Guest post by Lance Cody-Valdez
For many, the new year is a time for change and self-improvement — especially when it comes to bettering our health and well-being, financial situation, and personal relationships. This article will discuss three common New Year’s resolutions in greater detail and offer some tips for keeping them. Read on and start enjoying your most successful year yet!
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1. Improving Your Physical Health
Losing weight, exercising more, and eating healthier foods are some of the most common health and wellness resolutions people make. According to a 2020 poll conducted by Ipsos, 42 percent of respondents planned to lose weight in the new year, while 41 percent aimed to focus on improved mental wellness. And though most of us start the year with good intentions, it’s easy to lose motivation when life gets busy or we lack the support we need to achieve our wellness goals.
To help you keep your health and wellness goals for the year ahead, there are alternatives to simply joining a gym or fitness studio. Most people have more success with starting new habits if they have accountability to a person, such as a coach. A health and wellness coach to set intentions for the new year, come up with a plan for making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and look for additional health and wellness experts (such as dietitians and personal trainers) to help you achieve these goals.
Depending on your health and wellness goals, your health coach could help you come up with a plan for:
Making healthier food choices.
Incorporating more physical activity into your routine.
Improving your sleep habits.
Managing your time at home and work.
To find a board-certified health and wellness coach in your area, visit the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). Many health coaches see clients online, in person, or in group settings.
2. Improving Your Financial Health
Like bettering your health and well-being, achieving financial security is another common New Year’s resolution. Ipsos found that around 54 percent of women and 38 percent of men plan to improve their financial situation in the new year, which could mean building credit, buying a home, saving for retirement, writing a will, purchasing life insurance, or appointing a power of attorney. Creating a financial plan can help you to achieve these types of goals.
If buying a home is one of your goals for the new year, you’ll need to start saving for a down payment, reducing your debt, boosting your credit score, pre-applying for a mortgage, and budgeting for your new home. It’s also important to research housing prices in your desired area and use a home value estimator to calculate a property’s true value before making an offer. These free online tools can also be used prior to selling or refinancing a home.
3. Improving Relationship Health
In addition to achieving financial security and improving one’s physical, mental, and emotional health, building better relationships is another common New Year’s goal. Come January 1st, many of us plan to spend more time with our friends, families, and other loved ones, improve our marriages or romantic relationships, and deepen our personal connections.
To build better relationships in the new year, starting therapy — whether individually or with family — could be a good start. Therapy helps to improve communication skills, address and resolve relationship issues, strengthen bonds, and treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse or addiction.
As an alternative to therapy or in conjunction, you could also plan weekly, monthly, or quarterly “check-ins” with your loved ones. These meetings can be used to address and resolve conflicts, ask questions, and better understand your loved ones.
A great role model is Tim Ferriss, who does monthly relationship check-ins with his girlfriend. In Episode 371 of The Tim Ferriss Show, Tim explained the four questions they talk about in their meeting:
What I think I’ve been doing well (or better since the last meeting).
Where I think I've dropped the ball or could focus more on.
What I think you have been doing well.
What I'd love to see more of. (Phrasing is super important here)
Relationships require communication and appreciation, and these four questions are super helpful on those two fronts.
Here's To A Healthier You This Year!
You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to make positive changes in your life, but the start of a new year can be a great time to check in with yourself and your loved ones and acknowledge the changes that should be made for your health, finances, and relationships. Even if you don’t end up keeping your resolutions, you’ll still be taking strides toward better health, happiness, and financial security.