2024 New Year’s resolution: Make it a year that doesn’t count

As the calendar flips to 2024, you might start pondering over New Year’s resolutions again. Most of them are promises we make to ourselves to either start something new or quit an old habit.

But let’s be honest– New Year’s resolutions are mostly scams. A study showed that 87% of those planning on making New Year resolutions were confident that they would stick to their resolutions, but by February only 22% had stuck to them entirely.

New Year's Resolution: make this year not count

Now, we don’t want to sound discouraging. Instead, how about twisting the concept a bit? How about a different resolution? Let’s make 2024, not, count.

Trust us, it’s not a call to inaction, but quite the opposite. In 2024, we’re focusing on building longevity habits. We are adopting lifestyle changes to ensure we age in reverse.

You in?

Why make this year not count?

Truth be told, the lifestyle habits you pick for 2024 can ensure the upcoming year doesn’t ‘count’ against your health and lifespan– meaning, you can age backwards. Age reversal is no longer science fiction, and is all within your reach.

This involves adopting certain practices that will enhance your life’s quality and length, not just for the moment, but for the many years to come.

Instead of the usual vows of drastic diets or extreme fitness regimes, let’s talk about resolutions that are sustainable and scientifically backed to boost longevity. 

You have to start making commitments not just to your present self but to your future self instead. Make each step is a stride towards a healthier, longer life, without making it hard to even begin with.

Common new year’s resolutions

Globally, New Year’s resolutions tend to place a high priority on health.

Common resolutions span from healthier eating and increased exercise to weight loss. Closely following is the goal of financial saving. Fair enough, everyone is trying to do themselves good.

  • In 2020, a significant amount aimed for healthier eating habits. This included 44% of respondents in the UK and Poland, and 43% in the USA.
  • A 2019 survey revealed a strong inclination towards health improvement in the USA, with 59% aiming to increase exercise, 54% focusing on healthier eating, and 48% setting sights on weight loss.
  • The year 2018 saw about 53% of Americans set their sights on saving money, while 45% were keen on getting into better shape.
  • Interestingly, in 2018, only 16% aimed to quit smoking, a huge contrast to its past popularity as a New Year’s resolution.
  • A 2017 study at Stockholm University highlighted that over 70% of participants had resolutions in the “physical health” category. Following were “self-improvement” at 10% and “psychological health” at 5%.
  • The US government noted in 2014 that about half of the most common resolutions were health-related, with the top spots going to weight loss and quit smoking, followed by healthier eating, fitness goals, stress management, and reduced alcohol consumption.
  • A Finnish study in 2000 observed a notable increase in serious attempts to quit smoking in January compared to other months.
  • Back in 1998, Americans showed a diverse range of health-focused resolutions: 51% aimed to consume more fruits and vegetables, 67% to exercise more, 61% to eat healthier, 58% to reduce stress levels, 49% to reduce fat intake, and 48% to lose weight.

These statistics paint a clear picture: improving physical health and financial well-being have been consistent focal points in New Year’s resolutions over the years. But what actually is the success rate of those New Year’s resolutions? The data show a sad number…

New year’s resolutions success rate

On average, less than 10 % of Americans making resolutions are able to complete them. Studies show that around 23% of people quit their resolutions by the end of the first week, and 43% quit by the end of January. 

Let’s understand why many fall off track so early, and how you can make it till the end. Motivation isn’t really the answer. It’s all about how you approach ”resolutions”. Learn to transform them into lasting routines.

Reassessing traditional resolutions

Year after year, many of us fall into the trap of setting stereotypical resolutions– lose weight, get fit, eat healthier. Whilst these goals are commendable, they often miss a crucial aspect– sustainability and impact on our long-term health. 

Traditional new year's resolution
Write down goals for your future self.

This year, pivot your approach towards resolutions that are not just a temporary fix but a lifelong investment in your longevity. And these are going to be easy to implement, once it becomes clear in your mind that, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

Consider the typical resolution to lose weight. This frequently results in adopting short-lived diets that are challenging to sustain and may even have adverse effects over time. 

Often, people find themselves abandoning these diets, followed by a period of self-reproach for not adhering to their personal commitment. This can lead to dissatisfaction with one’s body image and the negative thoughts and emotions will spiral in.

Similarly, resolutions to join a gym or begin intensive exercise routines tend to lose momentum as the year unfolds. It’s essential to remember that exercise doesn’t exclusively mean gym workouts. Gym is not for everyone. 

Seeing all sorts of gym workouts on social media such as Instagram or YouTube can amplify feelings of inadequacy, especially for those finding it hard to make it to the gym. This can potentially increase negative self-perceptions.

The list goes on, but as we reassess these traditional resolutions, it’s important to understand that everyone is indeed unique. Your friends and family may not enjoy the same things as you do, and that’s totally okay. In fact, as long as it’s benefiting your body and mind, even if nobody does it, you do you.

