The joy (and hate) about New Year’s resolutions will probably not go away anytime soon. Contrary to popular belief, setting goals for yourself at the start of each year doesn’t have to involve significant changes. The little things often make the most crucial difference in how we feel each day, even though they’re also some of the easiest to ignore. So instead of worrying about expensive memberships or rigid quotas, here are four small changes you can make to get you through 2023 and beyond.
Reaching the famous eight hours is often easier said than done, and there is much debate about the ideal bedtime and morning alarm clock. While it’s not always realistic to expect a perfect night’s sleep without a hiccup here and there—especially when your schedule is hectic—just changing your mindset can help bring you closer to your most rested self. When we put sleep at the top of our to-do list, we don’t waste time—it keeps us energized and productive in the long run. Estimates of how many hours an adult needs vary, but there is a universal answer. Try keeping a sleep journal or using a fitness tracker or smartwatch to see which works best.
Fight back against the winter blues.
If your mood changes with the seasons and shorter days and colder weather let you down, you’re not alone. For some people, it can even take the form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Lack of sunlight is a major factor in our tendency to feel gloomy or disinterested during winter. Try to get outside when you can, or just open your curtains to let in some light. You may also find that using a light therapy or taking a vitamin D supplement is helpful; Be sure to talk to your doctor and/or psychologist about what strategies might be good for your situation. And remember that while the cold days of January and February may seem long, spring is coming!
Cook your favorite meals.
Freshly prepared dinners have all kinds of benefits, from the relaxing cooking process for yourself or others, to their role in overall health and well-being. 2023 may be the year you dig into your childhood favorites with fresh ingredients, whether stuffed peppers or broccoli casseroles. And don’t count pasta—despite some giving it a bad rap, pasta can actually be a great source of protein and nutrients, especially if you try variations like whole grains, chickpeas, or lentils.
Develop a comforting routine.
It doesn’t have to be a long or complicated routine—the shorter and sweeter, the better. It might help to have a particular skin care routine at night or make yourself a fresh cup of coffee and take a small walk in the morning. Having a little self-care practice that you can return to every day may not seem like much, but it’s a great way to add more structure to your day and still make time to prepare for the day or relax.