With the turning of the new year comes a fresh new quarter. January is traditionally a time of year for refreshing your life. Trying new things, implementing new goals, and generally airing out the old and starting anew.
With the new year and new quarter, we wanted to pass along some of the things we’re loving. While we think these are the must have things for your new quarter, we’re not sponsored or affiliated with any of these services or products.
What We’re Downloading
If you’ve ever made a new year’s resolution that didn’t stick or tried to build a new habit, you know it can be tough. That’s where Fabulous comes in. This app takes the science of behaviors and combines it with technology to help you build a daily routine for a healthier more intentional lifestyle. No matter what goal or habit you’re working towards, Fabulous can help you get there.
After downloading the app, you take their brief survey which will help you to find the areas in your life where you feel like you need something new. After the survey is complete, you’ll start getting push notifications and being encouraged to participate in challenges to compete with other members and yourself to build new habits and routines.
What We’re Listening To
Just the right music can make the difference between a productive work day and a drag-your-heels, struggle-bus day. Flow State is a free email newsletter that sends you a selection of word-free music that’s perfect for focusing. If you get tired of listening to the same thing over and over again, Flow State is just what you need.
If you’re interested, you can upgrade to the premium version of Flow State which gets you access to their weekly playlist mash-up, their private Spotify playlist, and the ability to put the playlist into an RSS feed or podcast app.
What We’re Reading
Marketplace Email Newsletters
If you’re looking for a dose of smart, readable content to hit your inbox each day, sign-up for the Marketplace email newsletter. The Marketplace Daily email newsletter gives you a summary of the weekday’s economic news. If you’re a fan of the podcast, this is a great way to get their content in a different format. You can also subscribe to the Make Me Smart newsletter which comes out weekly with news about what’s trending, breaking, and buzzing.
What We’re Doing
Like many others, we’re kicking off the new year with some goals and ideas on how we want to improve our lives. The problem with trying to achieve goals is its just downright hard. That’s why, this year, we’re tapping into a little bit of behavioral science: habit bundling.
The original idea behind habit bundling comes from a term called temptation bundling, which was coined by behavior researcher Katherine Milkman in a 2014 study. In the study, Milkman and colleagues have participants access to iPods with audiobooks they wanted to listen to. The catch: they could only access the iPods while working out. The results of the study showed that participants started spending more time at the gym.
The larger conclusion of Milkman’s research into incentives and motivation is that when you pair a habit you don’t like with something that you do like, you’re more likely to complete that task. That’s how the idea of habit bundling came to be.
If you’re trying to build a new habit, you’ll want to do two things:
- Pair that new habit with an old habit
- Create an incentive to completing the new habit
For example, if your goal is to eat a healthy breakfast each morning, you’ll want to find a way of bundling that habit with another habit. If you routinely clean up your kitchen after dinner, you can start bundling your breakfast prep with your dinner clean up. Prep your overnight oats the night before so you have an easy, grab-and-go breakfast the next day. To create a little extra incentive, you can listen to your favorite podcast while cleaning up and making your breakfast for the next day. But remember: that’s the only time you get to listen to that podcast, that’s how it becomes the incentive.
What We’re Cooking
Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Italian Sausage
When it comes to easy cooking and clean-up, it’s hard to beat a sheet pan dinner. With this gnocchi and Italian sausage recipe, you can get comfort food with minimal mess. The cherry on top is that this meal uses pantry staples and shelf-stable ingredients, so they’re all easy to keep on hand for those nights you don’t feel like cooking.
Cheers to the new year! For the first quarter of this year, you can focus on your goals and the things that will nourish your mind, body, and soul. We hope this app, music, and recipe suggestions will be just the thing you need.