5 Healthy Habits to Start on the Holidays and Carry Through the New Year
Take advantage of the holiday season to start good habits for the New Year
In December we reflect on what we want to accomplish in the New Year, and we wait until the end of the holiday season to start pursuing the new goals.
Going back to the routine in January, life gets busy and it's harder to change old habits and create strategies to pursue new goals. Thus, 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February.
You can take advantage of the holidays' downtime to start these 5 healthy habits that will give you a head start for your New Year resolution:
1 - Reduce your screen time: You shouldn't need to check work email during the holidays. As you celebrate with family and friends who you may not meet often throughout the year, you'll have less time (and 'need') to scroll through social media.
I feel great by reducing screen time. If you are like me, you will try to keep your screen time consistent with the new lower standard as the new year starts.
2 - Catch up on your sleep: during holidays you may stay late celebrating Christmas and New Year's eve, but you may also sleep in and get those 7 to 8 recommended hours of sleep. As you feel the benefits of having a good night of sleep reflected on your energy and productivity, you will want to continue prioritizing it as you return to your routine.
3 - Practice meditation: whether you are starting or developing your meditation practice, the holiday season is perfect for you. I started meditating after reading The Power of Now during the holidays some years ago. I also try to meditate for longer or multiple times a day when I am on vacation. When traveling and/or connecting to loved ones it's also easier to relax and tune into the present moment.
4 - Be thankful and share gratitude: it's easy to focus on what you want to accomplish in the future and forget to be grateful for what you've already has, like health, family, friends. Being thankful where you are makes you happier, and this state of mind helps you to achieve your goals. Sharing gratitude with people around you, will make them feel good and will make you feel even better. Every time I send a thank you note, I feel instantaneously great about it. The responses I get from people often surprise me, what motivates me to continue this practice, in a positive cycle.
5 - Read books that are aligned with your New Year's resolution: this year I am reading A Promised Land by Barack Obama, a very well written book with a great story illustrates that nothing is impossible with hard work, perseverance, and enthusiasm. In 2021 I want to get more involved in projects with community impact and Obama's story is a great example that great things can be accomplished when you focus on helping others.
On holidays I focus on self-development, memoirs, and fiction books as I read many business books throughout the year.
These healthy habits will help you to have a Happy Holidays, while setting you up to start the New Year on the right foot.