There are two types of people in this world on January 1st. Those who start the new year with intention and those who wrap themselves in a blanket to binge watch their favorite show until it’s time to go back to work. Whatever category you fall in (full disclosure: I’ll be comfy in bed), you can still nail your New Year’s resolution for healthier, happier living in the year to come.
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If you find it hard to kickstart your journey to new and improved habits, it’s OK—you’re not alone. “Real change is hard,” says cofounder of WTHN and licensed acupuncturist Shari Auth, DACM. “It’s natural to slip back into your old patterns. Be kind to yourself and just start again tomorrow with love and without judgement.”
To learn simple ways to incorporate New Year’s resolutions into your lifestyle, we asked our top wellness experts to share their top tips for making attainable changes that last throughout the year.
Annika Carroll, CEO of Sleep Like a Boss says self-care and personal fitness are her top priorities, but to keep her on track she relies on a friend. “As a busy mom of a special needs child and business owner I have started to put myself first more often and really want to focus on that in 2022. I have found that getting an accountability buddy really helps. You don’t have to hire a personal trainer necessarily, even though they do make great accountability partners. You can buddy up with a friend or a colleague, someone who to either join you or just follow up with you and call you out on excuses.”
Auth says at the top of her resolution list is working on preventing and relieving harmful stress. “I’m working with a nutritionist to improve my daily diet and an acupuncturist to receive weekly acupuncture to manage stress. I also want to get better at receiving feedback without getting defensive but really listening and understanding more. The most important thing is having a better work-life balance with more quality time with my family.”
“Resolutions should be easy to incorporate into your everyday life and easy to sustain,” adds nutritionist Jennifer Hanway. “The ‘all or nothing’ approach to health just doesn’t work. For stress management I know that going on a week-long meditation retreat is not going to happen for me, but I can meditate for 15 minutes a day and set a curfew on how often I check my emails and social media.”
Smooth and Buff
Count a head-to-toe glow as your new year’s duty as celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas says incorporating dry brushing into your daily routine is an easy way to make a big change. “It’s a beauty ritual everyone should do! I do it every morning before getting into the shower,” she says. “Start at the tops of the feet and brush upwards towards the heart. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thigh, and don’t forget to include the backs of the arms and the back. Try it before you get into the shower for 2 minutes in the morning and you will see a difference in your skin quality and cellulite in days.”
True Botanicals founder Hillary Peterson believes that nourishing your body will help to nourish your mind, too. “I absolutely believe that a diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits is the healthiest. During my years of skin-care research, I have learned the tremendous impact that antioxidant-rich ingredients can have on skin, and it has made me more focused on my diet. In 2022, I want to eat more antioxidant-rich foods and less carbs. When it comes to eating a healthy diet, I find it so helpful to shop at the farmers market every week. If I load our refrigerator with an abundance of organic, seasonal vegetables, then that is what we eat.”
Carving out more time for herself is one way celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann plans on improving her contributions to her work and home life. “Self-care can be difficult for those of us in the service industry because we are always taking care of other people. But the more I take care of myself, I can take care of others. I spend so much time taking care of other people’s nails that I don’t take care of my own as much I could—and that includes my husband too! I need to remind myself that I need a proper weekly manicure and that’s something I can do with my husband. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to spend more quality time together, hold hands and look after each other—our own date night!”
Certified sleep coach Kelly Murray says consistency is key and you can create a good habit in just weeks if you do it right. “I find that with myself, as well as with my clients, focusing on the positive outcomes associated with the resolution or habit change helps to improve consistency. Try to ‘habit stack’ as much as possible so that the behavior change becomes more automatic. For example, planning to shut my phone off as soon as I start my children’s bedtime routines.”
Notice Your Breathing
“When you are stuck in a rut, a big sigh or slowing down the breath helps you approach the challenge more realistically, with what meditators call ‘loving kindness,’” says holistic healer Hope Gillerman. “Inhale essential oils to become more aware of your breath, breath more fully and get more oxygen to your brain.”
If keeping your resolution proves to be harder than you thought, celebrity chef and founder of the 888 process Charles Chen says tapping into what’s keeping you stuck may require taking accountability. “If we’re talking about transformation, we need to go deeper than what three super foods you should be eating.” Chen says a good exercise is finding a photo of yourself at age seven or eight and writing a letter to that inner child. “As adults, we have all these different expectations, whether it’s from work, from our loved ones, our parents, everyone has all these expectations of how you should show up and you end up abandoning that inner child,” he says. “I’ve recently started a holistic movement called the 888 process, which breaks down ‘showing up for yourself’ into micro habits. You just need eight minutes, three times a day to take time for yourself and honor yourself. Whether it’s a cup of tea or a walk out in nature, it helps create the habit of taking care of yourself in a more meaningful way.”