New Year's Resolutions You Should Make Based On Science – And How To Keep Them

The most common New Year's resolutions tend to be vague goals like losing weight, eating healthier food, or exercising more.

But most people don't successfully follow through on their resolutions — largely because they're so general and non-specific.

That's where science can help. Using specific, science-backed resolutions, you can boost your chances of successfully transforming your life in the New Year.

These are some of our favorite resolution ideas, all backed by recent science. Some have to do with fitness, others with diet or health, and others with boosting productivity. A few are simply intended to help you maximize happiness.

You don't need to attempt all at once, but pick one or two that'll get you closest to your goals.

This post has been updated. Kevin Loria wrote an earlier version, which was published in December 2017.

To help you lose weight, eat healthier, and feel better, resolve to fix your sleeping habits.

Some research shows that getting enough sleep makes it easier to avoid cravings for unhealthy foods, keep off excess weight, and that it's key for psychological health.

In the long run, sleep could be even more important: in several studies published in the summer of 2017, researchers demonstrated that after disrupted sleep, individuals had higher levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer's and dementia in the brain.

And as sleep expert Matthew Walker, author of the book, "Why We Sleep," previously told Business Insider, you really can't get by on six or seven hours of sleep — the vast majority of people need an average of eight hours a night.

To improve your sleep, experts recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time every night, improving your sleep environment, and avoiding screens for at least a half hour before bed, if not longer. If you're struggling with insomnia, there are science-backed tips for that too.

Resolve to get moving.

Shutterstock/Dusan Petkovic

Exercise resolutions are common, and for good reason. Along with fixing your sleep, little else will have as transformative an effect on your life as working out.

Exercise provides such a laundry list of physical and mental health benefits that it's basically the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.

Exercise can improve your heart health, up your sex drive, improve your sleep, and boost your mood. Research has also shown that working out may help keep the brain young, improve memory, and fight cognitive impairment.

The trick is figuring out the targeted exercise resolution that's going to work for you — saying you'll just "go to the gym (more)" probably won't cut it.

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