Your goal is to constantly choose paths that are enjoyable, manageable, and most importantly, beneficial in the long run. It’s about making choices that support your overall well-being, not just ticking off a checklist of annual habits. 

By focusing on sustainability and long-term health benefits, you’ll set yourself up for success automatically. And these habits will become second to nature, once you go through the hard phase of letting go of the bad ones.

Learn how to break bad habits and form good ones here.

Longevity focused New Year’s resolutions

Here we go. The following are some habits to help you make this year truly not count. Literally, your cells will love you for sticking up to these.

We’re not prescribing concrete actions. Instead, we’re sharing the things you should be focusing on if you really want to set New Year’s resolutions for yourself. 

The actual execution is in your hands. You’ll know what’s best for you. This approach will only guide you to tailor the habits to your personal journey in making 2024 truly transformative.

1. Prioritise your sleep quality

First things first. Understand that without restful nights almost everyday, you won’t make any of your other resolutions. In fact, you won’t even be in good health in the long run. 

If you’re looking to go hiking in your 70s or scuba diving in your 80s, make sleep your number one priority.

Sleep isn’t just a period of rest; it’s a critical component of your longevity strategy. Quality sleep rejuvenates your body, helps regulate hormones, and repairs cells, which are vital for delaying the ageing process. 

Aim for 7–9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Creating a sleep-friendly environment and a consistent bedtime routine can work wonders for your sleep quality. Remember, if you do not have quality sleep, no other healthy habits matter.

2. Mindful eating over dieting

Understand the nutritional value of foods, and how they affect your body’s ageing process. Once you see food as actual medicine, you’ll start treating your body differently. Discover our top 10 longevity diet tips.

Consuming anti-inflammatory foods reduce or prevent chronic inflammation in your body, which is linked to numerous health conditions like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

Instead of crash diets or restrictive eating patterns, adopt mindful eating. This means being aware of what, when, and how much you eat. This includes cooking the foods your body loves– an art in itself, which is not only a relaxing activity but will also save you crazy amount of money.

Focus on nutrient-rich foods that are known to support longevity, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Eliminate, slowly, but surely, all the highly processed or sugar-packed foods.

Intermittent fasting can also be a beneficial practice, as it’s been linked to improved metabolism and longer lifespan.

Learn how to perform the right type of fasting.

3. Stress management techniques

Chronic stress is a silent enemy of longevity. Recognising when you’re stressed is one of the biggest step in your journey towards a longer, and healthier life.

It often goes undetected, and can have detrimental effects on both your mental and physical health, undermining other health efforts.

Integrate practices such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness into your daily routine. These not only reduce stress but also improve your overall mental resilience, crucial for a longer, healthier life.

They will help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, reducing the intensity of stress responses. You can also try breathing exercises, or simply engage in hobbies that relax and rejuvenate you. 

Remember, managing stress is not about eliminating it completely— which is an unrealistic goal. It’s more about learning to manage your reaction to stress. We all need it. 

4. Regular health check-ups

Emphasising the importance of preventative healthcare cannot be overstated. These check-ups serve as a proactive approach to identify and address potential health issues before they escalate, significantly improving the chances of successful treatment.

Consultations with healthcare professionals shouldn’t be limited to when you feel unwell. These sessions provide an opportunity for health education and establishing a better understanding of your body’s needs and changes. It also allows for personalised advice on lifestyle changes and interventions that can enhance your health and longevity.

Regular screenings can help detect conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and various forms of cancer at an early, more manageable stage. Blood tests as well as saliva tests can now also uncover from nutrient deficiencies to organ function issues.

5. Supplements for Longevity

This one is a topic that’s close to our hearts— the importance of longevity supplements.

The Avea Cell Primer.

Avea’s longevity supplements are designed to support various aspects of your health. Whether it’s for boosting energy, improving cellular health, or enhancing cognitive function, our supplements can be a valuable addition to your daily regimen.

The Cell Primer, developed by a team of longevity experts, is a prime example. This supplement helps support cellular health and counteract multiple hallmarks of ageing. 

Discover the 12 hallmarks of ageing.

It contains ingredients like Quercetin, Fisetin, PQQ, Ergothioneine, Spermidine, and Selenium. These natural ingredients are well-recognised in the longevity field for their antioxidant properties, aiding in defending cells against oxidative stress, promoting autophagy for cellular renewal, and supporting the clearing of senescent cells. 

Benefits you can expect to see

  • Improved energy levels: Feel more energetic and active.
  • Enhanced cognitive clarity: Experience clearer thinking and improved focus.
  • Visible skin improvement: Notice healthier, more rejuvenated skin.
  • Increased physical endurance: Find yourself able to engage in physical activities more effectively.
  • Boosted immune function: Experience better overall health.

