Last update: 29 September, 2015
Starting a new year or a new season thinking of good intentions with a view to change it is a very common practice; even birthdays can become an excellent opportunity to decide to change your life.
These resolutions aim, or at least should aim, at achieving a happier, and at the same time healthier, life. Not surprisingly, losing weight, going to the gym or quitting smoking are among the most common.
However, many are convinced that setting these goals is useless, perhaps from personal experience. A study by the University of Scranton revealed that only 8% of New Year's resolutions are actually made. This relatively low success rate is primarily due to the fact that our intentions tend to focus on a kind of self-criticism, rather than on our real aspirations or desires.
Filtering our desires through a view of self-criticism can only lead us to failure. On the contrary, planning our resolutions considering them as achievable and rewarding goals, will help us to increase the quality of our life, and consequently, to be happier.
6 tips to achieve your goals, live longer and be happier
1.Be more conscious
Meditate about our purposes, about what we really want, is of great help when it comes to achieving them. We spend too much time caring for others, e many times our goals are aimed at the well-being of those around us.
This leads us to weaken, just as our relationships with others will weaken. Other times, however, we fail in our intentions because we make ourselves dependent on other people to get them.
For this reason, it is advisable to carry out a conscious reflection on why we want to achieve something, thus putting ourselves at the center, and avoiding any external element that spoils our efforts and establishes prohibitions along our path.
2. Exercises for a healthy mind
Getting fit is one of the most popular resolutions every time a new year or a new course begins. Exercise certainly brings more benefits than it may seem at first glance. Mens sana in corpore sano, remember?
In these terms, Daniel Siegel and Davi Rock have developed a program that consists of seven essential mental activities to do every day, to optimize brain mass and create a state of well-being.
One of these activities involves "physical time", during which a person performs aerobic exercises aimed at strengthening the brain. The program is called The Healthy Mind Platter. Physical activity does not just make us stronger on a physical level, but also on the mental one. Aerobic exercise has been shown to help fight stress and depression.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep well, get enough sleep… we will never tire of repeating it. Most of us are aware of how important it is to eat well and exercise, on the contrary, we find it very difficult to assimilate the importance of getting enough sleep.
Many times we tend to take time away from sleep to work or study, without realizing that a good rest can help us be much more productive and effective. We feel guilty, often even slackers, and we prefer to sacrifice ourselves. How cruel is that inner voice that always torments us, right? Other times, it's the same procrastination that makes us put off going to bed.
According to William C. Dement and Christopher Vaughan, authors of The Promise of Sleep, it has been empirically proven that healthy sleep is the most important factor in achieving longevity, even more influential than diet, physical activity or genetic make-up. . The two authors link sleep deprivation with various heart diseases, traffic accidents and other "immeasurable mental and psychological disadvantages".
Research has also shown that sleep loss can impair our cognitive performance, while a good amount of rest helps improve cognition. Sleeping well is an activity that must absolutely be added to our agenda.
4. Detach from the past
Thinking about good intentions must necessarily go hand in hand with checking how much we want to change about ourselves. If your aim is to be happier, to live more and better, you need to understand who you are, what life you want to live and why you want it like this, without forgetting to analyze what are the steps to take to achieve all this.
This procedure will help you to take a leap beyond the past and not drag it along in this new stage of life. Unintentionally, our new behaviors often tend to build on those of the past, preventing us from moving forward. It is necessary to leave them behind, looking forward.
5. Challenge your inner critic
Ignore that little voice that stifles your desire to do what you set out to do, the one that insinuates that you are not like that, and that if you don't do what you said for a day nothing happens; that voice that keeps repeating to you that by now you have grown up to do a certain thing, that it is too late for you or that the effort is not worth it. You must be able to identify your inner enemy, learning to deal with it. Thus you will be stronger and freer.
6. Towards lasting change
Establish an active and proactive attitude towards your goals, e give yourself the chance for a lasting change. Your resolutions and their respective resolutions must aim to bring out the best in you. Be courageous in your battle, and you will thus be able to challenge and defeat the most ingrained behaviors in you, and be free.
You will live more. You will live better. You will live happier.