How Design Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

By: colleen clark

Photo via Decorpad

Feeling motivated? Us too. After a brisk jog and a green juice this morning, we meditated, signed up to volunteer more and decided that we were finallllllly going to get around to investing more. Oh and budgeting. And no more impulse shopping. Also, meatless Mondays. Ooh and maybe we’ll clean out the closet.

But a few weeks into the new year, our Netflix queue is calling, we’re back to hitting the snooze alarm and who left that pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the fridge?!  Staying motivated is hard, and we need all the help we can get. So we’ve put together design tips that will help you keep those New Year’s resolutions.

The Resolution: Cut Down on Stress

There’s a saying that the state of your bed is the state of your head. And it’s true. Studies have shown that people who regularly make the bed are happier, more productive and sleep better. So take that small step to get every day started on the right foot.

The other ingredients for a lower stress home? Lots of sunlight (a natural stress-buster and source of vitamin D) and plants, which have been shown to improve your mood and purify the air. In addition to letting the sun in, consider changing up your lighting to improve your mood. Avoid harsh overhead lighting and aim for warmer, more soothing light sources.

Resolution: Sleep Better

One of the keys to good sleep is having a bedroom you want to spend time in. The first step? Clean out the clutter and anything that visually reminds you of work or other responsibilities. If you have to have a desk in the bedroom, try to make sure it’s not visible from your bed. As you’re decluttering, ask yourself if each object makes you feel relaxed or romantic. If an item doesn’t fit that criteria, throw it out or move it to another room.

Now that you’ve got a clean slate, rethink your lighting. A dark, cavelike vibe at night helps you to fall (and stay) asleep. Add soft lighting that will help you start to power down as you get ready for bed. Invest in light-blocking curtains and avoid alarm clocks that light up. Seeing the time in the middle of the night can stress you out and prevent you from falling back to sleep.

The Resolution: Exercise More

One of the biggest hurdles to regular exercise is just getting to the gym. So why not bring the gym home to you? You don’t need an entire room dedicated to fancy equipment though. Create an at home yoga studio by storing mats, bricks and straps in a corner in a beautiful basket. Or dedicate an area of your garage to weights, a punching bag and a medicine ball.

Not interested in working out at home? Keep the gym top of mind by putting a stylish gym bag front and center in your mudroom or entryway. Be sure you have to see it each time your enter or exit the house. And be sure to incorporate activity into every day life. Buy a standing desk for your home office, consider watching TV from exercise balls instead of the couch and keep a bike handy for small errands in lieu of hopping in a car.

The Resolution: Eat Better

The design of your kitchen has a lot to do with the food choices that you make throughout the week. The key is to create visual reminders to make better eating choices. For example, keep your food vices on high shelves out of view or tucked into the back of your fridge. Display fruits and healthy snacks in a beautiful bowl on the counter or in the fridge at eye level.

Also consider important visuals in your kitchen. Decorating in predominantly warm colors like red, yellow and orange can stimulate the appetite (ever wonder why McDonald’s colors are red and yellow?). Instead stick to cooler hues like blues and greens or darker colors like black and brown.

Consider investing in new smaller dishware. The larger the plates or bowls you use, the more likely you’ll be to over serve yourself. One study found that using oversized dishware results in eating 9%-31% more per meal. Even just adding an extra 50 calories per day can result in an extra five pounds of weight gain per year. So do yourself a favor and switch to a beautiful set of more reasonably sized dishes.

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