With the New Year brings the clap of fireworks, songs of Auld Lang Syne and the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. There’s a pressure upon everyone to think about things in their life that they are going to change for the better – these normally refer to personality changes or goals with losing weight, going to the gym and doing things that you wouldn’t think to do in 2018.
While all of these decisions may seem to be a good idea on paper, to live a healthier life and watch what you’re eating or how much you’re spending; there are also some resolutions which research has stated aren’t going to be doing you any favors if you adopt them in 2019.
LETTING GO OF YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT
For those of us with a sweet tooth, one of your resolutions may be to give up your favorite chocolate bar or sugary snack that you often find yourself reaching for. Your ‘guilty pleasure’ foods can leave you feeling like they are awful for you and therefore you must give them up – especially in the new year.
However, this doesn’t have to be the cake. Sorry, case. If you restrict yourself from eating the foods that you want to eat and only eating them in moderation, it can mean that your body will actually crave more of it – and in large quantities, too. This means that you will begin to crave them more and will binge more when you get the chance. This can have the same effect on your body as yo-yo dieting. So, even though it may seem like it’s the right thing to do – don’t give up your favorite cake or cookie. Just be careful to not let it become an addiction.
WORKING OUT DAILY
For those of us that are chained to a desk, the idea of a resolution which requires you to work out more and get more exercise in the New Year may seem to be the best one for you. While working out can be healthy, it also can cause more damage to your body if you previously didn’t work out at all. Training your muscles and your body can take effort over a period of time which means that you wouldn’t be able to go from not working out at all and lounging around on the sofa to suddenly attending the gym and Zumba every day. Your body would simply burn out, landing you in more trouble than if you hadn’t worked out at all.
So how do you win? You should work to increase how much exercise you do in a slow progression over time. If you were to suddenly adopt an intense fitness regime then you could make your muscles very sore and painful and you could even end up with a long-term injury that would put you out of action for a long period of time.
It doesn’t matter if you only took a small time off of exercising either. If you were once a dedicated runner and then you took a year off of exercising, you wouldn’t be able to automatically train your body into falling back into the same routine. Your body wouldn’t be able to cope and would react in a negative manner.
There’s no denying that giving up smoking is going to prove beneficial to your health. It can decrease your risk of developing heart disease or cancer, improve your hearing and also your night vision and extend your life expectancy. However, if you want to give up smoking then you have to be realistic with yourself and your expectations of how well you could do with this resolution.
If you have been thinking about quitting for a long time, then there’s no reason that you can’t decide to give up tomorrow or next week or next month. But be honest with yourself – you’ll only grow more frustrated with yourself if you try to quit and find that you can’t go cold turkey and pick up a cigarette again. This could land you in a cycle of quitting and not quitting, meaning your frustrations will carry on into next new year, too. Be honest with yourself, don’t be ashamed if you think you can’t manage it in any particular time. Listen to your body and surround yourself with a support network that will help you to quit.
HANDING IN YOUR NOTICE
The Christmas holidays are amazing, aren’t they? Spending time with your family, eating all the food that you want and taking naps whenever you want. All of this freedom can make it almost impossible to think about returning to your 9-5 desk job – especially if you already felt negatively towards your job. This can often make you think that perhaps if you handed in your notice and followed your dream of becoming a full time dancer or actor then everything could change for you. So, you write up your angry notice telling your employer where they can stick their job and then . . . what? You’re left unemployed after the most expensive month of the year and no idea where to turn to follow your dreams.
That may be some tough love but while we wish the things that people did in movies could happen to us, it just isn’t the case more often than not. Unemployment can have an adverse effect on your mental health, meaning that you will begin to feel less motivated when looking for jobs and could find yourself in another job that you’re unhappy in. So, wait until January passes, think about what you truly want and make February the month that you do or do not change your job.
PUTTING AWAY THE PENNIES
Saving money for the future or for a ‘rainy day’ is something that we all wish that we can hope to work towards. However, when you’re not able to because you’re too busy just trying to get by, it can create a feeling of hopelessness that you’ll never be able to save. So, instead of deciding that you’re going to save enough to be able to put in a deposit on your next house in the new year, just put away what you can without landing yourself in any financial trouble. Every little bit can help and won’t mean that you’re hanging on to your last pennies until the next pay cheque.
Losing weight is probably one of the most common resolutions that come after the new year – but also one that many ignore and can’t seem to uphold. Many people set unrealistic expectations for how much weight they would like to lose and can set themselves goals that seem completely out of reach for them in that moment.
Similarly to exercising too much too soon, the effort and strain that you can put your body under by suddenly changing your diet can bring on a new wave of health problems that can leave you feeling worse than you did before. A change in diet can make you feel more fatigued, can lower your metabolism and could possibly make you infertile. So, set a realistic weight loss goal and work gradually to cut out your favorite fatty and sugary foods. Eat little and often.
Ignore all fad diets, too. While there are many celebrities that may advocate and promote some of these fad diets, they can be more dangerous for you than an unhealthy diet. They are often so unsustainable that many people end up going back to their old ways before grabbing up the next fad diet to come along and become popular – otherwise known as ‘yo-yo dieting.’ This unhealthy way of dieting can give you high blood pressure and increase your risk of developing diabetes.
CHANGING YOUR SLEEP PATTERN
Getting more sleep was rated as the fourth most common resolution in readiness for 2019. While this may seem a good idea in principle, as you can probably tell from the tone of this article, it can actually lead to more problems than you had before. If you don’t sleep a regular seven to eight hours each night then you could develop cardiovascular diseases and even lessen your life expectancy. It has been proven within studies that oversleeping could be more harmful than not sleeping enough. So, instead of trying to sleep more or less, try to get just the right amount of sleep each night and stick to it. This will begin to show in your natural sleeping pattern. Your body will begin to recognize that it has a rota of when it’s asleep and when it’s awake and you will wake up naturally without an alarm clock.
BEING POSITIVE ABOUT EVERYTHING
There’s being optimistic and then there’s forcing yourself to think ‘positively’ about everything until you can see nothing but the negatives. Many people think that if they try to adopt the ‘good vibes only’ policy in every area of their lives, they can fake it until they make it. However, psychologists believe that this isn’t the best way of dealing with your emotions. Meaning that whenever you feel a bad emotion such as anger or sadness, instead of dealing with it in a way that is helpful, you could just be burying it underneath this false positivity – and when it rears its ugly head again, it will only be bigger and harder to handle because you didn’t handle it the first time.
This isn’t to say that positivity is a bad thing – of course, it isn’t. It’s simply that some emotions demand to be felt and can cause negativity in the future if they’re hidden away. Positive emotions come around as often as negative and both are needed for any type of balance to be achieved in your emotional health.