By Eileen Guo
Ah, New Year’s resolutions. Love them or hate them, they’re something of a tradition for most. Still trying to figure out how you want to become a better person in 2018? We have you covered with easy-to-keep resolutions to adopt or inspire your own.
To start, in 2018 it can’t hurt to prioritize your health, since it’s the foundation of everything else that makes you feel good.
Healthy New Year’s resolutions don't have to be hard.
18. Drink More Water
While you may not have to drink eight glasses a day, as per conventional wisdom, keeping hydrated is important not only to keep all of your organs functioning, it can also help you eat less.
If you have a hard time drinking enough water, try automating it into habit. Drink a glass of water immediately upon waking up. Drink a glass of water whenever you’re hungry. And instead of reflexively reaching for a snack.
17. Curb Your Soda Habit
At best, these sugary drinks are just empty calories and, at worst, popular ingredients in soda have been linked to everything from obesity, to type 2 diabetes, to dementia. And diet sodas don’t aren’t better in terms of health.
Cutting down on soda might help you with your goal of drinking 8 glass of water a day. And if you really crave the fizz, try seltzer or sparkling water instead.
16. Drink Less Alcohol
A 2017 study found that even moderate drinking can accelerate cognitive decline.
So drink less by limiting the number of drinks you have every week, or ordering a seltzer water or mocktail instead.
15. Walk More
Whether that means taking the stairs whenever you can, or taking an extra walk around the block, walking more is an easy way to increase our activity levels, even a little bit. And to motivate yourself even more, get a wearable activity tracker, step counter, or just use the step counter in your phone.
14. Sleep More
Let’s face it, you’re probably not getting the eight hours of sleep recommended by doctors. It’s hard to carve out time in our busy days, but it’s this is the kind of goal that can make you more alert and healthy in during your waking hours.
13. Learn to Say No
Most adult Americans report being over-stressed. In fact, a poll conducted this year by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute found that more than half of American employees say they feel overworked or overwhelmed. While you can’t necessarily change your work hours, learning to take time for yourself and say no to things that you feel like you should do but don’t really want to is one way to cut down on stress levels. Just do it politely, maybe?
Making 2018 the year of digital adulting is a great low-key New Year’s resolution. It’s a great time to learn how to keep yourself protected from a growing number of digital threats; from identity-stealing hackers, to governments and corporations after your data, to fake-news spreading bots.
12. Set up a Password Manager
Chances are, you are one of the 42 percent of internet users, according to a recent Statista study, that reuses at least one of your internet passwords. This puts you at much higher risk of a hack, so instead of recycling passwords or depending on a good memory to remember a 1,000 different ones, use a password manager, which will take care of it all for you. Try LastPass, it’s free, or you can go for the premium version which is just $2 a month.
11. Set up Two-Step Verification on all of Your Accounts.
In addition to getting a password manager, two-step verification on internet accounts is pretty essential. A service like Twitter for example will send an additional passcode to verify your identity to your phone, e-mail, or another account, for you to enter on top of your password. It’s an easy way to protect yourself from rudimentary hacking attempts.
10. Get a VPN
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, make your connection invisible to digital eavesdroppers hiding your IP address. Given that President Trump repealed FCC internet privacy rules earlier in 2017, 2018 is the time to start using a VPN, if you haven’t already.
9. Back up Your Computer Data
With cloud syncing as well as Apple’s Time Machine, backing up your data is easier than ever. And with more and more of our lives being lived online, taking this easy step to protect all of our files from being lost is the least that we can do.
8. Stop Reflexively Sharing Internet Links
With Russian social media bots in the news almost every day since the November 2016 elections, this past year has shown us just how much of a news problem we have. And even if the culprit of that clickbait-y headline is just a savvy digital media publication, rather than an evil democracy-destroying-bot, it’s still worth doing everything that we can to not be a part of the internet noise.
Here’s one way to do your part: at the very least, read the full article before you share. Oftentimes, headlines choose the most salacious information from the article, and after reading it, you’ll find that the actual argument or information is more nuanced — or not worth the share.
7. Stop Using Your Phone as an Alarm Clock
Not only will this help you break your phone habit (which, let’s be real, we all have), and maybe help you sleep better, but this may also help lower your chances of phone radiation. This December, Health issued guidelines suggesting that our phones’ radio frequency emissions are linked to cancer.
Sometimes it feels like we live our entire lives online these days, which makes these resolutions to improve your offline, “in real life” habits and behavior all the more important. Of course, you still employ some tech to help.
6. Change Your Sheets More
We spend a third of our lives in bed, and chances are, we’re probably not washing our sheets nearly enough. What’s the ideal frequency? Weekly according to New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno. Otherwise, our sheets can house allergens and even fungi, which can be just as unhealthy as it is gross sounding.
5. Stop Losing Your Keys/Phone/Wallet
One easy way to do this is to always drop them off in the same location when you get home, but there are also so many tech tools — like miniature attachable sensors — to help. Really, in 2018, you have no excuse to lose anything. Try a TrackR Pixel Bluetooth Tracking Device.
4. Take Time Off — and Start with a Long Weekend
Time off, whether long weekends or actual vacations, are good for you, and science proves it.
So don’t be like the 41 percent of Americans that don’t use all of their vacation days. We’d suggest taking starting with a long weekend.
3. Record Voice Notes
Texting is impersonal and prone to misunderstandings, and voice communications are so much more expressive. Still, going back to phone calls might be a little bit too much for our text-obsessed culture.
So we propose recording voice notes as a happy medium: you can express more, while still allowing your recipient to respond in their own time. Voice notes are available in most messaging apps these days, and even iMessage supports it. Win-win for everyone.
2. Don’t Online Shop for Everything
It’s convenient, sure, but the ease of reflexive online shopping can make it tempting to spend more, more often. Try to limit the habit to once a month.
1. Start Tracking How You Spend
We’re not going to go so far as to suggest that you cut out avocado toast, coffee, or any of your other money-guzzling habits, but a good place to start is to at least know where your money is going. Online services like Mint sync to your bank and credit card accounts, making it super easy to know where you’re money is going.
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Cecil Williams -