It's a sad fact of life that few people (only 8%) follow through on New Year's resolutions. The reason is simple: Most resolutions are too hard to keep. They fly in the face of habit and demand major lifestyle changes.
This post contains three resolutions that are easy to follow but will transform your life for the better and make you more successful from Day 1 of the new year:
1. Breathe more deeply.
Deep breaths fill your lungs with oxygen, which your blood carries to nourish every part of your body, especially your brain, which needs plenty of oxygen to function at peak performance. In other words, deep breathing makes you smarter.
The oxygen also nourishes your spinal chord and nervous system, making you calmer, and causes your body to burn fat more efficiently. In other words, deep breathing, just by itself, helps you cope with stress and lose weight.
No matter how busy your schedule, you have to breathe, so there's absolutely no reason you can't breathe more deeply. All you need to do is remind yourself a few times a day, when you think of it. Over time, it will become an effortless habit.
2. Smile more frequently.
Smiling generates a host of health benefits. Like breathing deeply, it reduces stress and lowers your heart rate. It also releases endorphins into your brain that automatically put you in a better mood.
Smiling genuinely and more frequently also makes you a more productive businessperson. It builds trust, helps you form solid work relationships, and positions you as a leader--somebody whom others actually want to follow.
There's more. Social interactions with strangers--like the person behind the counter or sitting next to you on the train--make you feel more connected and content. And a smile, of course, is where such interactions start.
3. Feel more gratitude.
When it comes to creating and replicating happiness, there is no emotion or thought as powerful as gratitude.
Gratitude makes challenges easier to bear. No matter where you are in your career, no matter how many problems you're encountering, there is always something for which you can be grateful. Focus on those positives gives you strength and resilience.
Gratitude also makes success more fulfilling. Without gratitude, you'll be dissatisfied and miserable even after you've achieved your dreams. Gratitude allows you appreciate every moment of your journey, wherever that takes you.
The easiest way to feel more gratitude is to express it more frequently. Say "thank-you" more often, especially to those who do thankless tasks. Take a moment each morning (a few seconds will do) and be thankful for the precious gift of being alive.