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Already Quit Your New Year’s Resolutions? Get Back On Track With TCM!

If you’ve already abandoned your New Year’s resolutions, you’ve got lots of company. According to market research firm DriveResearch, just 9% of adults keep them all year long, 80% of all resolutions are forgotten by mid-winter and nearly a quarter of adults (23%) quit by the end of the first week of January. 

But did you know that TCM offers easy ways to recommit to your New Year’s Resolutions? You don’t have to recommit to every single resolution you made, But check out how easy it is to stay on track with a couple of health goals using TCM.

Resolution #1: Drink More Water

Being busy all day, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. The recommended 8 glasses of water a day? That goal is downright impossible for most people to achieve. Some people forget to drink even one glass. Besides being too busy to drink water, some people just aren’t that in love with the plain taste of water. Instead, if they drink fluids during the day, it’s usually something filled with added sugars such as fruit juice or energy drinks. 

One TCM way to easily satiate your thirst and stay hydrated is by drinking chrysanthemum tea (make it in seconds flat with extract granules). Known for its cooling properties, chrysanthemum tea can be cooled in the refrigerator in the summer. You can drink it hot any time of year to stay hydrated. As an added bonus, chrysanthemum (Ju Hua) can help you feel calmer by clearing heat from the Liver channel.

Resolution #2: Managing Weight

Just 9% of adults keep resolutions all year long, 80% of all resolutions are forgotten by mid-winter and nearly a quarter of adults (23%) quit by the end of the first week of January.   

TCM views weight management as a reflection of overall balance. Herbs like hawthorn berry (Shan Zha) can aid digestion and help manage weight by promoting the movement of food in the digestive system. If you need help in supporting metabolism and appetite, consider the Modern Essentials formula by ActiveHerb, Slimin, which includes Shan Zha and five other Chinese herbs. Just three capsules twice daily may help support weight management and overall energy. 

Resolution #3: Being Active

Many people make a resolution to be more physically active but they hate exercising. Intense exercise isn’t for everybody, whether it’s the uncomfortable feeling of being in a gym surrounded by bodybuilders or the lack of desire to break a sweat. But the good news is that you don’t have to exercise at a high intensity to be healthy. In fact, doing high-intensity exercise can weaken the immune system. Instead, try your hand at Tai Chi or Qi Gong. You can find free online introductory videos on YouTube. Start with just 5 minutes a day; eventually, your internal Qi will build up tremendously. 

In addition, you can try adding adaptogenic herbs such as Ginseng (Ren Shen) to support stamina and overall vitality.

Resolution #4: Being Calmer

Many people lose their temper from time to time. But when anger and irritability become chronic, it can affect your physical health. If your resolution is to be more centered, grounded and emotionally stable, you can’t go wrong with stress-management techniques. These days, with guided deep breathing apps, it’s never been easier to keep your cool. 

In addition, you can use TCM herbs to support emotional balance. Try reishi mushroom (Ling Zhi) to calm your spirit or a formula like Xiao Yao San, available as EaseTonic, a Modern Essentials brand from ActiveHerb.

Resolution #5: Get More Sleep

Don’t be so stuck on the hours of sleep you’re getting (or not getting). Instead, focus on the quality of the sleep you’re getting. If you only sleep a handful of hours but feel refreshed upon waking, then who is to say you need 8 hours? 

TCM herbs have been used for centuries to support sleep. Consider trying the TCM herb Suan Zao Ren (Jujube seeds) to calm the Heart—the seat of your Shen (loose translation: “spirit”). In addition, ActiveHerb offers 7 formulas that may support sleep. Please read the product descriptions to see which formula best suits your specific needs. 

Resolution #6: Reduce Stress

OK, so this resolution may seem identical to #4 on the list, being calmer. However, it’s possible to not have that much stress in life and still be quick to anger. At the same time, many people who rarely get angry can still have lots of stress. Therefore, reducing stress deserves its own resolution. In light of this, how can TCM help? Again, you can turn to moving meditative practices such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. In addition, you can take Chai Hu Shu Gan Pian, an herbal formula containing Bupleurum, Peony, and others, that helps soothe Liver Qi stagnation, thereby easing the effects of stress.

Resolution #7: Quit Smoking 

An estimated 11.5% of American adults—28.5 million—smoke. Taking TCM herbs or formulas may not solely help you with smoking cessation, but certain ones like LungVigor may help tonify your Lungs. 

In addition, acupuncture may help improve the chances of continuing with smoking cessation. In fact, a 2023 meta-analysis published in Tobacco Induced Diseases included 88 randomized clinical trials involving 12,434 participants. The conclusion suggests that “TCM intervention [acupuncture] shows potential effectiveness on the continuous abstinence rate. Extending the intervention time can enhance the effect of TCM on nicotine withdrawal symptoms.” 

Resolution #8: Enhancing Skin Health

More people are becoming aware that skin health comes from the inside, not from the 12 beauty products the average woman uses on a daily basis, according to Harvard Health. In TCM theory, radiant skin reflects internal balance. To nourish your skin internally, consider incorporating anti-aging herbs like goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) or formulas like Fang Feng Tong Sheng Pian (Available as Weitalite, a Guang Ci Tang brand by ActiveHerb. Weitalite kills two resolutions with one formula: it supports metabolism and skin by cleansing the body internally. 

Which resolutions are you trying to keep this year? Leave a comment below.