The top New Year’s resolutions all seem to have to do with improving health. Whether that means losing weight, eating healthier foods, or making more time for rest, wellness always seems to be the common goal.
But trying to follow every single diet rule or get fit overnight is overwhelming — and it’s a good way to set yourself up for failure. Starting with smaller goals is much more manageable and realistic. In fact, you can begin with just one important thing.
The sad truth about New Year’s resolutions
It’s easy to get swept up in the hype of a brand new year and all the goal-setting going on around you… and making healthy goals is actually great for motivation. Alas, the statistics on New Year’s resolutions aren’t positive: about 80% fail by the second week of February, according to U.S. News.
Resolutions fail for many reasons, one of which is that the goals they set are unrealistic. Holding yourself to impossible standards is no way to succeed.
The 1 resolution rule
Most people write a long list of New Year’s resolutions, and there are probably many areas in your life where you’d like to see improvement. But if you think about it, sticking to one resolution makes sense. While looking at a long to-do list can be overwhelming, setting your sights on one single goal allows you to give it your undivided attention and complete it in the allotted time.
And the good news is, if you make the right resolution, it will help you improve nearly every aspect of your life, including your health.
The art of meditation
If you only make one New Year’s resolution for 2018, make it mastering meditation. While there are obvious benefits to all aspects of your health, such as diet and exercise, meditation has hundreds and hundreds of scientifically proven benefits for your body and mind. That’s why it’s the single best thing you can do for your health in 2018.
Meditation changes you from the inside out
When you do it regularly, meditation actually changes your brain. Numerous studies from 2005-2010 showed that meditators had more gray matter in the parts of the brain that shrinks as we age (and makes memory difficult) as well as five other important regions of the brain. And when you’ve got a strong brain, you can change any other aspect of your life.
Meditation keeps you slim
Since one of the top New Year’s resolutions is always weight loss, it’s important to note that meditation can help you lose weight. Regular meditation lowers your cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone that plays a big role in your metabolism. Also, when you’re in a state of mindfulness, you eat mindfully, meaning you’re more likely to savor your food and stop eating when you start to feel full.
Meditation motivates you to move
Would you like to exercise more in 2018? Meditation can motivate you to do that, too. The simple technique of deep breathing and quiet thoughts can relieve stress and eliminate negative thoughts. Plus, since meditation helps you sleep better, you’ll have more energy.
How to start
The numerous ways meditation can benefit you are clear, and as further research is done, we’ll only discover more reasons why we should be doing it. But if you’re like most people, you’ll find it difficult, if not impossible, at first. Lying in stillness can be incredibly challenging, not to mention finding the time.
There are several ways you can start meditating, but the most important thing is to slow down and become aware of your surroundings. Start making room in your life for the practice and 2018 will be your healthiest year yet.
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