Outside-the-Box New Year’s Resolutions

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7 realistic goals to make 2019 your best year yet.

According to Statista, a statistics website, the most popular New Year’s resolutions from 2018 included eating healthier, exercising more, and saving money. Nothing surprising there — those goals top the list every single year.

And they are worthy goals. But the key to success is to think small. According to Entrepreneur, research suggests that taking bite-size, manageable steps is the way to achieve lasting change.

Instead of expecting to be a brand-new person on January 1st, think of specific, doable goals that would improve your life. Over time, sticking to these realistic goals can lead you to achieve even bigger ones!

Try picking 1 or 2 of these goals that resonate with you and work on accomplishing them:

Plan and prepare more meals at home
Instead of committing to a strict diet, incorporate more home-cooked meals into your repertoire. Research shows that food made at home has less fat, calories, and sugar than meals eaten out, even if you’re not specifically trying to prepare and eat healthier meals.

Figure out how many times a week you visit the drive-thru on the way to work, grab lunch from the cafeteria, or get takeout at dinner time. Then, aim to reduce that number this year.

Need some healthy meal and snack ideas? Try these:
Make time for 1 self-care activity per week
Nurses often work in stressful, fast-paced environments, dealing with life-or-death situations. It’s imperative to do things that nourish and replenish you. Not only will you feel calmer and happier, but you’ll be better able to care for your patients and the people you love.

Commit to a set amount of self-care time each week. Here are some self-care ideas and stress-relievers to get you started.

Connect with a friend
According to Mayo Clinic, strong friendships can make us healthier. Think about what you can do to stay connected to old friends and how you can foster new relationships. Ideas to consider:
  • Text or call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Make a weekly brown bag lunch date with coworkers.
  • Recruit friends or coworkers to take on a fitness challenge, like a mud run, obstacle course race, or walkathon.
  • Expand your social circle. Join a book club, take a class, or get involved in a political cause close to your heart.

Sleep a minimum of 8 hours per night
Between long shifts, working nontraditional hours, and the stressful nature of the job, it can be difficult for nurses to get high-quality, restorative sleep. But Harvard Medicine reports that lack of sleep can lead to obesity and chronic health issues. So prioritizing sleep isn’t a luxury — it’s an important action to take for your health.

Check out these resources to increase and improve your shut-eye:
Spend more time in nature
National Geographic reports that spending time outdoors may reduce stress and increase health and well-being. Try this healthy, realistic New Year’s resolution: Spending more time outside. You can play with the kids in your life in the backyard, take walks in a park or community garden during your break, or try forest bathing

Minimize your time on social media
Studies suggest that spending significant time on social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy and even depression. This year, take a social media break or try to be more intentional with it. You can:
  • Take a day (or more) off from social networking each week.
  • Limit social media to your desktop or cell phone, but not both.
  • Avoid comparing your life to the perfect images you see on your various channels.
  • Read about the social media do’s and don’ts for nurses to understand and avoid common pitfalls healthcare workers face when posting online.

Start meditating
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), meditation may reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. And people who regularly practice meditation report feeling more at peace and happier than the general population.

Can you incorporate meditation and stillness into your life this year? Ideas to consider:
  • Learn the basics of meditation.
  • Attend a guided meditation class or retreat.
  • Download a meditation app.
  • Set a reminder on your phone so you’ll remember to sit quietly or meditate for a few minutes each day.
  • Commit to being more mindful throughout the day.

Once you decide on your New Year’s resolutions for 2019, read about how to make your goals achievable. Tell us what you want to accomplish next year by posting on Facebook or in the discussion.
 
Posted by Holly E Carpenter, RN, BSN on Dec 18, 2018 9:20 AM America/Chicago

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