New Year’s Resolutions: To resolution or not to resolution? Every year, people set resolutions, and most people fail to achieve their goals. Today’s article will inspire you to think outside the box this new year and highlight five innovative ideas for resolutions you may be able to keep.
Should You Set New Year’s Resolutions?
Achieving success with your goals does not happen with a single commitment. They typically occur through time with repeated small actions that become routines and a part of the fabric of your life. New year’s resolutions often get a bad reputation because they have a notoriously high failure rate 1. How many years in a row do people set out to finally lose that 10kg or become more responsible with their finances?
When new year’s resolutions become looping failed promises, it’s easy to think that they are simply a waste of time. That being said, there are ways to use this time of year to check in with your goals and reassess what methods you may have been using that may not work.
Four Innovative Ideas of 2022 New Year’s Resolutions
1. Heal Your Gut
Gut health is such an important pillar of overall well-being. Your gut health influences your immune health, brain health, heart health, mood, sleep, and digestion 2. Setting better gut health for the year is a great long-term goal because gut health does not happen overnight.
There are many important aspects of cultivating a healthy gut, and you could set the year into different phases. An excellent place to start is eliminating foods that are not suited to your body, including inflammatory foods, allergies, and intolerances. There are a few ways to do this, either with an elimination diet or by getting food allergies and intolerances tested by a functional medicine practitioner.
The second phase could be a prebiotic phase, where you focus on feeding your gut the fermentable fibers and indigestible starches known as prebiotics. Probiotics are essentially the nutrients that help your gut bacteria thrive 3. It’s like nourishing the soil in which the plants will grow. Some prebiotic foods include Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, asparagus, onion, and green bananas. A supplement like ION can help heal the gut by healing the tight junctions 4.
The final phase might look like a probiotic phase focusing on increasing the good bacteria in your gut. You can do this in many ways, including spending time in nature breathing in the bacteria, eating probiotic-rich foods, and taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotic-rich foods include many fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut.
As for supplements, A quality probiotic like Proflora can be taken first thing in the morning or right before bed on a 3-month cycle. Rotating your probiotic supplements regularly is essential to prevent narrowing your microbiome!
2. Join a Book Club
Reading more can be a tough resolution to keep if you don’t have accountability. Joining (or creating) a book club can be a great way to ensure that you have others’ encouraging you to take in those pages. If you start the book club yourself, you can also curate the topics and further your goals by choosing relevant books.
Having a like-minded community keeps us in check; it supports us in achieving our goals.
3. Experiment With Your Sleep
One of the best ways to stop looping in the New Year’s failure trap is to swap your ‘resolutions’ for ‘experiments.’ Instead of pressuring any specific outcome, try picking an aspect of your life that you would like to improve on and spend the year experimenting with tools and habits that may help you improve.
When it comes to sleep, the Oura ring is a fantastic metric that can give you real-time results every night to see if your experiments are working or not. The Oura ring is a wearable ring with a tracking metric that provides you with a nightly sleep score and the specific areas you need to improve. The ring also advises on how you might go about improving it. You can think of the ring as your very own personal sleep trainer!
The ring also acts as an accountability tool. Having a nightly check-in makes staying on top of this experiment unavoidable. The results are right there waiting for you every single morning. Using the Oura ring can make self-improvement more of a game, getting instantaneous results.
Over time, these nightly results turn into routines and habits, and the profound benefits of high-quality sleep will permeate every aspect of your life! Whether your goals in life are related to weight loss, muscle gain, or simply require more focus or energy to achieve– sleep is a foundation for attaining nearly every goal.
4. Find a Physical Activity You Actually Enjoy
Losing weight or committing to an exercise routine is one of the most common new years resolutions. Unfortunately, it is also one of the quickest resolutions that fail. There are many reasons, and one of the big ones is that forcing a type of exercise you don’t enjoy is simply not sustainable. Instead of forcing yourself to exercise daily as a resolution, a better option is to simply find a type of physical activity that you love.
Once you find a way to move that you enjoy, the discipline required to stay on track disappears because you simply enjoy moving more! Depending on your personality, that could be a group sport, a solo sport, or something more gentle like a yoga class or a qi gong class. It could also look like walking to and from work, bicycling to the grocery store, or swimming on the weekends.
Each month could be dedicated to trying a new type of movement. Sign up for a class, take a lesson, or join a recreational team. If you end up enjoying it enough to want to continue the next month, stick with it!
New Year’s resolutions have a notoriously low success rate. However, instead of ditching the opportunity to improve, there are many ways to increase the likelihood of achieving your goal. One way is to pick a longer-term umbrella goal like healing your gut or doing a low and low detox protocol. You can also focus on an experiment instead of a goal, like experimenting with different ways to improve your sleep or finding a physical activity that you love. Lastly, why not opt for goals with accountability like joining or creating a book club as a way to read more.
1 Haden, Jeff. “A Study of 800 Million Activities Predicts Most New Year’s Resolutions Will Be Abandoned on January 19: How to Create New Habits That Actually Stick.” Inc.com, Inc., 3 Jan. 2020, https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/a-study-of-800-million-activities-predicts-most-new-years-resolutions-will-be-abandoned-on-january-19-how-you-cancreate-new-habits-that-actually-stick.html.
2 Quigley, Eamonn M M. “Gut bacteria in health and disease.” Gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 9,9 (2013): 560-9.
3 Davani-Davari, Dorna et al. “Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 8,3 92. 9 Mar. 2019, doi:10.3390/foods8030092
4 “How ION* Works – Tight Junctions, Terrahydrite®, & More.” ION* Intelligence of Nature, https://intelligenceofnature.com/pages/science-how-it-works.