A New Year’s resolution you’ll actually keep (that has nothing to do with the gym)

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The new year is quickly approaching, and with it comes the same resolutions that we inevitably will break by February. For most of us, the top three New Year’s resolutions always focus on weight and diet, exercise, or finances, and, according to statisticbrain.com, 48.4% of us will struggle mightily to keep them.

I know for me it’s nearly impossible to convince myself it’s a good idea to venture out each morning from under the warmth of my covers into Minnesota’s ice tundra for a jog. But this year, I have an alternate resolution that you will actually stick with for longer than a month.

This year, exercise your brain instead of your body. No cost, no driving, and no gym. Your brain is your command center and keeping it healthy is one of the best resolutions you can make for yourself. In a recent interview, Jim Kwik, a world-recognized expert in brain performance, memory improvement, speed-reading and founder of Kwik Learning, shared his morning routine for better brain health. Even if you choose to implement only one or two of Kwik’s simple recommendations you’ll be well on your way to enhanced mental performance and a healthier brain for the new year.

Jim Kwik’s Morning Routine

Remember Your Dreams

Right when you wake up practice recalling your dreams. Your mind doesn’t shut off while you sleep and is constantly working on solving problems. Many famous inventions and revolutionary ideas were conceived from dreams, from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to the sewing machine.

Make Your Bed

By completing this simple task to begin your morning, you start off your day with a win. You can carry this momentum through the rest of your day not to mention the incredible feeling of coming home and collapsing onto a freshly made bed.

Brush Your Teeth with the Opposite Hand

As Kwik says, “When the body moves, the mind grooves.” By using your non-dominant hand you force your brain to work a little harder, make new connections, and grow stronger.

Hydrate

Among the many benefits of drinking water, hydrating as part of your morning routine helps clear mental fatigue and wakes up your mind for the rest of your busy day.

Take a Cold Shower

Now before you immediately say no, a cold shower helps lower inflammation and resets your nervous system. Showering also puts your brain into the theta wave state which is great for creativity. So if you’re stuck on a problem just jump in the shower and you’re bound to have that Eureka moment. If a cold shower seems too extreme work your way up to a cold temperature by starting with lukewarm water and ending with a cold blast that’ll be sure to wake you up!

Brain Tea

Kwik makes a tea to boost his brain by adding MCT oil, gotu kola, ginkgo, lion’s mane, and honey. Make your favorite tea and experiment with these combinations!

Journal

Follow in the footsteps of Da Vinci, Einstein, and Edison who all journaled. Taking a few moments to journal allows you to slow down for reflection and keep your goals on track. Kwik suggests every morning to write 3 things you want to accomplish professionally and 3 things you’d like to achieve personally for that day. They can be big or small. This enables you to focus your day and feel that sense of accomplishment after completing your goals.

Brain Power Smoothie

Smoothies are excellent for cramming a plethora of nutrient rich foods and delicious goodness into one meal. Kwik recommends blending up super brain foods like blueberries, walnuts, avocados, coconut oil, leafy greens, turmeric, and dark chocolate.

Read

Kwik strongly underscores the notion that “readers are leaders.” By setting aside 20 to 30 minutes each day to read you’ll be able to finish one book a week. With the average person reading only 2 books a year, you’ll be well ahead of the curve gaining knowledge to help you show up more powerfully for yourself and others.

Frankly, the best resolutions are the ones you’ll actually keep and Jim Kwik offers simple yet powerful techniques that you can adopt for a happy brain and healthier year.