It's now Midway through January 2024, and it's the most common time that people give up on their New year's resolutions.
I thought it would be helpful to send out some information to help you achieve your goals for a healthy and happy 2024. I'm sharing some science-backed ways to make sure that you're successful with your goals and if you've already slipped off track, hopefully we can get you back on track for a healthy year ahead.
Optimize your energy
My biggest tip for keeping resolutions is to make sure that you have enough energy to do them. Often we get caught up and create these wish lists for ourselves and get disappointed when we find that they do take a lot of energy to complete. This isn't to say that we shouldn't shoot challenging goals, or that we should give up on goals if they are energy intensive. In fact, most times if we like to make change it does require effort. However, I find that New year's resolutions often are made without the systems in place to ensure success.
The focus of this post will provide ways in which we can exceed and meet our goals through - healthy - energy production: Looking at you coffee. Pairing this energy boost with helpful habits and appropriate rest I believe is the most effective way to achieve resolution success.
Many times after the holiday break people still feel depleted and in need of rest. We have these ideas of working very hard in November and December with the promise of time off. However, family obligations, social obligations, groceries, errands, the whole Gambit often make us feel more tired than relaxed. Sometimes we get confused between things that are enjoyable, and things that are truly restful : think, doing a hobby. However, we do need some time to adequately rest - sleeping well, yoga, meditation, baths, early bedtimes. These are great ways to help fuel your batteries.
Blood work is number one
I often bring up the importance of blood work and interpreting those objective measures. This can help us get an individualized sense of your own health and a concrete way to measure progress.
Essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin d, Iron and ferritin, help us feel our best. Iron for example, body oxygen carrying capacity in order to make ATP for energy. Vitamin B12 is required for energy synthesis. Vitamin d helps with a plethora of issues including fatigue, and mental health which can really deplete our energy if these aren't in good form.
Working with the naturopathic doctor or other Healthcare practitioner to get some individualized blood work is super helpful for keeping up that energy. Depending on your personal circumstances , additional tests like thyroid hormone, cortisol, blood sugar, cholesterol, and hormonal testing might be required in order to improve your energy . If you would like to work together on this. I'm happy to run this bloodwork for you.
Bedtime Routine and Circadian Rhythm:
Bedtime routines are key for healthy mornings. I've personally let myself slip a little bit in this area and it's one of my real solutions for 2024 to get back on track. I do synchronized figure skating during the week and I find that our late practices can often throw off my bedtime routine. So I definitely understand that many of you also probably have activities in the evening or things that might impair bedtime, but here are my tips for helping your nighttime routine be a little bit easier and more effective.
Trying our best to stay off of screens in the evening : this is a tough one for many people, but trying to set boundaries with yourself and your devices. They make apps for productivity and focus which you could turn on for bedtime, they have blue light blockers which could be helpful as well. I recommend staying off with your phone or devices at least an hour before bed.
Bedtime snacks: one of my favorites is oatmeal with cherries and some kind of nut or seed, as cherries are a natural source of melatonin and oatmeal has some great sleepy qualities.
Circadian Rhythm Balance
Speaking of routine, your body really likes routine in order to help our hormones work the most effectively. With that in mind, usually recommend waking up and seeing the sun as early as you can. In the winter I definitely realize, especially in Saskatchewan, the sun doesn't rise very early. Use your morning coffee break to see the sun if possible. Bonus points if you can pair this with a walk. This can be really helpful as it tells your body when to naturally make melatonin and can affect your sleep that night.
My final tip is to pair something that is already a part of your routine to your new habit. This is a science-backed way to improve your resolution because you're already putting the effort in your daily routine and pairing your new goal alongside takes little extra effort. For example, If your goal is to do more cold exposure therapy this year, instead of investing in a Popular ice bath making time to do this every evening, perhaps we want to do a cold exposure during your morning shower after the shower is complete. If you're already showering daily, it takes much less effort and time to flip it to cold 30 seconds before the end of the shower rather than scheduling in 3 to 10 minutes at an additional time during the day to do a cold bath or plunge.
Do you have any tips for successful New year's resolutions? I'd love to hear them in the comments below. Share this with anyone that you think might find it useful.
Wishing you the healthiest year yet,