Resolution Roundup - New Year's Resolution Ideas from Leading Baylor Experts
From improving your diet to detoxing from digital devices, Baylor experts share ideas on making - and keeping - your resolutions
WACO, Texas (Dec. 11, 2023) - New Year's resolutions are often well intentioned but truth be told, they can be really difficult to keep. We asked Baylor University experts to offer resolution ideas that might be easier for us to sustain while making positive changes in our lives.
Using SMART goals also can help you create realistic resolutions and increase your chances of following through, whether that’s improving your diet, detoxing from digital devices or getting your finances – or even your spiritual life – in better shape.
What to do about diet?
Diet and nutrition are generally at the top of the list for resolutions. Instead of focusing on a restricting diet, Baylor nutrition professor LesLee Funderburk, Ph.D., R.D., whose research identifies the best practices to promote good nutrition, has some ideas you can incorporate into your resolutions.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake by at least 1-2 servings per day. An easy way to do this is to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Be aware of portion sizes and consider using smaller serving plates/bowls to decrease your overall calorie intake. When eating out, share an entrée or take half of it home for another meal, and order a side salad or veggies instead of fries.
- Consume 1-2 servings of dairy per day, preferably fat-free or 1% options like milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt and cheese.
With many people working at home, Baylor human sciences and design professor Elise King, M.I.D., M.A., an expert in using interior design to help support wellness and productivity, encourages people to incorporate nature into their at-home workspaces. Even small changes can provide a closer connection with nature, which can reduce stress and increase productivity. These simple changes can help you achieve your professional and personal goals in 2024:
- Bring plants into your workspace to keep more connected with nature.
- Have access to outdoor views to keep you orientated to the time of day and season.
- Use natural light to help regulate your circadian rhythm which will keep you feeling more rested.
Financial planning/savings tips
While many individuals look to improve their physical condition in 2024, resolving to get in good financial shape in the coming year is just as important. Sandeep Mazumder, Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, recommends taking those steps to start a financial and savings plan.
- Plan early. It’s never too early to start planning for the future. Make forecasts for future planned spending and start saving money now on a regular basis to meet those future goals.
- Excel is your friend. One of the best ways to make your budget and produce forecasts is by using Excel. It is not difficult to create a simple spreadsheet with easy formulas to forecast your future savings and spending plans, or use free templates in Excel.
- Pray about it. All things belong to God—including your current and future money—so pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as you’re making decisions.
If you want to spend less time on your digital devices, Baylor management professor Meridith David, Ph.D., can help. As an expert in digital media behavior, David focuses her research on smartphone use, social media and consumer well-being, and her studies show that social media usage increases feelings of loneliness and can undermine self-control. David suggests taking a cleanse from social media in the new year.
- Track your phone use. You might be shocked at how much time you spend on social media.
- Set time limits on the activities that take up most of your time on your phone.
- Shut off notifications. They cause distractions from other activities and can pull you back into social media.
Matthew D. Kim, Ph.D., professor of practical theology and The Hubert H. and Gladys S. Raborn Chair of Pastoral Leadership at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, offers suggestions for spiritual growth and resolutions in faith and worship. Kim reminds us that God does not want spiritual disciplines or practices to be burdensome but rather to be a delight. “God created us to enjoy Him,” he said.
- Spiritual resolutions, like all resolutions, will be broken. The key is to continue in them even when we miss or skip.
- Like working any muscle, spiritual-based goals are best implemented in small increments rather than large, unrealistic ambitions.
- The best way to keep our spiritual resolutions is to commit with others who will encourage us to stay strong in our commitments.
“The benefit of daily spiritual rhythms is that we will grow in our faith and discipleship,” Kim said. “The benefits are simply enjoying the Lord and enjoying His people in the community.”
Take charge of your personal cybersecurity
Don’t let cybercriminals steal your personal information.
Baylor cybersecurity experts Shaun Hutton and Jeff Donahoo, Ph.D., with the Central Texas Cyber Range and Baylor’s Cybersecurity Research and Education (BU CybRE) initiative, offer three simple yet critical strategies to project your digital information from a cyberattack.
- Reduce an attacker’s ability to harm you by keeping devices up to date and enabling protections such as anti-malware and firewalls.
- Limit access to your sensitive information by reviewing social media account privacy settings and restricting access to only those you know, waiting to post about travel until after you have returned, and not sharing your location.
- Use strong authentication by using a password manager to generate unique and strong passwords for all of your accounts and enabling multifactor authentication.
Additional personal cybersecurity tips are available on the Baylor Information Technology BearAware website.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.