With the new year only a few days away, you might be locking in your “word of the year,” yearly plans and, of course, your new year’s resolutions. Selecting the perfect new year’s resolution is something that a lot of people struggle with—how do you dedicate yourself to a goal that, one, you’ll actually commit to all year, and two, has the power to improve your life?
A major reason that new year’s resolutions fail is because they don’t speak to your ambitions holistically—they don’t embody the needs and wants of your body, mind and spirit, or soul. In order to truly improve your wellbeing in the new year, you need to be wholly committed in every aspect.
If you’re still contemplating what your new year’s resolutions should be, consider taking a holistic approach and incorporating goals designed to nurture your mind, body and soul—you as an entire, interconnected person! These could include a wide range of things, from taking natural approaches of living to trying alternative methods of healing.
Holistic living acknowledges that the many parts of ourselves are connected and affect one another. A lot of holistic suggestions are similar to common new year’s resolutions, but by committing to them with an understanding of their benefits from a holistic standpoint, they might be even more meaningful to you in the new year. And, by taking them in smaller pieces from the beginning, you’ll begin to lay the foundations for a healthier life without overwhelming yourself with drastic changes. The goal here is to build healthy habits—not cut out everything you enjoy cold turkey!
Here are some holistically minded new year’s resolutions to consider and how they can fuel your entire being:
- Eat more whole foods: Many people attempt a new year’s resolution of “no junk food,” but completely cutting out processed foods, excess sugar and other junk food isn’t realistic—nor is it the true path to healthy living. Instead, make a resolution to incorporate more fresh, whole foods into your diet each week. By adding more foods like whole wheats, fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutrient-dense ingredients to your daily meals, you’ll have less room for junk food while still being able to indulge every once in a while. Fresh and whole foods not only contribute to a healthier body, but they can help stabilize your mood, reduce brain fog and improve concentration, which will help you mentally and make it easier for you to do the things you love—feeding your soul in the process.
- Make time for meditation: Meditation has become a buzzword and somewhat of a fad this year, but that’s largely because of the growing research that supports its claims to fame! Experts believe that meditation can have a multi-faceted improvement on your life. It’s a perfect reminder that the mental affects the physical, and the physical affects the mental. It can help you shed daily stress, provide peace from anxiety and even bolster your immune system. Plus, it allows you just a little time dedicated to yourself and your thoughts—or lack thereof. Meditation is truly a holistically beneficial activity, and it’s easily buildable. Start small in your first few weeks and gradually add more time to your sessions as you can.
- Sleep more and more easily: Sleep is yet another comprehensive way to improve the condition of your mind, body and soul. While most people see sleep as a way to combat fatigue, sleep provides us so much more. It helps our bodies heal and stay strong to fight illness, it aids in stress relief, it keeps our moods high, it helps us concentrate and much, much more. If you aren’t sleeping well, improving your sleep health should be one of your top priorities in the new year. After doing so, many of your other goals are more likely to fall into place.
- Take probiotics: Gut health is another example of how the body and mind work synergistically and are much more connected than we think. The bacteria that reside in your colon can have beneficial effects, but they can also have negative effects, and both kinds affect not only physical health, but also mental health. Adding a daily probiotic to your routine is a very simple thing to accomplish, but it can make a world of a difference for your overall health and wellbeing by keeping your body—and mind—in balance and harmful pathogens at bay.
- Take a step to organic: Our world is full of synthetic materials, harmful chemicals and mysterious ingredients. It’s not reasonable to assume you can throw out all of your synthetic products on January 1 and start fresh with organic ones, but you can take a step toward organic living with a few careful choices. Pick a product type you use regularly and make the switch to an organic version, instead—whether that’s deodorant, shampoo, makeup or household cleaners. Take this transition one thing at a time to help you ease into a healthier lifestyle and learn how to make more thoughtful decisions about the products you purchase in the coming months and years. Detoxifying in this way can help set the stage for an all-natural, safer future for you and your family.
Holistic living is all about making choices that are safe and healthy for our entire selves. This New Year’s Eve, think about your resolutions and how they can impact your mind, body and spirit all at once. If they don’t—or if they fuel one while potentially harming another—choose one that will lift you up in your entirety for this year and years to come. Happy new year!