The New Year is almost here, so it's time to start thinking about New Year's Resolutions. But a huge portion of us abandon our resolutions quickly. According to University of Scranton research, only 8 percent of Americans actually achieve their resolutions at all. I think that's because we have a tendency to set some really, really unrealistic goals at this time of year. The 'New year, new you' pressure gets a hold of us, suddenly we're swearing we'll climb Everest or never eat a slice of cake.
In a survey of 822 Bustle readers, 23 percent said that New Year's resolutions made them feel depressed, stressed out, or disappointed in themselves. The New Year is a great time for self-improvement, but we shouldn't set our selves up for failure in the process. There are so many goals and achievements we can set for ourselves that we might actually, you know, do.
So it's time to rethink how we approach these resolutions. Let's call them micro-resolutions. There are plenty of improvements we can make in our lives that hardly take any time at all. Maybe they'll eventually build into larger habits or maybe they'll stay just as tiny parts of your day, it doesn't matter. The point is that you actually make the time to do them — even if it's just a small moment each day. Here are seven resolutions you can complete in 60 seconds every day, because you deserve to feel good about your goals.
Psst! Check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017 starting Jan. 1. Right now, tweet @bustle about how you plan to make 2017 the best year yet. Use the hashtag #2017IRL, and your tweet could be featured on our app.
Even if you only jot down one thing that you're grateful for that day, it's a great start. Gratitude journals have been shown to have a positive effect on your mood. In fact, a 2012 study in Psychology Today found that keeping a daily gratitude journal helped people with anxiety and depression — participants found it lessened their symptoms and helped them sleep better. And who couldn't use some more sleep?
You don't need to go into a full 90-minute session in order to get a sense of peace. In fact, if you're new to meditation, you can start with some baby steps. "Meditation is the most effective way to slow down and bring us back to the present moment," Jamison Monroe, Jr., Founder & CEO of Newport Academy Mental Rehab Center tells Bustle. "This can be much more simple than many people originally think." There are some great mindfulness apps that can help or, if you feel stressed, just take 60 seconds to close your eyes and focus on taking long breaths in and out. It's longer than you think, and totally worth it.
Instead of cutting something out of your diet, try adding something healthy in. Take the time to pick out healthy produce at the supermarket. “Everyone can add more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to their diets. Antioxidants can help us look and feel better by preventing cell damage caused by the free radicals we are all exposed to every day,” Tiye Massey, Director of Content at Clean, a 21 day detox program developed by one NYC-based Dr. Junger, tells Bustle. It shouldn't take more than a minute to reach for some nice green broccoli to cook. Your body will thank you.
Water is like a magic elixir — it boosts your immune system, gives you energy, flushes out toxins, and so much more. Plus, being dehydrated is the worst. If you're used to it, you might not even realize how dehydrated you are. So first things first, buy a big AF water bottle. Then every morning take 30 seconds and fill that sucker up. Take 30 seconds later in the day and do it again. "Starting with your body weight in pounds and dividing that number in half," Massey tells Bustle. "The number you end up with is the minimum amount of water in ounces we suggest drinking every day." Drink it up. You'll feel like a whole new person.
Take any extra minute every day for a little self-care, whatever that means to you. Put some nice moisturizer on your hands. Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil into your shower (this is a game-changer). Treat yourself and download that song that makes you smile off of iTunes. Just give yourself a little treat. Especially when things are stressful, it's easy to let taking care of yourself fall by the wayside as you prioritize other people. “Don't forget to live your life,” Dr. Erika Martinez, licensed psychologist, tells Bustle. “Spend time with family and friends. Go to hot yoga. Schedule the spa day with your bestie, or whatever else relaxes and restores you."
I totally recommend more than 60 seconds of stretching every day, but work with what you've got. It's especially important if you work at a desk all day or have a sedentary lifestyle. "Do gentle head and shoulder circles, lie on your back, hug your knees into your chest, and make circles with your knees to massage your low back," Stephanie Eris, the national yoga director at Exhale Spa, tells Bustle. "These simple movements will keep your joints lubricated." It will feel amazing and help your body in the long-term.
Whatever you need to hear, take 60 seconds and say it to yourself. We all need something different to feel good— maybe you need to be reminded that you're beautiful or smart or strong or just enough. It doesn't take long to look in the mirror and say it. You owe it to yourself. Plus, it can be a huge help in professional situations. A study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin of 282 people found that self-affirmations boosted performance and were especially helpful in high-stress situations. They're a great tool and take just a minute out of your day.
It's way too easy to start off 2017 with another set of unrealistic resolutions. Instead, take one minute each day to really help yourself. It's a goal that you can actually reach — and you'll be happier for it.
Check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App starting on January 1 for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017.
Images: Hannah Burton/Bustle; Bry Crasch/Bustle