The New Year often signifies a fresh start for many people. For some, this means setting health goals, such as losing weight, following a healthier diet, and starting an exercise routine. However, more often than not, the health and wellness resolutions chosen are highly restrictive and unsustainable, leading most people to break their resolutions within a few weeks. To break that cycle, it’s important to make resolutions that can not only improve health but also be followed for life. That’s why we are sharing a few resolutions you can make and keep!
- Take Steps to Be More Active
A lot of people assume that being active means a daily visit to the gym, but it starts outside the gym. Becoming more active can simply mean looking for ways to incorporate more movement into your day. For one person, increasing activity may mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator. For another, it might mean increasing the number of steps taken during the day.
- Spend More Time With Family
Spending more time with your family may not be as common when New Year’s resolution time rolls around, but choosing it as your goal can improve your overall well-being. Being with your family or someone you love more often will positively impact your health and also have a positive impact on the rest of your family too.
- Practice Mindful Eating
Making resolutions about your diet can be a slippery slope. This time of year, we’re bombarded by ads hailing the benefits of the latest diet fads, but the key to improving your diet is often to change how you eat. When you focus on what’s going into your mouth and slow down between bites, you’ll be less likely to overeat because you’re more likely to recognize when you’re full. Over time, you’ll develop more of an awareness about your food and what your body needs.
Mindful eating can also include swapping unhealthy foods for healthier options. However, rather than ditching all the foods you love at once, try incorporating one or two changes at a time. For example, if you regularly eat scrambled eggs for breakfast, add a handful of spinach or some tomatoes when you cook them. Or, try swapping a sugary beverage for a glass of water. Once you’re making these small swaps consistently, add in another one. Over time, small swaps will add up to big dietary changes.
- Be Grateful
Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for, and write them down. Reflecting on the good helps you focus and keep a positive attitude. On the tough days, going back to the things you’ve written down in the past can be a good reminder.
- Get Some Sleep
A healthy adult should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep on any given night, but if you haven’t been getting that much, it can be intimidating to suddenly incorporate an extra hour or two into your sleep cycle. Consider going to bed just 15 minutes earlier each night. If you have to, pencil an early bedtime into your daily schedule. Once those 15 minutes become routine, add another 15 minutes, and so on until you reach your goal of seven or more hours of sleep each night.
- Step Away From Your Digital Devices
When we stay connected via phones, tablets, and other digital devices, we become anxious,
distracted, and less productive. Over-attachment to our technology is also causing disrupted sleep patterns and problems with our ability to establish an emotional connection with other people. When you decide to turn off your devices for some time each day, you’re deciding to prioritize both relationships with family and friends and interests and hobbies you might not otherwise engage in.
- Practice Self-Care Daily
Self-care looks different for everyone, but the idea of self-care is to make sure you pick something to do for yourself each day. Taking time for solitude and reflection can decrease stress and improve your overall outlook. It can also set a more peaceful tone for your day, particularly if you do it first thing in the morning.
- Change Your Definition of What Healthy Looks Like
After spending time on these other resolutions, the most important thing you can do is to make sure you have the right definition of being healthy. Being healthy doesn’t mean eating only vegetables. It doesn’t mean working out for hours every day. It isn’t a number on a scale. All of these things have their place, but being healthy is a series of small decisions that all point to one goal — to take care of the body and the life you’ve been given.