New Year’s resolutions are a great opportunity to set goals and define your path over the upcoming months. However, many people approach resolutions all wrong. Making huge, sweeping resolutions isn’t likely to be effective. After all, when you’re resolving to change the big picture, it’s easy to ignore the little details. However, the details are ultimately what matters most.
In fact, resolutions based on the means — not the results — tend to be far more effective. For example, if you want to save money this year, your resolution shouldn’t be focused on a final figure — it should be based on savings per month or even week. When you hone in on the steps it takes to reach a goal, you give yourself a road map you can follow to success.
To that end, Amherst Farmers’ Market contributing author, Cheryl Conklin, has come up with this list of resolutions to help you meet your goals in 2021. Here are some small, simple changes you can make that — when done consistently — can have a big impact on your life:
Treating Food as Fuel
When it comes to treating our bodies right, it’s easy to fall into traps telling us we should deprive ourselves of the basic energy we need to survive. Although cutting back on junk food and eating appropriate serving sizes is always wise, if you exclusively focus your health efforts on minimizing food intake, you’re going to wind up harming yourself in the long run.
Instead, focus on thinking of food as fuel. This is a powerful mindset to take since it covers both food intake and energy usage. For example, you can start your morning with a healthy smoothie packed with nutrient-dense fruits and a results-boosting supplement powder. Then, use that powerful breakfast to fuel the day’s exercise — ideally, 30 or more minutes of moderate activity. Thinking of food this way helps you to focus on how to work with your body, not against it.
So that you always have the right type of fuel on hand, make thoughtful choices about what and where you buy your food. For example, in-season fruits and vegetables will taste better if you buy local at Amherst Farmers’ Market, and you’ll be supporting local farmers. You can also plot out your snacks and meals before you shop so that you can stick to clean eating.
20 Minutes of Tidying a Day
Did you know that being in a messy room makes you more anxious, even if you’re not consciously thinking about the mess? Whether we’re aware of it or not, our minds spend time processing the clutter around us — it’s almost like having unfinished to-do lists taped to all your surfaces. Tidying up for as little as 20 minutes every day can do wonders for keeping your space organized and stress-free.
If you’ve neglected to tidy for a while, however, you may want to kick things off with a big cleaning and reorganizing day. Not only will this put you on the right foot for keeping things in order, but it will also give you a chance to release any negative associations you’ve built up at home over the last year. Clean up, let in some air, and enjoy a fresh start for the new year.
Explore New Expressions of Faith
The last year was marked by strife, and though some people feel more connected to their spirituality during a crisis, others can start to feel a disconnect. Either reaction is normal, but the latter can be pretty distressing. If you’ve started to feel separated from your faith, resolve to explore a new expression of it on a weekly or monthly basis. These expressions could be anything from exploring a new form of prayer to taking up a challenging volunteer role.
The important part isn’t necessarily what you do. Instead, it is the act of putting yourself out there. We often find our faith in places we might not expect. When we explore opportunities to connect with God, we open ourselves up to receiving the message He wants us to hear.
Above all, allow 2021 to be a year you open yourself up to possibility, whether that’s the possibility of personal growth, community change, or a deeper relationship with God. When we are willing to change, the path forward often becomes clearer than we ever imagined.
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