New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously easy to make and hard to keep. Incredible as it may sound, a simple cup of coffee just might be the key to success this time around.
The Daily Routine
In today’s fast-paced world of smartphones, Bluetooth and instantaneous information, sometimes the toughest challenge is carving out a few minutes of everyday to unplug. Distractions abound—it’s no wonder TheTopTens.com listed decreasing stress as users’ top New Year’s Resolution of 2015.
A morning routine that includes just fifteen minutes of journaling, reading, reflection or meditation can work wonders on the rest of your day, and the best thing to have on hand for those quiet moments is a hot cup of coffee. As TheKitchn.com muses, “coffee is certainly not just a morning drink, but there's something in its characteristics and properties—warm and caffeinated—that have made it so we identify it with our morning routines.” Adding coffee to your morning not only helps you focus by making you more awake and alert, it also ensures that those other resolutions for more organization and reflection fall into line, too. Associating coffee with your new morning routine makes that routine that much easier to fall into each day.
Coffee Fuels Your Workout
Our culture is nearly as obsessed with losing weight as it is about losing stress. In a recent survey of college students at Brown University, researchers found that nearly three-quarters of normal-weight women thought about their weight or appearance “all the time” or “frequently;” almost half of normal-weight men responded the same way. It’s no surprise, then, that weight loss tops most New Year’s Resolutions lists.
The good news: coffee can help prolong your workouts! Caffeine breaks down the body’s fat stores and releases fatty acids into the bloodstream. In doing so, caffeine effectively reduces the depletion of glycogen (which your body uses for energy) by as much as 50%, thereby prolonging the exercise period by “sparing” glycogen for later utilization. In workout terms, this means that you can run for longer periods of time without feeling fatigued. In resolution terms, it means you can hold yourself accountable.
A Reason to Connect
If you feel alone lately, you are—well, not alone. More and more of your day probably involves interacting with fewer and fewer people. That feeling of disconnectedness is rampant—a 2013 Gallup poll found that a whopping seventy percent of Americans feel “emotionally disconnected” at work. Could this be sufficient reason to resolve to connect more with others around us?
Coffee is the Swiss-Army knife of social connection—at the office espresso machine, at the coffee shop, on the street—it turns up wherever there’s human interaction. It really does give us a good reason to tear ourselves away from our screens and start a real conversation—as of yet, coffee hasn’t gone digital—and you may come to find a cup is always better when there’s someone there to share it with.