It’s easy to make healthy New Year’s resolutions, of course. The hard part – actually, for many of us, the nearly impossible part – is sticking to them.
Continue reading for tips on making resolutions that you’ll be able to stick with all year long, and for many years to come.
How To Keep Healthy New Year’s Resolutions For 2020
One of the biggest things to remember when making New Year’s resolutions, or when setting any goal for that matter, is keeping them realistic. It will be incredibly hard, for example, to quit smoking in a week or even a month. You also won’t be able to change your eating habits overnight.
Some of the more common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise, no longer drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, and other health-related goals.
Like any goal, it helps to start with smaller, more achievable goals and gradually push yourself towards your end goal. Let’s say you’re committing yourself to getting more exercise. That’s awesome. But don’t assume you’re going to hit the gym six days a week right off the bat. Start at one or two days a week and then work your way up. If you’re committing to a healthier diet, you might start by limiting dessert or cutting out a certain food altogether.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Slipping up every once in a while is to be expected. Don’t give up on improving your health just because you might have succumbed to a desire for french fries or weren’t able to make it to the gym.1
Food And Diet Resolutions: Eat More Healthy Vegetables Or Drink More Water
After gorging on delicious food during the holidays, a lot of us immediately resolve to lose weight. Cutting back on empty calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats is obviously part of a healthy lifestyle – just don’t try to do it too quickly. Fad diets might work for a little while, but they’re typically not sustainable.
One way to improve your health through long-term weight loss is to listen to your hunger cues. A cue is the feeling you get right before you reach for some food you probably shouldn’t eat. This could be a bag of chips, cookies, or something else. Reach for a healthy snack instead, such as some celery and nut butter, carrots and hummus, bell peppers and guacamole, hard-boiled eggs, or a piece of fruit.
Take some time each morning to pack a healthy snack along with your lunch. Far too many of us head to the vending machine for a candy bar or a soda when we need an afternoon pick-me-up. Have some fruits or vegetables handy and drink water or unsweetened tea or coffee instead.2
Physical Health And Exercise Resolutions: Join A Gym Or Start Home Workouts
Increasing your physical activity level is another fantastic New Year’s resolution. One of the best ways to stick to this commitment is to find a type of exercise you really enjoy doing. If you enjoy your work out, there’s a good chance you’ll make it part of your overall health routine.
For example, do you love playing basketball or tennis? There’s no reason why you can’t make one, or both of these sports a part of your exercise routine – provided, of course, your doctor gives you approval.
In addition to finding an activity you really like, talk to others about your commitment to exercise. Getting support from those you love can go a long way toward helping you stick to your resolution. They’ll also hold you accountable and keep you on track. Who knows? They might even want to join you.3
The most important thing to note will be to establish the safest possible routine. Talk to your doctor about the best way for you to meet your fitness goals. You might try low-impact exercises at first, such as walking or swimming. These are easier on the joints as well as the muscles.
And again, being realistic with your limitations will help you stay safe – and will ultimately help you establish an efficient, successful workout regimen.4
Resolve To Quit Or Improve Poor Daily Lifestyle Habits: Smoking Or Drinking
Along with diet and exercise, many people will resolve to quit smoking or drinking alcohol. It turns out that cutting down on alcohol might actually help you cut down on your smoking habit as well.5
Talk to your doctor about making healthy lifestyle changes and breaking bad habits. They can provide recommendations and help you set attainable goals.
7 Other New Year’s Resolutions To Consider
1. Drink up (drink more water) – Not only is water essential for life, but it helps to lubricate the joints and keep your skin healthy. Water also makes sure oxygen moves efficiently throughout the body.6 Ask your doctor how much water you should be drinking each day.
2. Do one thing at a time – You can’t do it all. At least not without overworking yourself and feeling stressed out. This year try to train yourself to focus on one thing at a time. Once you’ve completed a task or a goal, take a proud moment and then move onto the next. This may help you ease stress and take some of the load off.
3. Listen to audiobooks – Audiobooks can help take you out of the drudgery of your exercise routine. Try listening to them instead of music for a change.
4. Make more time for loved ones – Building stronger bonds with family and friends is one of the most important things you can do. Put away the tablet or smartphone for a while and take the time to cherish those who are most important to you.
5. Take the stairs – It might be a reflex to hop on the elevator or escalator. But taking the stairs can provide a lot of benefits. Overtime, choosing the stairs might support muscle growth or weight loss. Taking the stairs can also support joint health.7
6. Cut out one bad food from your diet – If you try to eliminate all the bad foods you eat, that could prove to be too much to handle. Focus on one thing at first — like potato chips, for example. Then move on to something else.
7. Give yourself more compliments – Don’t get discouraged if you fall short of keeping a resolution. Instead, encourage yourself when you make progress.
Here’s To Your Success
Hopefully, you’ll take these tips into consideration when making your New Year’s resolutions. But while you’re committing to improving your physical health, don’t forget about your mental health as well. Cut stress wherever you can and get a good night’s sleep as often as possible.
It’s very commendable that you are choosing to follow a healthy lifestyle. The healthy habits you start today will provide you with long-term, sustainable benefits.
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