How to Make Big New Year Changes with Little Steps

New Year

Following through with New Year's resolutions might seem daunting, so why not take little steps and make small changes in your life? It just might lead to big results.

The Huffington Post suggests "little ways" to make the new year feel like a fresh start, that The Doctors love! These thoughtful and easy to accomplish tips include: 

- Start the new year, while remembering what last year taught you -- Take stock in the successes and setbacks you had in 2020 and try to repeat what worked and reevaluate what did not.

- Identify what is not working right now -- HuffPo contends that identifying the thing or area of your life that is faltering will help while you work on changing it, and if you need a little extra incentive, they suggest writing down the thing that is not working on paper and then burning it (Granted, this might seem a little dramatic, but why not!?) to really give you the feeling of leaving it in last year.

- Create a positive affirmation for the new year -- This can be as simple as one word that you tell yourself in times of stress or when you're feeling down. We like "endure," "breathe," "grateful, "resist" and "loved." Give it a try and rewrite your inner monologue with a positive spin.

- Plan for your stress -- If there is an area of your life that you know always causes you angst, make a plan ahead of time that either solves it or addresses the stressor. For example, if you emotionally eat, avoid stocking your kitchen with unhealthy options. Or if you have trouble sleeping, cut off the use of devices 1 hour before bed.

- Challenge yourself -- Last year was challenging for all the wrong reasons, so why not set yourself a challenge on your own terms, like walking or exercising more, taking up a hobby you've let go of, writing more letters or postcards, revisiting favorite books or movies, or finally start that side hustle idea you've been thinking about.

- Return to your pre-COVID routines -- If possible and safe, the experts suggest trying to go back to the routines you had before the pandemic. Structure and repetition go a long way in aiding our mental health and wellbeing. So, if post-work exercise or pre-work coffee was your thing, figure out how to recreate it safely in our new normal.

- Transform your work area -- It's a new year, why not try a new look for your workstation? This could be new home office essentials like a desk or chair, new office decorations and photos, or maybe it's just decluttering and getting rid of unneeded items around your desk.

- Commit to a change that feels good -- Fad diets never seem to work or are enjoyable (Was that celery juice you drank last year tasty? No, it was not!), so in the new year, instead of resolving to do something that is a downer, try to focus on something that brings you joy or contentment. Maybe it's more exercise, volunteering, or joining a book club -- like The Doctors' Word Power Book Club - find out how to join here!

- Be more social in a safe way -- So many of us have secluded and retreated out of safety and necessity (or were some of those Zoom happy hours actually just sort of weird?), but it's time to reconnect in a safe manner with the loved ones and friends you've lost touch with. It is bound to help with your mental health and wellbeing. 

- Schedule yourself plenty of ME time -- It is easy to forget about yourself, especially if you are a parent, caring for someone, or have a demanding job. It might seem hard or not worthwhile, but give yourself 15 minutes each day that is devoted solely to yourself it is bound to have major long-term benefits. We love taking a short TikTok break!

Watch: Exercises, Workouts and Fitness Tips to Get You Active in the New Year

Watch: The Concerning Health Signs That Your Daily Life Is Too Sedentary

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Playing Ask an Expert: Keep Your 2021 Exercise Goals


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