A Realistic New Year’s Resolution

All the Things You Need to Start — and Stop — Doing in 2018

The fatal flaw with New Year’s resolutions — and most goal-setting, for that matter — is that we typically bite off more than we can chew. We’re not setting realistic Goals. As such, we end up disappointed and, often, with a forgotten resolution by the time February rolls around.

Ahead are 13 realistic goals that anyone can accomplish in a calendar year — things that are not only doable but also enjoyable and will eventually become so second-nature, you’ll forget they were resolutions. The best part? Each contributes to a happier life and a healthier body and brain.

Take More You Time

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We’re guessing you maybe gave a little too much to others this past year and not enough to yourself. Perhaps you were stretched too thin or overextended yourself. That’s OK! It was a time for learning and growing. In the new year, it’s OK to say “no” sometimes and take a little more time for yourself. Whether it’s for getting organized, doing a solo workout, or just binge-watching your favorite show from your bed, allow yourself some personal space in 2018.

Stop Doing That 1 Workout You Hate

Stop-Doing-1-Workout-You-Hate

This is your year, this is your time. You don’t have to run to lose weight, you don’t have to do indoor cycling to be healthy (or cool). If you truly hate running, then why are you doing it? If the answer is “because I have to,” you’re dead wrong. The same goes for all other activities. Use the new year to find something else that you do love that will have the same kind of healthy effects on your body and brain.

Unplug a Little More Each Day

Unplug-Little-More-Each-Day

You don’t have to break up with technology (that’s ridiculous), but this year, do small things to unplug and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, and your environment. Maybe give yourself a few more minutes in the morning before you check email, or don’t charge your phone next to your bed. You could even do a tech-free Sunday each week to truly let go. The world is your Phone-free oyster.

Learn 1 New Healthy Recipe You LOVE

Learn-1-New-Healthy-Recipe-You-LOVE

We’re fairly certain you can accomplish this in a calendar year — after all, you only have to find one. This may take a little trial and error (particularly if you’re new to the kitchen arena), but once you find something you love, you can incorporate it into your weekly menu — and thus, daily eating habits — for years to come. Start with some of our suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ditch the Foods You Hate

Ditch-Foods-You-Hate

If you’re sick of kale, we’ve got news for you: it’s time to stop trying. Force feeding yourself foods you hate simply because they’re “healthy” is a surefire way to ensure your diet plans backfire (and your mood won’t be awesome, either). Even dietitians recommend finding foods you love and indulging now and then. Let go of the crap that makes you miserable and figure out what fuels your body and your soul. It IS possible!

Add 1 Low-Impact Workout to Your Routine

Add-1-Low-Impact-Workout-Your-Routine

We’re fans of running, cycling and high intensity interval training and zumba, but for the love of all things holy, give your knees a break this year. They may not have let you in on their secret yet, but your knees love those activities a lot less than you do. Before you become irate: we’re not suggesting you stop doing these workouts (unless you hate them, in which case, refer back to point two) — simply that you supplement your high-impact routine with some low-impact strengthening exercises. Pilates and yoga, anyone?

Make More Time For Breakfast

Make-More-Time-Breakfast

You’ve probably heard this your whole life, but breakfast is important. Whether you’ve got weight-loss goals or you’re trying to add more protein to your diet, there are so many options for making breakfast easy and stress-free (hello, make-ahead meals).

 

Throw Your Scale in a Dumpster

Throw-Your-Scale-Dumpster

And then burn it. Honestly, if you haven’t set your scale on fire yet, are you really living? While it might be a helpful tool now and then for weight loss, there are so many ways to measure your success without that infernal tool. The number on the scale means nothing, and in fact, if you are also partaking in the weightlifting New Year’s resolution, that number might go up thanks to compact, heavy muscle.

Start Weightlifting

Start-Weightlifting

We’re particularly excited about this New Year’s resolution, because we know firsthand how much weightlifting can change your life — and your body! You’ll boost your metabolism, feel so strong and empowered, and create lean, powerful muscle that will impact your everyday movements and life (walking up flights of stairs will feel completely different!). It may seem intimidating at first, but just start small and work your way up until you build strength.

Choose Gratitude Each Day

Choose-Gratitude-Each-Day

One way to inject more joy into your year? Start each day with a gratitude reflection. What are you grateful for? What makes you happy? Focus on the good to improve your mood, and your physical health will follow suit.

