It’s that time of year, the season to set intentions and resolutions for the months to come. While many of us may associate new years resolutions with feelings of guilt or goals that are unattainable or getting down right discouraged – we’ve resolved to give you 3 resolutions that are transformational and ones you’ll actually want to keep.
This year, the focus is on MORE. More of what makes you happy. More of what makes you healthy. And as you add in more of the good, the not-so-good gets weeded out. It’s a simple, effective approach to positive, lasting change. Plus, each of these resolutions has a ripple effect that will impact every part of your self – and life.
We hope you’ll adopt this perspective of more as you move through this new year and live out these 3 truly transformational + easy to keep resolutions.
#1. AFFIRM MORE
Instead of starting your morning by staring at your phone screen and scrolling (which can easily and quickly lead to the deadly comparison game), start off each day by staring at the mirror, smiling, and saying 3 positive affirmations about who you are.
It may feel silly at first (and super uncomfortable!), but speak out loud the things you love about yourself. Even if right now you may not necessarily believe it, this new year resolution and morning ritual may actually transform your mind to truly believe + fully love every part of who you are. By repeating positive affirmations about yourself every single day, you’ll begin to repave the pathways in your brain until those beliefs become a way of life.
#2. SMILE MORE
It may sound too simple or too good to be true, but science proves and supports the power of a smile. When we smile, our soul feels it, too.
Typically, when we experience something that makes us happy (like seeing your best friend or eating something sweet), endorphins (our happy hormones!) are increased and the brain sends a message to your muscles to smile. When that smile spreads across your face, it shoots back another positive signal to the brain that solidifies + strengthens your levels of happiness.
This year, rather than waiting for fleeting feelings of happiness to sweep over you, reverse that process and boost your happiness by smiling first! Even if initially it may feel forced, smiling physically changes the brain and its emotional processing pathway. Simply put, you can actually alter your mind + emotions by moving your facial muscles – a.k.a. smiling! Smiling starts a cycle of happiness throughout your brain and body – when we smile, our brain feels happier and when our brain is happier our body becomes healthier.
But smiling when you’re not necessarily happy? We know that sounds difficult and maybe a little dishonest, but trust us, (and the studies that back it up!) smiling may just be the thing you need to become happier + healthier this year. A simple smile is even proven to be more pleasurable than eating chocolate or getting thousands of dollars in cash. Crazy! It also reduces blood pressure and heart rate and decreases stress and anxiety while improving your immune system – and outlook on life.
If you’re finding smiling’s still a struggle or life’s really got you down, be sure to surround yourself with people who’ve got the smiling thing figured out, because smiling can be contagious
We think the following poem depicts the power of smiling so perfectly. These words were shared by Bill, a 98-year-old Australian, who has kept this poem tucked away in his pocket – and in his spirit. This might just be his secret to a long, healthy life.
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu.
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!
#3. SLEEP MORE
You’re welcome for this one! Who doesn’t wish they could sleep more? We’re giving you evidence (you no longer need to make excuses to snooze a bit more!) that more sleep is vital to your health + well being.
Sadly, we’re becoming even more and more sleep deprived as society pushes the pressures of accomplish more, achieve more, do more. This year, that’s not the kind of more we want to focus on. So we’re giving you permission to give yourself a break and let yourself rest.
And the ripple effect of more rest? More productivity, more alertness, more energy, more joy, more optimism, more health, more happiness. Sleep is one superpower + miracle drug that we definitely want more of this year.
As we’re reminded of sleep’s powerful benefits for our body and mind (and beauty!), here’s some practical tips to get more zzzz…
- You may set an alarm to wake up in the morning, but have you considered setting an alarm to start winding down before bed? If you have a smartphone, there’s actually a setting to remind you when it’s time to turn in for the night!
- Be consistent with your bedtime and wake up call – even on the weekends. Consistency is key for healthy sleep, helping you fall asleep more quickly + naturally and waking up feeling more refreshed + ready for your day.
- Spend a few moments before bed to quiet your mind + body and boost restorative sleep by diffusing a calming essential oil (try Lavender, Blue Tansy or Bergamot), soaking in an epsom salt bath or sipping a cup of herbal tea. And be sure to shut off all electronics long before bedtime to calm your mind and prep yourself for some serious shut-eye.