The start of a new calendar year is often met with both excitement and anxiety.
We’re excited to leave the past behind and start working on new goals.
But we’re also anxious about the future and the challenges that come along with getting one year older.
Nevertheless we human beings are optimists.
We have faith in humanity and ourselves and if there’s an opportunity for growth, we try to seize it.
That’s where the beauty and fulfilment of New Year’s resolutions comes into the picture.
We can put the past behind us and plan for a better future.
Here are our top New Year’s resolutions for self defense.
1. Physical Body and Fitness
Fitness goals are one of the top New Year’s resolutions year in and year out.
Being in control of your body and physical appearance is one thing we sometimes take for granted with today’s luxuries, indulgences, and conveniences.
The New Year is the perfect time to start working on your physical body right in time for Spring and the warm weather.
And not surprisingly, improving your physical body and fitness has a direct and noticeable effect on your ability to defend yourself. Here are some fitness goals that will increase your self defense abilities:
Self defense fitness goals include:
- Losing weight
- Increasing your muscle and strength through lifting weights or working out
- Running, biking, swimming, and other cardio activities
- Improving your flexibility through stretching, yoga, or other exercises
- Choosing to walk or bike more rather than driving or taking public transportation
- Increasing your endurance through cardio
- Learning new sports and activities that will train your body with muscle memory
Why do the above fitness goals have a direct impact on your ability to defend yourself?
Why would swimming or taking a yoga class improve your ability to fight off an attacker?
Fighting off an attacker is an intense, physically demanding combat that requires anything and everything you’ve got.
The stronger you are, the better chance you have at pushing or striking the attacker and causing damage.
The faster you are, the greater your ability to run away or seek help.
The more flexible you are, the better you’ll be able to defend yourself without getting injured.
The more endurance you have, the longer you’ll be able to fight off an attacker without losing energy.
The bottom line is if you’ve ever had to fight someone in self defense or if you’ve ever participated in organized fighting, you know how physically grueling it is.
Combat requires high levels of physical conditioning such as strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, and muscle memory and improving these areas will make you a much less desirable target for an attacker.
Here's a link to 10 easy flexibility exercises to help keep you nimble: 10 Flexibility Exercises
2. Eat Healthier
Eating better and starting a new diet is another habitual New Year’s resolution.
You only get one body so treat it right.
Eating healthier is often misrepresented as eating bland, unappetizing foods against your will.
The reality of eating healthier is that it can be just as delicious, inexpensive, and easy as the “unhealthy” foods.
Additionally, you don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet. Changing one small habit can go a long way. Substituting water or tea instead of soda at lunch can make a noticeable difference.
So how does eating healthier impact your ability to defend yourself?
Eating healthier will give you more energy and provide proper nutrients and sustenance to help your body grow stronger and leaner.
Here are some tips to eat healthier for self protection in 2021:
- Drink less soda and sugary drinks
- Drink more water or unsweetened teas
- Plan out your meals so you don’t make last minute decisions on meals like fast food
- Eat more fruits and veggies through delicious meals like salads, wraps, and soups
- Eat more lean proteins and seafood by opting for chicken breast and fish
- Eat more whole grains by ordering multigrain bagels or bread when you get sandwiches or breakfast, and opt for brown rice when ordering entrees that come with rice
- Eat more nuts, seeds, and beans which are inexpensive and can be added to yogurt, smoothies and snacks
- Eat less fried foods
- Eat less processed foods
- Eat less fast foods
- Eat less desserts
Moderation is the key.
As long as your diet generally encompasses a healthy approach, then eating unhealthy foods once in a while won’t have any negative effects.
Just remember that everything you put into your body has an effect on it. If you want the most optimal and high functioning body to fight off an attacker, you should consciously decide what you put into it.
Nowadays with technology, innovation, meatless alternatives, and increasing demand, eating healthy is not only good for you but it can be just as inexpensive, fast, and delicious as eating unhealthy foods.
3. Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication skills are another popular New Year’s resolution on people’s lists.
This includes public speaking, improving interpersonal skills to strengthen your relationships with family, friends, and significant others, or being more sociable and making new friends.
Communication skills can also both directly and indirectly improve your safety.
Learning to be more verbally assertive will help you in everyday situations like negotiating your salary with your boss, leasing a new car or simply conversing with your neighbors.
Likewise, being more verbally assertive and standing up for yourself is an important skill for self defense. For example if an aggressive beggar asks you for money, knowing how to respond to him in an assertive yet compassionate manner can prevent the situation from becoming worse.