Ditch Your Restrictive Diet

Ditch-Your-Restrictive-Diet

Break up with obsessive calorie counting, food shaming, and all the things that make healthy eating miserable. It’s time to mix it up and find what works for YOU. No diet or diet tip can ever be truly universal because everyone’s body is different — so if you’ve been following something because it worked for someone else (and it’s not working for you), this is your chance to reassess.

End the Negative Self-Talk’

End-Negative-Self-Talk

We feel quite strongly about this one: you need to stop beating yourself up this year. Do your best in 2018 to give yourself grace, kindness, and patience. Start giving yourself more compliments, and make this year about no negative self-talk — ever. The more you berate and degrade yourself, the harder your year will be; you’ll also have a much harder time reaching your healthy goals.

Create a Bedtime Routine

Create-Bedtime-Routine

This year, we want you to get more sleep! One of the ways you can ensure that happens more often is by creating a nightly ritual that’ll help ease your anxious feelings and soothe you into a sound slumber. Maybe aromatherapy speaks to you, or you’re up for trying some CBD before bed — whatever it is, it’ll help you snooze, which in turn will positively impact your health and mood all year long.

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Blue Whale Challenge: How parents, teachers, and others can help teenagers in crisis

Every day, we hear of so many crime reports from across the world. Most of these happen in the ‘real’ world, where the perpetrator and the victim occupy the same space. But now, we have another world to worry about – the virtual world. One in which it sometimes becomes impossible to tell who the perpetrator is.

Cybercrimes and bullying are becoming serious concerns. Although they are conducted in the virtual world, they hold the power to impact the physical world. What might seem like a simple rant on twitter or an emotional quote on instagram or snapchat can influence a large number of people in the actual world. The most vulnerable to online bullying and cyber crimes are children and teenagers who have access to all manner of information on the internet, but are not always mature enough to be able to handle it. Hence, it is so very important to educate not only children and teens but also adults on how to be responsible and how to guard themselves against these crimes.

The Blue Whale Challenge is not very different from what any criminal in history has tried to do in the physical world. One man takes upon him to rid the world of the people he thinks don’t deserve to live. Teenage is a most vulnerable time in the life of a person; as the person is struggling with identity issues and still trying to figure out who they are. This makes them especially susceptible to online crime and emotional abuse, such as the Blue Whale Challenge.

 

Teens are known to experiment and take risks because of peer-pressure, parental and school expectations or media influence. Now with their accessibility to the virtual world they are being attacked and bullied via social media platforms also. It is important to understand that their struggle is one of self-esteem, the need to be understood and accepted, and having a sense of worth, wanting to matter to the world around them.

Parents, teachers, and care-givers must understand that once we help them in the real world to reduce these issues they are less likely to fall prey to such crimes online. They will then have the strength to say no, stand-up for themselves, identify and report abuse not only in the physical world but also the virtual world. There has to be a more active role that each one of us needs to play in spreading awareness about how to combat these crimes and protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Low self-esteem, disconnecting with friends, wanting to be alone, withdrawal from family members, reluctance to leave their electronic gadgets unattended, avoiding school or work, changes in personality (anger, sadness, crying), drastic changes in appearance or weight, fresh marks on the skin or wearing clothes that hide these marks even in summers, are some of the signs that may help a caregiver, friend, or family member to identify a need for help.

In such cases, it becomes important to make the person feel that help is available without judgment. Encouraging expressing one’s feelings either in spoken words, a letter or a journal helps in releasing these amped up emotions. We must convince such teenagers that their pain is understood, that they are brave, that we respect them for who they are, and that they have done nothing wrong.

We must challenge their belief that they deserve pain by showing them compassion and support. This will help the person move a step away from harm. Also, spreading awareness about how to report abuse online, taking screen shots or saving IP addresses as proof will let them know that help is available.

We need to remember that at the end of the day we are humans be it in the real or the virtual world. Our struggles and concerns may seem vastly different from one another but they are very similar. We all have a need to be accepted and loved; and accepting and loving oneself is the first step to that. To know that it is okay to be confused or scared, but to always believe that we are worthy.

As adults, it is our responsibility to watch out for these signs in children and teenagers around us. Without trying to invade into their privacy or threaten them with dire consequences; we must show compassion and the strength to stand by them. Only by convincing them of their own worth can we protect them from these invisible monsters.