The New Year is nearly upon us. This is quite exciting, and for many- a time to begin a new goal. You may be saying ”But I never actually keep it!” This is pretty common, and a shame. A New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be unattainable! In fact, the best way to actually make positive changes in your life is with resolutions small enough to achieve, yet big enough to make an impact on your life. Finding the right middle ground is key. If you’re having a little trouble getting started, here are a few expert-recommended New Year’s Resolutions to consider trying in your own life:
#1 Reboot your diet. Eating better is often associated with misery, so it's no wonder that so many people give up. It doesn’t have to be this way! Healthy doesn’t have to be unappealing. Simply buy healthier foods at the grocery store; if that is what is in your pantry and fridge, that is what you will eat. Of course, you’ll occasionally go out to eat and have your pick of a spread at a party. Don’t beat yourself up if you choose chips over the veggie spread. Sticking to your New Year’s Resolution isn’t about being perfect, it’s about making a positive change in the right direction.
#2 Get active. Running, yoga, weight lifting, biking, or even just walking each evening are all great ways to live longer and healthier. Ready to finally be the exercise-minded person you’ve always wanted to be? People who are successful in this goal are more likely to view fitness as a permanent lifestyle change, not an activity they can give up once they reach a number on the scale. Just like with eating better, one day or weekend of setback doesn’t mean the end to your goals. Start fresh the next day and keep at it!
#3 Stress less. Can you really have control over your stress? Yes! The main problem with making stress reduction your New Year's Resolution is that it's abstract. You can't just vow to relax without being more specific. For instance, make your goal to say no more often, try meditation, or simply use your lunch break to take a time out each day in the middle of your work hours. These are easy and concrete things you absolutely can do.
#4 See your doctor more often. You can’t really say you’re living a healthy life if you are just assuming you are healthy. A lot of people skip seeing their primary care doctor once a year, yet this is so important. This annual visit is necessary for preventive screenings, because your doctor will monitor things like your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and more. Don’t forget other specialists like the dentist, eye doctor, or OB/GYN.
#5 Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen isn’t for beach days only. Skin cancer is the most common cancer, affecting around 3.3 million Americans each year. So, while sun exposure is great for vitamin D purposes, getting too much is not. In order to make your skin health a priority, it is recommended to wear sunscreen every single time you are outside. That means your hikes, yoga in the park, watching your kids play soccer, and any other outdoor event.
And the easiest thing you can do is…
#6 Sleep Better. Most of us have so many demands on our time, from our jobs, to family obligations, to running errands- not to mention finding some time to fit in the other resolutions listed above. To fit everything in, we often sacrifice sleep. But sleep affects both mental and physical health. The benefits of making better sleep a priority in your life are numerous. Sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy body, plus healing and restoration if you’re sick or injured. Research shows that a lack of sleep increases the risk for obesity, heart disease, and certain infections.
When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes, focus better, and decreases your risk of getting sick, as well as so much more. But maybe, your reason for having less-than-great sleep has nothing to do with making an effort. It may be your mattress itself! If you’re trying to get a good night of sleep and still waking up unrefreshed and in pain, it is time to give thought to purchasing a new bed.
Make 2019 the year you make incredible life changes. Having the life you’ve always wanted, and deserve to have, may just be easier than you think!