Happy New Year Oola babes, and welcome to another year of living your best life. There is something about the start of a new year that is synonymous with resolutions, turning over a new leaf, or choosing to invest in new areas of your life—and we are SO here for all of it!
2020 was a year like we’ve never seen before, and there is palpable hope that 2021 will be a return to normalcy. Ain’t no shame in anyone’s game for how they chose to cope with the events of the past year. However, turning over the calendar is a great opportunity for a reset. That’s why we’re dedicating the next 31 days to exploring a different resolution each day.
For the past few months, we’ve been surveying our readers (that’s you) and researching the most popular resolutions. Over the next few weeks, we are exploring everything from quitting a bad habit or finally losing that extra weight to planning for the future and choosing to grow in a beautiful way. Check back here each day to keep track of each resolution, complete with our expert advice on how to tackle them.
Start 2021 With a Check-in With Your Future Self
Kick the year off right by prioritizing your future health with AncestryHealth®. Thanks to modern technology, there is a way to find out what specific health conditions that you are at the greatest risk of inheriting. Do you want to know your personal risk for inherited high cholesterol, iron overload, or digestive issues? How about your inherited risk of breast cancer or heart issues like cardiomyopathy?
7 Ways to Sleep Better in 2021
Of the many things to dislike about getting older, trouble sleeping has to be one of the worst. (Okay, wrinkles are the worst, but trouble sleeping is top five.) Our editorial staff has tried tons of products, supplements, bedding, you name it, all in the quest for a better night’s sleep.
If sleeping better is one of your resolutions in 2021, check out our curated list of the tried-and-true products that have helped us get better zzz’s. All of the following products come highly recommended by a member of our team. Here’s to a great night’s sleep, and better rest in the new year.
Lose Five Pounds in January by Dedicating Five Minutes a Day to This App
Say “sayonara” to unhealthy eating habits in 2021 with Noom. Noom takes a psychology-based approach to maintaining a healthy weight that focuses on lifestyle changes so you can be healthier and happier in the new year.
Three Ways to Get Healthy That Don’t Involve Dieting
Getting healthy isn’t all about losing weight, although it can be a nice byproduct. If getting healthy is one of your resolutions, make sure to give yourself plenty of grace in the new year and focus less on the scale and more on the quality of your days. Here are three things you can do that are guaranteed to have your healthiest year yet.
Cure Anxiety the Natural Way
There are a number of different types of crystals, and each is believed to have its own abilities to heal the mind and body by helping you get rid of negative energy. The key, according to researchers, is the power of the mind. Indulge in this method of self-care with mindfulness, reflection, and acceptance. The mind has a lot more healing power than it gets credit for.
Mindfulness Isn’t Just a Granola Gimmick: Here’s How to Be More Mindful in 2021
Mindfulness may sound a little “woo woo,” but research shows that it can help with attention, reduce bias, and improve overall mental health. Here are some steps you can take to relieve stress, be more present, and become more mindful in 2021.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Are you bad about skipping the most important meal of the day? Make these Banana Cookie Overnight Oats tonight and they’ll be ready to enjoy in the morning when you’re in a hurry, too busy, or don’t feel like cooking. Easy, delicious, and healthy, this breakfast is even kid-approved!
Quit or Lessen Your Sugar Intake
When it comes to sugar intake, the Spice Girls said it best back in 1997: too much of something is bad enough; too much of nothing is just as tough. As more people resolve to better themselves in the new year, deciding to lessen or quit sugar intake entirely is a great place to start. However, sugar can have incredibly addictive effects on the brain, so quitting cold turkey is not recommended. Instead, try these simple, effective ways to lessen or eliminate your sugar intake.
Nicotine is a helluva drug. Those of us who have been under its spell know what its like to be a slave serving an unrelenting master. Its a vicious cycle: One cigarette begets the next. Amidst the cluster that was 2020, Oola editor Laura was able to emancipate herself from a 20-year pack-a-day nicotine addiction. If she can do it, so can you! Here’s how to put this bad habit to bed and quit smoking cigarettes for good.
Abstain from Alcohol
Whether you’re sober curious, or just want to give your liver a break, Dry January is a great excuse to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol. Oola editor Laura has been on the wagon for about a year, so she’s got some great tips for making it through Dry January sans booze.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Resolving to set boundaries between family, friends, or co-workers can not only fortify existing relationships can be the biggest act of self-care you can do for yourself. While setting healthy boundaries can feel uncomfortable, we’re setting the record straight: The word “no” can still be said with love, kindness, and respect.
Many of us can’t imagine starting the day without caffeine, but sometimes that morning cup of joe leaves us jittery instead of energized. If giving up the go-go juice is on your 2021 to-do list, read this first.
Start Intermittent Fasting
Rather than focusing on the next new diet to try, why not focus on changing up your eating pattern? It’s a subtle change, but one that makes a huge difference in the scales. Intermittent fasting (or IF) has quickly gained popularity as a highly effective method for weight loss and moderation. Read our article What’s the Skinny? Breaking Down Intermittent Fasting for Women to learn more about IF and find out if it’s right for you.
