New Year’s resolutions you can accomplish

January 3, 2019

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New year, new me, right? Did you already think of some New Year’s resolutions or did you think it was better to not start with this trouble to prevent yourself from disappointment? I don’t blame it on you if you chose the second option, because research has shown that 80% of the New Year’s resolutions have failed by the second week of February. This is because people don’t set realistic goals or don’t even start. To help you I listed 5 New Year’s resolutions that are achievable and will give you more energy and less stress. Ready to become a better version of yourself in 2019?

#1 Take the stairs next time

The University of Georgia suggests that for young adults with chronic sleep deprivation (also known as all students) climbing stairs or a little walk is a more effective way to give you an energy boost than consuming 50 milligrams of caffeine. This is a win-win situation, since you also immediately get some exercise and it is for free.

Figure 1: Comparison of the  influence of 10-min of low-to-moderate intensity stair walking to the consumption of capsules containing 50 mg caffeine or flour (placebo). 

#2 Blast more upbeat music

Playing happy music has multiple mind-body wonders. It elevates your mood, reduces pain during an exercise and lowers your stress-level. So add to your to-do list: make a playlist with nice and happy jams.

#3 More plants, less computer

To relieve stress it is good to surround yourself with green. Results from a research about psychological benefits of interaction with indoor plants show that plants have a stimulating effect on comfortable, soothed and natural feelings. As you can see in the figure below it is also better to spend less time glued to your phone.
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Figure 2: Comparison of psychological assessments between plant and computer stimuli. (A) Feelings of comfort, (B) the feeling of relaxation, and (C) the feeling of naturalness. N (age)  = 24, mean ± SD, **P < 0.01 according to the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

#4 Calculate the profit

Econometricians like numbers, so it is more attractive to stop with a bad habit if you know how much money you will save if you change it. Spend the money you save on something you really like and you will see that it is much easier to accomplish your goal!

#5 Take a lunch break with friends

Most people skip their lunch break or eat quickly between their lectures, even though having a good lunch break is linked to increased productivity. Next time, invite your friends for a nice lunch and have for example one of the delicious soups at Kapteynborg (only €1!).
And of course, the editors from De Econometrist wish you a happy new year!
Bergland, C. (2017) Need a Midday Energy Boost? Skip the Caffeine, Take a Walk. Psychology Today.
Anthropol J. (2015) Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. PMC.

Rockwood, K. (2018) 35 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Healthier and Happier Living. Good Housekeeping.

Dit artikel is geschreven door Renske Zijm.

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