Resolving to do a new thing daily that’s outside of your current routine can be tough. Even telling yourself that you’ll go to the gym twice a week, every week for a year, is daunting! Committing to do something 100+ times when it isn’t something that you’re already doing just doesn’t come easy.
That’s why our New Year’s Resolutions are a bit different. We want to promise ourselves that we’ll do things we can keep to. So throughout 2020, we’re going to list 20 things that we’re excited to try. You can try each thing once…or go back to some of the ones you enjoy again and again. This way though, you have 20 things to look forward to throughout the year (instead of having things to dread).
Here is Part 1 of our list of 20 things we’re excited to try in 2020.
#1 – Air Purifier
We spend a large majority of our times indoors – whether it’s at work or at our homes. This is especially more so in the winter when it’s too cold and too dark to hangout outside or leave windows open for fresh air.
Why is this a problem?
We’re all familiar with outdoor air pollution and the detrimental impact on human health. Indoor air pollution is gaining a lot of attention for good reason – it’s a combination of outdoor pollution (contaminants coming in through shoes and outerwear, exhausts coming in through open windows) and indoor pollution which includes things like burnt food (even worse if you’ve ever accidentally melted plastic), candles, household chemicals and cleaners, paint, pet fur, dust mites, and mold amongst other things. Indoor pollution is contributing to the rise of allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions1,2. It’s something we don’t think about but the quality of air we breathe is important to supporting a long healthy life and when we’re spending it outdoors in polluted areas or indoors with poor air quality and indoor pollutants we’re not helping the cause.
This isn’t intended to cause panic – we’re excited to see how we can take better care of our bodies by making sure the air we breathe is cleaner. There are many things we can do to keep our indoor environment cleaner (dedicated shoe area, cleaning supplies without hazardous ingredients, regular vaccuuming, and letting in some outdoor air when living somewhere with low outdoor air pollution), but we want to learn if an air purifier can help make the air even better to breathe.
We’ll be researching the best types of purifiers and filters for our needs and sharing our learnings!
#2 – Fermentation – Is Homemade Yogurt Better Than Store Bought?
I love yogurt. From smoothie bowls to savoury dishes, yogurt has a cooling refreshing effect and helps me load up on protein. It’s one of those ingredients I’ve taken for granted – I go to the store and pick up a tub of my favourite and call it a day. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in yogurts made from grass-fed cow milk and yogurts made from buffalo milk and I definitely notice that these are miles better than the mass marketed yogurt brands that we all know (and maybe some of us love). I’ve heard that homemade yogurt tastes divine and I’m looking forward to discovering whether it’s incredible, better, the same or worse than my favorite yogurts right now.
#3 – Smart Home Plugs
If you aren’t living in a state-of-the-art home where the smarts are already pre-wired into everything, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the opportunity to better optimize your home. These items are a combination of efficiency and luxury in that they both help you better manage your energy efficiency while also letting you feel pretty cool by being able to control your appliances through the truly universal remote that is your phone.
Perhaps the most obvious impact comes from the fact that some of our rooms require floor lamps so that we’re not in the dark. We’ve gotten into a daily ritual of turning them all on in the evening after sunset and then making the circuit to turn everything off again before bed. While doing this really isn’t a major chore, there certainly have been nights where this just didn’t get accomplished.
As a note, we have some smart “bulbs” that are programmable, but we never invested in enough of them to light the whole house. Being able to have several lamps using the same smart plug makes this venture much more cost-effective.
…but other than turning lights on and off, what’s else can really be done with smart plugs?
For people who enjoy drip coffee there’s joy in having the smell of drip coffee wafting through the air and ready and hot for you when you get out of bed.
The humidifier is another thing we forget to turn on often before going to bed, then wake up feeling dry and awful. The more items we need to remember to turn on and off the less likely it is to happen – having these set on a schedule and automated will hopefully help us stay healthier and more comfortable.
Additionally, a smart plug can help you determine if you’ve unplugged a certain appliance before leaving the house. If you’ve ever left home wondering whether you’ve unplugged the iron, a quick check on your phone will be able to tell you that (instead of having to drive back home to check).
Smart plugs are pretty neat. In addition to helping keep lights on a schedule, our humidifier keeping us healthy when we need it the most and our coffee ready in the morning, we’ll be using them help us with peace-of-mind in 2020.
#4 – Color Yoga
With an increasing focus on experiences, we want to recreate popular experiences at home. Color yoga is an interesting take on yoga where the color of the room and its lightning is supposed to impact your mood and state of relaxation during the practice. It’s not too hard to create in your own space (unless you feel the need to paint the walls) and we’ll see if it makes us like yoga more or helps us relax more.
#5 – Soundbath
2020 brings more focus on slowing down and taking care of the self. Like they say in airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. If you take good care of yourself, the people, things and work around you benefits as well. Meditation was a big thing in the last couple of years and we’ve tried the popular Headspace and Calm apps. This year we want to try something more immersive to see if soundbaths, an experience where you ‘bathe’ in sound waves created by singing bowls, chimes, gongs, nature sounds and tuning forks, help us feel zen. Some research has shown that sound bath experiences with these sources of sound waves decrease stress and anxiety3. As always, everyone’s mileage will vary but we’re excited to see if this helps us feel more zen.