Start Meal Planning
Eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight are three of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Thanks to impossible-to-follow fad diets and unrealistic workout regimens, they’re also the easiest to break. Intermittent fasting offers an easier way to jumpstart your health goals by restricting not what you eat, but when you eat. Pairing intermittent fasting with thoughtful meal planning and prep allows you to reap the many health benefits of IF without feeling hangry 100% of the time.
Find a Fasting Plan That’s Tailored to You
Interested in intermittent fasting but don’t know where to start? The DoFasting app can help! Find out which fasting schedule is right for you by taking the free quiz. DoFasting makes intermittent fasting easy with daily schedules, meal plans, and workouts, too!
Shed Pounds with Intermittent Fasting
If we haven’t convinced you to try intermittent fasting yet, read Oola writer Nora Nance’s first-hand account of how intermittent fasting helped her get to her post-baby goal weight.
Learn a New Language
Only being able to speak your native language is basic. Multilingualism is cool. Whether you’ve resolved to become bilingual, trilingual, or a polyglot, Babbel is the key to easily learning a new language. The app provides a solid foundation of grammar and vocabulary for beginners, the low price is budget-friendly, and the short lessons are easy to fit into any schedule.
2021 is the year for saying goodbye to toxic work environments. If your hard work isn’t appreciated or your boss belittles or shames you, it’s time to start dusting off your resume. The same goes for unethical o unsafe environments. If you’ve been contemplating a fresh start, our checklist can help make that difficult decision a little easier.
Commit Yourself to Conscious Consumerism
Mindfulness very well may be the key to life. This is the year to be mindful about what we purchase, where the products come from, and how they get to our homes. If you’ve committed yourself to become a more conscious consumer in 2021, here’s where to start.
Start a Yoga Practice
Perhaps you’re flirting with the idea of starting a yoga practice, or perhaps you’re a seasoned yogi who is looking to learn more. Either way, we’re breaking down the basics of each type of yoga for you.
Prepare Your Mind and Body for Baby in 2021
Making a stop at procreation station? Using your body as a portal to the universe? We all know what to expect when you’re expecting. Here’s what to expect when you’re expecting to expect.
Take a Family Bucket List Trip in 2021
Load up the station wagon, minivan, or RV and resolve to hit the road this year to take in a domestic bucket list destination this year. Most travels came to a screeching halt with the onset of the pandemic but it didn’t stop Americans from driving into the nostalgia of an old-fashioned family road trip. City escapes and trips to Disney are still problematic this summer. Instead, take this opportunity to explore some of our nation’s most storied sights and outdoor locales.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Investing in your oral health might not be on your list of resolutions, but it should be. We’re All Smiles For Better Oral Health in 2021 thanks to BURST, the oral health subscription company that brings dental hygiene to your doorstep.
Commit to Clean Beauty in 2021
Cosmetics such as skin moisturizer, perfume, lipstick, nail polish, makeup, shampoo, hair color, perms, toothpaste, and deodorant and their ingredients are largely unregulated. Per PBS, “Under current rules in the US, the FDA can only act on a product that shows evidence of harm after it’s been introduced to the market.” Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), says there are 363 “chemicals linked to adverse health effects used in beauty, personal care, and cleaning products, and fragrance formulations.”
Breastcancer.org’s Think Pink, Live Green Booklet states, “What goes on us can go in us. Ingredients such as fragrances, preservatives, and hormone extracts can be absorbed into the body.” Parabens and phthalates are two groups of chemicals that are being studied for links to breast cancer. BCPP recommends avoiding fragrance, which “can mask countless carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals, and can be found in nearly half of all personal care products.” They also advise against purchasing products made with hormones and preservatives.
We’ve rounded up some clean beauty products to help you introduce clean skincare into your routine this year.
Prioritize Saving and Investing
This past year has been an eye-opening experience for many of us. The pandemic has proven just how much our decisions and actions have consequences. This is especially true when it comes to money. If you don’t make saving and investing a priority during the good times, the lean times can be catastrophic. Here’s what you should be saving in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.
Become More Financially Literate
No matter what strides have been made toward equality, many women’s attitudes towards financial planning remain outdated. Here are some basic investment lessons to empower women with financial peace of mind and to help build a foundation of financial literacy.
Budget Like a Boss
If you have a big-ticket item on your 2021 bucket list, don’t skip this read. We reached out to our millennial budgeting expert, Camille Reeves, for practical tips on how to afford to live like you make tons of money, without breaking the bank.
Shore up Your Emergency Funds
Covid wiped out millions of bank accounts and rainy-day funds in less than a year. So what do you do if you’ve depleted your funds? Here’s a blueprint of ways to help.
Harness HENRY Energy
HENRY stands for “High Earning Not Rich Yet.” It’s how the financial industry refers to folks who have a decent amount of discretionary income and stand a good chance of becoming wealthy in the future. Find out if you’re a HENRY and how to harness that HENRY energy here.
Save More Money
Saving money on a tight budget can seem impossible, but making small, significant changes can add up quickly. Save more money without drastic life changes with these easy tips.
Stay Financially Healthy
Taking the time to create a strategy for your income—no matter how big or small—leads to incredible results. Instead of keeping all of your cash in traditional checking and savings accounts, check out how savings tools can help you get the most out of your money.