Here are other self defense communication skills:
- Deescalation: a useful verbal tactic in which you reduce the intensity of a conflict or potentially violent situation. Using reason, logic, or emotion to verbally get through to someone to decrease the intensity of the situation can be the difference in a life or death situation.
- Threat level: determining a stranger’s threat level by engaging with them verbally. Utilizing a calm, slow-paced, objective voice can allow you to determine a potential threat’s propensity for violence.
- Verbal defense: When an attack is imminent, it’s important to attempt to verbally defend yourself before you have to physically defend yourself. Aggressively speaking to the potential threat telling him to stop or to get away from you is appropriate in these situations. Lying to the potential threat and telling him the cops are on the way, your husband is meeting you soon, or that you have a weapon are also acceptable in a life or death situation.
- Seeking help: You have to remember that most people will not put themselves in harm’s way if there’s a chance that they will be physically injured. Asking another person to help you may not result in the help you need. Instead, if there are bystanders around, instruct them to “Call the police now! This guy’s trying to kill me!” Therefore if the bystanders are people who don’t have the ability to physically intervene, they can drastically increase your odds of survival by calling law enforcement.
4. Invest in Personal Security
Not everyone is created equally and we’re not going to paint some pretty picture that it’s easy to fight off an attacker.
At the end of the day you’re the only one who can truly protect yourself and luckily there are many innovative products to help you do so.
Here’s our list of some of the best personal security products to buy to stay armed at all times:
Keychains can be excellent simple personal protection products. They are compact, inexpensive and convenient to carry with you every day on your keychain or in your bag.
Keychain protection products include kubatons, cat ears, and personal alarms.
Self defense jewelry is another practical safety product that can effectively deter an attacker. The beauty of jewelry is not only in their aesthetic appeal but in their dual functionality as both wearable accessories and formidable weapons.
Defender Ring and Defender Ring X are powerful self defense rings that can be worn as everyday jewelry with concealed blade weapons. The blade weapon can be accessed in less than a few seconds by unscrewing the ring top and the sharp blade can cut an attacker’s skin, draw blood, and collect his DNA.
Here's a link to our collection of self defense rings: Self Defense Rings for Everyday Protection
No matter which way you slice it, every woman and man should own a knife for self defense. Knives are one of the best overall tools someone can own. We can write an essay on the multitude of uses for a knife, but we’ll focus on its self defense benefits here.
Knives are a unique combination of being easy to use, highly effective, relatively small and lightweight, and inexpensive. A good knife will cost less than $20 dollars and you can keep it in your bag or purse whenever you feel you may need it like going out to dinner with friends or working late in the office.
Immobilizing devices are a bit more advanced in terms of a self defense weapon. These include stun guns and pepper spray. They’ll be more expensive than a knife or keychain, and you’ll have to learn how to use it and you’ll need to practice using it. They can also be a bit bulky and impractical to carry with you every day.
However, their benefit comes in their effectiveness. If used properly, an immobilizing device can disable a large attacker in his tracks. The shock of an electric voltage or the stinging of hot liquids hitting mucus membranes can leave any determined attacker lying on the ground in pain.
Self defense apps are one of the newest trends to hit the market. The best part about apps is that everyone has a smartphone nowadays and installing an app on your phone takes up no additional physical space and a negligible amount of digital space on your phone’s memory.
Personal safety apps vary in their functionality but they all utilize the power of technology. Apps that track your GPS location are one of the best passive ways to stay safe. Your partner, parents, or friends can keep track of your location when you’re in potentially dangerous environments and you enable the tracking feature. This could mean while you’re out for an evening jog, or when you’re traveling to a new city for work.
Other apps have fast calls to law enforcement, the ability to take video and audio recordings at the touch of a button, and utilization of the phones hardware like flashing bright lights or playing loud noises to scare off an unwanted aggressor. Overall, the implementation of technology into self defense will continue to grow and be a much needed addition to our safety.
Self Defense New Year's Resolutions Final Thoughts
Self defense can be a passive thought for many people with the stresses of everyday life requiring more attention than an event that has never occurred and may never occur.
Resolutions on the other hand are a prime time to think long-term and outline some goals you’ve been meaning to focus on.
We’ve outlined self defense resolutions that are more practical for the busy everyday person. While it would be nice to motivate everyone to make a million dollars, purchase a cabin in the woods, and create a vast home security system, that would be difficult to do.
It’s more practical to make resolutions we can attempt to follow. Be mindful of our diets, learn a new activity or sport, expand your social skills, and arm yourself with a suitable self defense weapon that will give you a greater chance of surviving an attack.