When you have your foundation, your body and mind is ready to focus on its goals.

6. Physical activity

Integrate physical activity into your daily life. Something you will enjoy and can sustain throughout the year. It doesn’t always have to be structured exercise.

Simple changes like taking the stairs, walking more, or engaging in hobbies that involve physical movement can have a substantial impact on your health and longevity. Change as much as you need until you find that one activity that keeps you moving daily.

Remember, the consistency and enjoyment of the activity are more important than the intensity. By ensuring you move daily in a way that brings you joy, you’re not just working towards a single year’s resolution, but cultivating a lifelong habit that supports your health and well-being.

7. Social connections

Nurturing social connections is more than just spending time with others; it’s about enhancing the quality of those interactions. Learning effective communication skills will enrich your relationships in all areas of life, whether it’s with your family, friends, or colleagues. 

Practice the art of active listening, showing genuine interest and understanding in conversations. Cultivating gratitude in your relationships can also strengthen bonds and foster a positive environment. 

These skills not only enhance your personal connections but also contribute significantly to your emotional and mental well-being, an essential component of longevity.

8. Learning and cognitive health

Keep your brain active and challenged. Activating and nurturing your brain is as crucial as physical fitness in your journey to longevity. 

Continuous learning and mental challenges keep your cognitive functions sharp and help stave off age-related decline. Embrace activities that stimulate your mind, like learning new skills, solving puzzles, or picking up a new language. 

These practices not only enhance your cognitive health but also add a fulfilling and engaging dimension to your life. Think of them as a workout for your brain, essential for maintaining its health and vitality.

Bonus tips

Here are some bonus tips from neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman. He highlights the vital influence of light on our health and well-being.

  1. Morning sunlight for cortisol and circadian rhythm: Exposing yourself to sunlight within the first few hours of waking up boosts early-day cortisol, beneficial for your immune system, metabolism, and focus. It also regulates your circadian clock, affecting hunger and body temperature. Even on cloudy days, this exposure is beneficial.
  2. Afternoon sunlight for sleep reinforcement: Late afternoon sunlight, with its specific wavelengths, helps signal to your brain that it’s evening, helping in the transition to sleep. It also serves as a secondary cue for your circadian clock, especially if morning sunlight was missed.

Discover Andrew Huberman’s supplements.

Setting achievable New Year’s resolutions

Setting resolutions is one thing, but turning them into achievable goals is where the real challenge lies.

To ensure that your longevity-focused resolutions stand the test of time, it’s crucial to set realistic and personalised goals. Here’s a guideline:

  1. Start small: 

Begin with small, manageable changes rather than drastic transformations. For instance, instead of aiming to completely change your diet, start by incorporating one or two new meals per week. Small successes build momentum and confidence.

  1. Personalise your approach: 

Nobody can be you. Everyone’s journey to longevity is unique. Your goals should reflect your personal health needs, interests, and lifestyle. Take external factors as well as your own body’s voice into consideration, before you begin with.

  1. Track your progress: 

Keeping a journal or using apps to track your progress can be incredibly motivating. Regularly reviewing your achievements and setbacks helps you stay committed and adjust your strategies as needed.

  1. Stay flexible: 

Be prepared to adapt your goals as circumstances change. Life is unpredictable, and flexibility is key to maintaining long-term commitments. The smart one prepares for changes.

  1. Celebrate milestones: 

Come on, do this one for us and for yourself. Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. These celebrations reinforce positive behaviour and keep you motivated.

By setting achievable goals, you’re more likely to maintain your resolutions throughout the year. Remember, the aim is to create a sustainable lifestyle that promotes longevity, not to achieve short-term gains.

Key takeaway

As we wrap up our exploration of longevity-focused New Year’s resolutions, it’s clear that making this year ‘not count’ in the traditional sense is all about investing in our future selves. By adopting resolutions that nurture your body, mind, and soul, you’re setting the stage for a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

The key takeaway is to shift your perspective from short-term fixes to long-term wellness. Remember, it’s the small, consistent changes that yield significant results over time.

So, let’s step into 2024 with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to our health and longevity. Let’s make this year count by making it ‘not count’. 

Here’s to a year of making smart choices, embracing healthy habits, and moving steadily towards a future where every year is better than the last. Happy New Year, and here’s to a long, healthy life!

By Aishani Rajarai

Aishani Rajarai is a scientific writer and neuroscience enthusiast. She holds a BSc in biochemistry and cell biology, and a minor in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Her mission at Avea is to bring the science of longevity through blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, and social media content to the public, so people can live a healthier, longer, and happier life.

Aishani Rajarai is a scientific writer and neuroscience enthusiast. She holds a BSc in biochemistry and cell biology, and a minor in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Her mission at Avea is to bring the science of longevity through blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, and social media content to the public, so people can live a healthier, longer, and happier life.