It’s early January, so I’ll give you one guess ::drumroll please:: they all have the same New Year’s resolution! And that is to be more present in their daily lives. While eating right, exercising more, and being more fiscally responsible remain the top 3 resolutions, Self Care attracts more resolvers each and every year. These wellness resolutions may be phrased in a variety of ways, but they all boil down to the same fundamental premise. If we are more present and focused and in the moment, we will be mentally stronger, healthier, and happier.
In fact, I’ve heard the word “present” so often recently, I'm ready to declare it the 2018 Word of the Year. (If my dad’s using it, it must be trending.) Business Insider interviewed 30 executives about their personal resolutions and seven of them revolved around this concept of presence. But what does it really mean and how can we achieve it? Kim K might be on to something: “I plan on being on my phone less to be more in the moment.” Yes! Reframing these resolutions to living offline has all the same benefits of being present, while being much more specific. And the more specific your goal, the higher chances you have of achieving it. Here are some for you to try:
Replace 20 minutes of screen time every day with a different activity.
We recently tested this experiment with a class of teenage girls in the midst of applying to college. It’s the most stressful time in their lives, but they managed to find 20 minutes every day for two weeks to do an offline activity of their choosing, like learning to play the ukulele. Many students reported feeling less stressed as a result and realized they weren’t missing out on anything online. Having trouble starting? Delete an addicting app.
Set a digital sabbath.
This one’s for all you workaholics out there. I’ll let Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff explain: “Every year since 2016, my New Year’s resolution has been to take a digital Sabbath from Friday sundown to Sunday night. That means no email, text, or Slack. This past year I was successful three out of every four weekends...I come to work Monday morning refreshed.”
Socialize like it’s 1995.
Pick a buddy for this one. Next time you want to hang out, choose a time and place in advance. Can you actually meet up without texting each other updates every two seconds? “Just leaving!” “Be there in 5…” Most of the time, these updates are unnecessary. (Bonus: let your mind wander by not using your phone in transit at all.) This might just inspire your group to be less flakey with each other. And of course, keep the phone away while you’re together.
Talk, don't text.
Resolve to invest in your personal relationships. Every time you reach for the phone to stalk a close friend on social media or send them a text, set a date to call them and really catch up instead. Even better - if they live nearby - plan a coffee date or dinner party.
Start meditating, app optional.
We’ve all heard about the health benefits of meditating. Meditation apps are very popular and can help you get started, but try weaning off of them as you get more practice. I recently talked to a friend who’s very dedicated to yoga. She told me that the first time she felt truly able to clear her mind during the meditation part of class was after a digital detox weekend!
Keep devices out of the bedroom.
The easiest way to practice this is to keep your chargers in a different room. If you must use your phone late at night, most models now come with nighttime modes to reduce blue light! As always, we’re not about banning tech - if you have an Amazon Echo, it’s better for your sleep patterns and mental focus to talk to Alexa than stare at your screen every morning and evening.
Do you have specific phone goals this year? Let us know in the comments below.
PS We also found a lot to like in this article about tech-y resolutions in general, like being nicer on the Internet.