Six Mini-Resolutions for a Healthier New Year
The New Year is always an important marker in the passing of time. Whether you celebrate it much or not, the first few weeks of the year are a great time to reflect on new things you’d like to try, old habits you wish to break, and changes you wish to make. Many people like to use the New Year to resolve to exercise more, eat healthier, and generally lead more active lives. Setting actual goals however can feel daunting if you don’t know where to begin. Here are six different mini-resolutions you can use to make this your best year yet:
- Look into finding some healthy new recipes – Healthy living is very much based in what we eat. Although many people know they could eat better, changing the diets they feel comfortable with can feel difficult. Instead of looking for an easy “miracle” diet though, try finding a couple of easy, healthy new dishes you can make and incorporate in your regular meal plans. Of course, nothing tastes good all the time, so try find a good two or three – you never know what could end up being your new favorite snack.
- Take up one sport or physically engaging hobby – Exercise for just 30-60 minutes a day can improve your health and fitness so much, especially if you’re coming from having no consistent exercise. It’s easier to achieve this daily if you’re doing something you love. So whether you join a local basketball team at a rec center or take up cycling around a few neighborhoods with friends, make it something you enjoy doing and you’ll be looking forward to exercising, not dreading it.
- Find a friend and make a resolution together – People are an excellent motivator and can give direction to us when we feel alone. If you feel like you might have a hard time staying committed to your goal, see if any of your friends are looking to make a change as well. Having that friend to wake up at sunrise to go jogging with or to grin and bear a new diet with makes you feel like you’re part of a team, not just going it alone, which can make sticking to your goals feel more rewarding.
- Get a consistent schedule –When we make significant changes to our bodies, such as changing our diets or becoming more physically active, that can be straining. It’s even harder on them when there’s no routine to set their internal clock to and there is no rhythm to set into. So if you’re going to add a new exercise to your day, try setting it in approximately the same time every day as much as possible so your body is prepared. If you’re making adjustments to your diet, try to have consistent eating times so you don’t feel too hungry at times and too full at others. Whatever changes you make, having a plan in place for how you’ll fit them in helps.
- Take note of your progress – If you want to lose weight, keep track of the pounds you’ve lost each week. If you’re looking to have more energy whether physically or mentally, talk about how you feel each day with someone, or keep a journal about what you’re feeling and note the changes you feel. Articulating your progress allows you to see the benefits of your efforts and encourages you to keep at them, even on the days they feel more difficult.
- Have a positive attitude – Simply put, be excited for the new year! If you only set goals out of a feeling of obligation or doing them because someone told you, you won’t feel motivated at all. Set goals on your own terms, even if they’re small, and look forward to accomplishing them. Whatever you decide to do, as long as you’re happy with your goals and progress, you’ll find your resolutions to be ones worth keeping.