It’s not too late to set new year resolutions; and to plan how you’ll succeed in achieving them

It’s not too late to set new year resolutions; and to plan how you’ll succeed in achieving them

Happiness? Success? Health? Wellbeing?

What are you hoping/aiming for in 2020?

In some way or other, setting the right type of goals and finding a way to successfully achieve them will create more happiness; and more happiness then creates even more motivation and inspiration to achieve even more…

… so today I bring you a few articles to help make 2020 a happy and healthy, successful and joyful year!

Firstly, via Forbes…

10 Practical New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier, Happier Life

New Year is the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. It’s a new adventure, a new beginning, a fresh canvas to paint your life on. 

Make the coming year your best one yet with these ten intentional new year’s resolutions that are guaranteed to boost your happiness and wellbeing:

#1 Practice focused breathing

“Learning how to control your breathing is one of the most powerful and freeing neurohacks for managing all kinds of feelings and emotions,” says Stuart Sandeman, transformational breath coach and founder of Breathpod. “There are several thousands of neurons within the brainstem that are in charge of auto-generating different types of breath—regular, excited, sighing, gasping, etc. These neurons also monitor the signal they receive back from the breathing pattern and relay the message accordingly to the Locus Coeruleus, a part of the brainstem which then triggers a physiological response,” explains the breath coach. In layman’s terms, your state of mind and emotions are closely connected to how you are breathing. “When you feel stressed, anxious or afraid, your breath becomes short and shallow which activates your sympathetic nervous system—commonly referred to as the fight or flight response. When relaxed and calm, the breath is slow and full and your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged, creating a rest and digest response,” tells Sandeman. “By practicing slow, controlled, focused breathing you can send a signal of calm and relaxation to the mind and change the way you feel at any moment,” he notes. Conscious breathing can also boost your energy levels, focus and creativity at work and everyday life. Moreover, “harnessing the breath can help unlock tension, alleviate unwanted feelings, tackle unresolved emotions and release physical, mental and emotional blocks,” adds the breath-work expert. Here are a couple of easy-to-do conscious breathing exercises you can do anywhere, anytime…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE

Second, via the Conversation

Five rules from psychology to help keep your new year’s resolutions

We are creatures of habit. Between a third and half of our behaviour is habitual, according to research estimates. Unfortunately, our bad habits compromise our health, wealth and happiness.

On average, it takes 66 days to form a habit. But positive behavioural change is harder than self-help books would have us believe. Only 40% of people can sustain their new year’s resolution after six months, while only 20% of dieters maintain long-term weight loss.

Education does not effectively promote behaviour change. A review of 47 studies found that it’s relatively easy to change a person’s goals and intentions but it’s much harder to change how they behave. Strong habits are often activated unconsciously in response to social or environmental cues – for example, we go to the supermarket about 211 times a year, but most of our purchases are habitual.

With all this in mind, here are five ways to help you keep your new year’s resolutions – whether that’s taking better care of your body or your bank balance…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE

And thirdly, via the SMH

The most beneficial ways to kickstart strong mental health for 2020

Most people take some leave over the summer, which opens the opportunity to do activities and set up new patterns that will give us a head-start on health into the new year.

For many, it will include things that may boost mental – as well as physical – health, but given time is still at a premium (even on leave) what are the most beneficial activities to kick-start strong mental health for 2020?

We’ve talked to a few experts to help sort out the must-haves from the nice-to-haves, and it seems that getting into the habit of exercising regularly; starting a new hobby and prioritising sleep are the best ways to set yourself up for a healthier next decade.

Start a new (exercise) habit

Post-Christmas guilt is a real thing: every January, gyms report record membership sign ups, with people eager to shrug off their gluttonous last week of December and start the New Year afresh.

Membership sales even spike as much as 40 per cent during January as people look to kickstart a healthy new year.

And while people may start off going to the gym, their good intentions are soon superseded by the reality of a busy life.

As consumer research group Canstar Blue found last year, more than half (54 per cent) gym members don’t turn up much, while findings from personal finance app Pocketbook show that of those who do sign up to a gym in the new year, one third don’t even see it through to the middle of the year with their memberships.

“When it comes to exercise, it’s important to find what you like and stick to it,” says Dr Mandy Hagstrom, a lecturer in exercise science at UNSW Medicine and a weightlifter herself.

“And the holidays are a good time to create new exercise habits.”

This doesn’t need to mean taking out a gym membership or signing up to the next cross fit or F45 program: “While in an ideal world, people should be doing both strength and cardio exercises, anything that raises the heart rate and makes breathing harder is a good start,” she says.

And while January is traditionally a time where many people make (often unsustainable) New Year’s resolutions, the key to being healthy is to keep it up – not the intensity.

A recent study (of which Dr Hagstrom is the lead author) found that how often women train has greater impact on strength building than increasing weights, which exercise they do or the variety of exercises.

To make things even better, little-known research from the University of South Australia has found that when people use pleasure as a guide when it comes to exercise, they actually create receptors in their brain which will not only keep them coming back from more – but also actually steadily increase their fitness.

“Typically, when we allow people to self select their exercise intensity, they automatically choose an intensity that is pleasant,” says lead researcher and professor of exercise and sports science Gaynor Parfitt.

“People will usually choose an intensity that is at the boundary between aerobic — that point where you’re getting a little bit breathless but not so bad that you’re feeling bad about it.

“Basically, they choose the intensity that will get them fit.”

So if you plan to smash yourself this coming January because that’s what you think you need to do to get fit, think again: Professor Parfitt says the best guide to exercise is to use the “talk test”.

“If you can hold a conversation while walking briskly or running, then you’re working to a moderate intensity that will get you fit,” she says…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE