous people who use visualization every day. People like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Jim Carey all use visualization. Does that make you want to give it a try?

How to Get Started

It’s easy to get started with visualization.

You can visualize your day and how you want it to go, you can imagine yourself playing a piece on the piano or practicing crow pose in Yoga and getting both feet off of the ground. It depends on you.

Imagine how it looks, sounds, feels, or even tastes. The more detail you weave into your visualization, the more real it becomes for your mind. You can even visualize how it would feel to accomplish your New Year’s Resolution.   

Try this. Let’s say that your goal is to ace your job interview tomorrow. Imagine walking into the interview full of confidence, you have this interview in the bag, you are prepared, you have an amazing resume. You have a great rapport with the interviewer and nail all of their questions.

Hear yourself answering the questions, feel yourself smiling, and feeling calm and confident. See the interviewer offering you the job.

In Conclusion

You don’t need to wait for January 1 to make small changes that will give you big results.

You can start now.

Any one of these practices will take just a few minutes of your time, but they will help you in so many ways!

Who knows they might even help you to make your New Year’s Resolution stick. 

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  • Amy Gould is a blogger and content specialist for hire. She creates blog posts, social media graphics, and captions as email newsletters for wellness professionals.

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