New Year’s resolutions you should make based on science – and how to keep them

A person lies on the grass reading a book in Central Park on May 22, 2022 in New York City.David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

  • Every New Year, people make big resolutions that they struggle or fail to keep.

  • Next year, focus on goals that will help you improve your health while being measurable and achievable.

  • Here’s how you can approach 2023 with clear, science-backed resolutions that will help you live better.

The most common New Year’s resolutions tend to be vague goals about losing weight, eating healthier, or accomplishing more.

But most people fail to follow through on their resolutions, largely because they are so general and unspecific. Nearly 80% of people who make a New Year’s resolution abandon it by January 19, according to a 2019 study by fitness app Strava, Inc. reported by the magazine.

However, using specific, measurable goals and science-based resolutions can increase your chances of successfully transforming your life in 2023. Here are some of the best health and productivity problem-solving ideas that can help you. help you get closer to your goals this new year.

Correcting your sleep habits will help you think and feel better.

Sleeping woman.

Better sleep can improve a host of other health issues.Kilito Chan/Getty Images

Getting deep, quality sleep can help your brain process memories and information, as well as eliminate toxins. Getting the right amount of rest can also help regulate your metabolism, which can reduce food cravings, according to Today.

In the long term, sleep may be even more important, as research suggests that insufficient sleep in your 50s and 60s could increase your risk of dementia, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Sleep expert Matthew Walker, author of the book ‘Why We Sleep’, previously told Insider you really can’t get by with six or seven hours of sleep – the vast majority of people need an average of eight. hours per night. To improve your sleep, experts recommend avoiding alcohol, exercising regularly and avoiding screens right before bed, according to CNBC.

Decide to move.

A group of runners in Corona, California.

A group of runners in Corona, California.KC Alfred/Getty Images

Exercise resolutions are common and for good reason. Besides fixing your sleep, nothing else will have such a transformative effect on your life as getting active. The trick is to figure out the targeted exercise routine that will work for you – solving the fact that you’re just going to “go to the gym more” probably won’t be enough.

According to the New York Times, regular, moderate exercise can improve your physical health by preventing cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Exercise can also improve your mental health, reducing the risk of developing depression and anxiety, The New York Times reported.

But the best exercise resolution is the one you’re likely to stick to.

Young woman practicing yoga in a park in Boise, Idaho.

Young woman practicing yoga in a park in Boise, Idaho.Tony Anderson/Getty Images

Don’t make a workout resolution that you know you won’t stick to. If you sleep late or just don’t have time in the morning, decide to develop an evening routine. Likewise, if you know you’re not a sports person, don’t waste your money signing up for a membership. According to Bloomberg, the peak in gym attendance in January drops after just a few weeks, so don’t get caught up if you’re not committed.

Experts recommend finding an activity that you are likely to do regularly. It can be rock climbing, swimming, running, yoga, or just daily walks with a friend or pet. You can also find ways to incorporate exercise into your regular runs, according to KHOU-TV.

If you’re going to try a diet in the New Year, choose a healthy way to eat that’s backed by science.

People shop for fruit at Union Square Farmers Market on July 13, 2022 in New York City.

People shop for fruit at Union Square Farmers Market on July 13, 2022 in New York City.Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

Just like exercise, if you want to develop better eating habits, try to choose foods that you actually like and be open to trying something new.

Focus on the quality of the foods you eat, such as healthy vegetables, proteins and whole grains, and reduce processed foods and sugars whenever possible, recommends Harvard Health Publishing. A simple solution to eating healthier could be to cook one meal a week without pre-prepared ingredients.

That said, be aware that your weight isn’t the only marker of your health, and be alert to behaviors that could lead to an eating disorder. Behaviors like meticulous calorie counting aren’t a healthy or reliable way to manage your diet, according to Harvard.

Reduce alcoholic beverages.

Group of friends drinking

Studies show that cutting down on alcohol can improve your liver and heart health.The Good Brigade/Getty Images

While many may ring in the New Year with glasses of champagne, millions will also resolve to partake in Dry January. In early 2022, a third of American adults polled in a survey said they abstained for the whole of January, according to CNN.

According to Healthline, cutting down on your beverage intake can ease your liver and reduce your risk of heart disease. It may also promote weight loss and reduce the risk of certain cancers, the outlet reported.

But experts recommend moderation, as stopping suddenly for those who drink regularly could cause sleep issues and anxiety, Insider previously reported. Some studies have also found the occasional drink beneficial for the heart.

If you want to be more productive, decide to take more breaks and work less.

Tourists enjoy the beach as a couple wearing jackets endure the brisk, windy weather of late spring at Nye Beach in Newport, Oregon.

Tourists enjoy the beach as a couple wearing jackets endure the brisk, windy weather of late spring at Nye Beach in Newport, Oregon, June 16, 2019.Robert Alexandre/Getty Images

Learn to listen to yourself when you need breaks and take them more often. These tips can be applied on a daily basis and in the long term.

While we may think we can get through an eight or ten hour day, the brain can only engage in heavy mental work for four or five hours a day, according to the Washington Post. An expert told the Post that you should take a 20-30 minute break for every two hours of focused work.

Don’t forget to take larger breaks as well. Pledge to listen to your body if you show signs of burnout in 2023 and make sure you use all of your vacation days.

You can also resolve to start reading regularly.

A person lies on the grass reading a book in Central Park on May 22, 2022 in New York City.

A person lies on the grass reading a book in Central Park on May 22, 2022 in New York City.David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Studies have shown that reading can facilitate empathy with others, reduce stress and promote memory retention, according to The New York Times.

Tech and finance luminaries like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett agree on the many benefits of books. They often attribute much of their success to regular reading habits.

Plus, reading is simply a fun and easy way to pass the time and take a break from the internet-connected world. The Times recommends leaning into the style of reading you enjoy (such as novels, short stories, memoirs, or poetry) and focusing on reading for enjoyment.

Choose a goal – one book per month or even one per week, depending on what you’ve already read. Join a book club if the prospect of chatting with friends (probably over snacks and drinks) encourages you to turn the pages.

Spend your free time doing exactly what you love.

Hikers walk near steam vents and hot springs in Norris Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, September 23, 2022.

Hikers walk near steam vents and hot springs in Norris Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, September 23, 2022.George Rose/Getty Images

Sometimes it feels like life is moving a mile a minute, leaving little time to relax or just do what you love. Make 2023 the year you follow your happiness and do more of what you truly love.

Harvard professor and author Arthur Brooks told Harvard Magazine that happiness is a function of pleasure, satisfaction, and purpose. Brooks recommended people focus on strengthening their ‘four pillars’ of family, faith, friends and work – instead of seeking money, power, pleasure and admiration or l approval of others.

Decide that 2023 will be the year you spend your time and money on experiences from which you will derive happiness.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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