Are you tired or worn out yet? It’s one of the busiest seasons of the year, and the vast majority of people tend to overextend themselves during the holidays—overextend their energy, overextend their budget, and some even overextend their welcome (but that’s for a different post at another time). A phrase from a Christmas carol has been stuck in my head the past week: a weary world rejoices. I’ve felt a bit weary as of late, and I’m sure many others have also after the past two years we’ve endured. One thing I know, is that I don’t want to start 2022 the same way I’m finishing 2021, and I know that a healthier new year starts with rest.
What are the top 6 New Year’s resolutions?
While we may each individually have specific goals and resolutions for our new year, there are five top new year’s resolutions that seem to be most prevalent from year to year.
- Exercise to get in shape (~50%)
- Diet to lose weight (~48%)
- Save money (~44%)
- Eat healthier (~39%)
- Pursue a career ambition (~21%) –almost tied with #6
- Better self-care (~20%)
Most New Year’s resolutions tend to be related to our health, physical or emotional or financial well-being. But the real question is how do you start a healthy new year so that we start off better than the year we are leaving behind?
How do you start a healthy new year?
- Assess where you are—take some time to answer the following questions:
- What is my weight today compared to a year ago?
- How much physical exercise am I getting compared to a year ago?
- How do I recharge myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? If you aren’t sure, check out my recent blog post, “How to Recharge Yourself.”
- How much sleep am I getting each night?
- How much time am I taking to unwind at the end of the day?
- How many times have I been sick in the past year?
- What does my diet look like? Packaged foods? Whole foods? Eating out a lot?
- If you drink alcohol, how much do you drink each week?
- Take time to make healthy goals
Assess your answers to the above questions and determine which areas you think need to be addressed first and set small, doable goals to start. Do you need to incorporate more exercise into your week? Then consider parking as far away from the door as you can to increase your number of steps each day. Are you drinking more alcohol than is healthy? Consider decreasing your consumption by a drink or two a week. Do you need to modify your diet so you eat healthier? Consider meal planning so you don’t default to quick, easy, yet less nutritious foods.
- Plan ahead
You’ll have a better chance of achieving your goals when you plan ahead. If you make your lunch the night before, for example, you’ll be less likely to run out for a fast food lunch. If you get your workout wear and shoes ready before heading to bed, you’ll be more likely to get that workout in before heading to work. The idea is to set yourself up for success.
- Be accountable
Those who tend to be the most successful in meeting their goals are those who have someone to whom they are accountable. That may be a personal trainer, or a coworker who also wants to eat healthier or exercise more, or a friend who’s willing to check in with you to see if you are staying on track.
- Celebrate the small victories
We tend to get our sights so set on long term goals, that when we mess up, we give up. That’s in large part why annual New Year’s resolutions tend to fail for a large percentage of the population. Set small goals and then celebrate your victories. If you are trying to exercise more, consider getting a massage or a new piece of workout apparel after two consecutive weeks of exercising 3-4 times a week. If you’re trying to eat healthier, consider getting yourself those kitchen towels you’ve been eyeing when you’ve eaten at home consistently instead of going out for dinner or getting takeout on your way home from work. Consider using a calendar devoted to celebrating your daily successes. Success in the first step will fuel you to continue on to the next step. And when you make a misstep, extend yourself grace and get back on track.
How can I be healthy in 2022?
Our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing is dependent on us prioritizing rest. Rest is different from sleep. Rest is essentially anything that restores, renews, or revives your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual functioning. When we don’t take time to rest, we wear down our body, mind, and soul so that we are incapable of functioning at optimal levels. When we don’t get enough rest, we don’t have the energy we need to exercise, it becomes harder to lose weight, we get sick easier, we tend to choose quick and easy rather than nutritious foods, and we tend to comfort ourselves with things like nicotine and alcohol.
Exercise, diet, sleep, vitamin supplementation, and abstinence from toxic substances are all important keys to being healthy in 2022, but we must start with rest because that will help fuel good decisions and success in all the other areas. When we are well rested, we make better, less-impulsive decisions. When we are well rested, our emotions don’t tend to run away from us so quickly. Being well rested increases our mental and physical productivity.
Rest is so often misunderstood. Did you know that there are 7 different types of rest? In this episode of Your Hope Filled Perspective Podcast, “Give Yourself a Break – Episode 20,” Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith and I talk not only about the importance of rest, but the different types of rest. And in an old blog post, Dr. Saundra talked about the courage it takes to rest in God.
Rest is crucial for our overall physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, yet it’s so often misunderstood, and definitely under-prioritized. But a healthier new year starts with rest. And now is the perfect time to learn more about what rest is, and different ways we can incorporate rest into our daily lives to have a healthier new year.
Now is the time to consider how to have a healthier new year, and I have a resource that I think will help. Over 25 experts, myself included, have been brought together to speak on the topic of rest, what it is, and how we achieve it in a way that fits with our personality and lifestyle in the Living Sabbath 2022 Summit. It’s an online virtual event, which means you don’t have to dress up and go anywhere. You can view it from the privacy of your own home in yoga pants and a t-shirt or your pj’s.
Topics will range from Cleaning up Your Mental Mess with Dr. Caroline Leaf to a Lifestyle of Resting Well with Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith. Other topics include Finding Rest in Your Hot Mess, Rest When Believing for Bigger, Rest for Introverts, Finding Your Identity, Guided Mental Rest, Restorative Movement, Grace Over Grind, Finding Rest for Anxiety, and so much more.
I’ve had the honor of speaking at many events, many conferences online and in person, and this is one of my favorites so far because it has something for everyone. And, in the weariness of the season, especially as the world at large is still wrestling with a pandemic we had hoped would subside in a couple weeks or a couple of months, a ticket to this summit makes a perfect gift for everyone on your list.
We talked about accountability above. Consider gifting this summit to a friend, and then getting together afterward to talk about your takeaways and goals for a healthier, more rested, new year!
Get all the info today and Register at LivingSabbath.com.
But, to get the special pricing, you need to Register by December 24th. Tickets are available now, and there’s a way to join for every budget!
I’d love to hear in the comments below what you hope to do differently to have a healthier new year in 2022.