It’s about to start a new year and with the toasts and celebrations you may wonder – as it happens to us all – what you could do differently in 2019. That means establishing goals or purposes, from improving your health to making changes to your environment or traveling more (life tips: why not some place that will really surprise you? ).
Before it is midnight, we suggest you review our recommendations. The first: make sure that your New Year’s resolutions are CREAS – Quantifiable, Relevant, Specific, Achievable and Subject to a term; a strategy proposed by the Smarter Living section of The New York Times – and that help generate habits to last beyond January.
For your physical health
If you intend to lose weight or lose body fat , do it in a healthy way: diet is paramount. But there are many diets, which one is the best? The answer is: it depends. That’s why you have to be informed of everything that is known – and what is not – about eating carbohydrates, fats, proteins and others, as well as the dangers of dieting without professional supervision. Yes we can tell you without a doubt that it is important to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Do not forget the exercise . Whether you intend to lose weight or improve your performance, this is very important if you want to keep the results . Exercising even a few minutes with high intensity heart movements or up to ten minutes of walking can do wonders to reconfigure our bodies. Just try to avoid doing half an hour of exercise and then spend the rest of the day sitting , because it is not beneficial, and do not overdo it . Going for a run with a friend or acquaintance is a good way to create a habit .
But do not feel guilty either if you prefer to sleep a little longer instead of going for a run; In fact, there are studies that suggest that a sedentary lifestyle is promoted by our own brain .
- Say goodbye to harmful customs. If you intend to quit smoking, we recommend that you do it all at once , but if your goal is to drink less alcohol, you should try moderately . To improve your health, do not leave out the placebo effect either ; It is much more complex and beneficial than you might have thought.
- The key is in zz. Rest is essential , it makes us less irritable and improves our work performance . So if you decide to dedicate one of your twelve grapes to the promise of more sleep, congratulations: we share several methods to achieve it.
- Do more things just for the pleasure of doing them. As a society, we have turned our hobbies into new excuses to stress ourselves: if we decide to paint watercolors, for example, we press ourselves to make incredible paintings , or we think of our leisure moments only as a way to improve labor productivity (so they are no longer leisure time ). Enough! The columnist Tim Wu said it best in our pages: if we do something we like to feel we should only do it with excellence, we lose us.
- Patience first of all. In an era of constant distractions and orders with almost immediate deliveries, taking a deep breath and being realistic about what we have time to do without getting burned can make a difference.
- Unplug and mesure yourself. Being surrounded by screens hurts us: some specialists indicate that the brain response to a mobile phone resembles that of an addiction . It is a topic of particular concern for children ; There are parents who work in Silicon Valley who do not want their children to use the devices they help create.
Disconnecting can be a good purpose for the year (or at least be more measured with the use we give to technology). The Times spoke this year with a man who stopped using social media and walked away from any news related to his country, and said he had never been so happy . To unplug yourself a little more you can rethink how you think about your cell phone , change the screen to black and white or simplify your technological life.
- Strengthen your bond with friends and loved ones to improve your year. The loneliness is harmful and social causes us physical contact. Check how you can revalue your friends and strengthen ties, get rid of friends that really are not much or restore contact with someone who was very close but who have not seen in a while.
Science has proven that we are better people when we are in love, so there is never any need to show affection to your partner, if you have one; but better only than badly accompanied: love and self-care is of the utmost importance whether or not you are in a relationship. You can also start the year by taking advantage of a recent break .
- If you have children , perhaps one goal is to spend more time with them. Our recommendation for those moments to be particularly helpful include shouting at them less , talking about failures to make them more resilient and playing with tools that are not digital . And do not worry (so much) if they tell you some lies .
Do you want a change in your career? It is something that you can propose for 2019 if you give yourself time to reflect – in case you want to resign because you can not tolerate your boss, first read this – and to have a saving strategy that serves as a cushion while you transition to another position. For that it is important to talk more frankly about money and really learn to manage your finances. It is not simple, but it is necessary: follow our advice.
Job interviews generate a lot of anxiety. Maybe it relaxes you to learn from others’ mistakes to improve.
Harvest what you sow. Sometimes we have failures in our jobs, but the important thing is what we do next: there are ways to fail productively. The beginning of the year is also a good opportunity to think about how to stop apologizing so much in the office and to prepare better to receive criticism , both positive and constructive.
Before the New Year bells ring, one last suggestion: we feel better when we show our appreciation, so give thanks to yourself for your achievements in 2018 and thank those around you and encourage you.
On behalf of the New York Times team in Spanish, thank you for reading us in 2018!