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The new year is the perfect opportunity to develop healthy habits and add things to your routine for your physical and emotional health. Here are some easy ways to have a healthy new year.
1. Take a Different Approach to New Years’ Resolutions
Before you do anything else, make sure you are approaching your new years’ resolutions in a healthy and realistic way. Instead of making the mistake of having these grand resolutions you feel like you couldn’t accomplish, set smaller and more attainable goals related to your health.
Here's a few ways you create attainable goals:
- Choose 3 priorities for the new year. This way you can better focus on what's most important.
- Take the big goals and break them down into smaller goals. Instead of saying “I'm going to lose 30 lbs.” Break is down per month and include details and deadlines.
- Write it down. Keep track of your goals in a notebook, journal or on your computer. In the case of losing weight use an App like Noom to track your progress.
2. Consider What Went Wrong the Last Few Years
You have probably set other healthy new years’ resolutions or lifestyle changes, but they didn’t quite stick. Take some time to write out the reasons why you weren’t able to keep up with those health goals. Was it lack of time? Did you find that you were never fully prepared? Or was it that you chose goals that didn’t align with your lifestyle.
This is a process to help you learn from what didn't work and improve your chances in the new year. With this in hand, you make better decisions on how to pursue your goals.
3. Make a List of Everything You Want to Change
Once you have done that, you can then make a list of the healthy habits or routines you would like to change, and WHY you want to change them. It is really important to focus on your intentions behind your choices, no matter how small or inconsequential they might seem.
As mentioned before, be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too many goals. From your list pick 3 that are most important. Once you get on the right path making those goals become reality, you can always add a new one occasionally as time allows.
4. Focus on Small Lifestyle Changes
Everything in your life is part of your routine, and is going to have a significant impact on your physical or emotional health. Try to add healthy habits that can become a part of your lifestyle in the new year, but don’t require a lot of time and effort. Make your bed in the morning, drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, do yoga before bed. These are all good for you, and very easy to implement into your routine.
This is probably one of the most important steps to take. When you take your goals and turn them into actions, those actions become habits. You are able to look your choices differently. And, bad habits are replaced with good ones. For example, say you have a habit of snacking in the evening while watching television. After you've begun tracking your meals and snacks on Noom, you realize those snack choices are sabotaging your weight loss goal.
One Noom's features is categorizing types of foods. When I enter a meal it places items in one of three areas. I can see when I'm not eating enough healthy foods and too much of food high in carbs or fat. Try Noom's Trial Today!
Some new habits you might start are instead of watching television, you start a new hobby that keeps you occupied and lessens the urge to mindlessly snack. Or you prepare healthier portioned snacks to switch out the less healthy ones.
5. Increase Your Movement and Activity
Regardless of what your health goals are this year, try to add more exercise and physical activity to your routine. Don’t think about it like a strict fitness regimen! Instead, add small amounts of activity you wouldn’t normally do, such as adding an extra days of physical chores like working in your garden, walking to the store instead of driving, or adding a short 5-10 minute Pilates session to your mornings.
If you feel 30 minutes of daily activity is too much, start somewhere. Start with a 5 minute activity twice a day. Increase it until before you know it, you are exercising 30 minutes a day.
I use Noom to keep track of daily activities such as walking, exercise, and even house cleaning. It works as a pedometer tracking your steps turning a trip to the store into a exercise activity.
6. Find Balance in Your Nutrition
Lastly, aim for balance in your nutrition, instead of a diet. So many people try to go on restrictive diets in the new year, and they almost never last. Instead, think of small changes you can make to what you eat that focuses more on proper nutrition. Add an extra vegetable to dinner and decrease the carb side dish. Switch out recipes from sugar filled muffins into naturally sweetened muffins for breakfast. Make ahead healthy lunches instead buying microwave meals containing preservatives and high sodium, sugar, and carbs.
Some suggest taking an 80/20 approach. Eat 80% clean foods and allow yourself 20% of whatever you want. You may surprise yourself later when the clean foods taste better than the 20% ones. That's because the more you switch to healthy, clean, low carb/low sugar foods, your cravings for them and taste changes. Sugary food will be too sweet to your taste so you'll naturally eat less.
I hope these 6 tips have been encouragement to you. Many of us are realizing how important it is to take our wellbeing. The topic of self care is growing in popularity. When you take time to think about your new year goals and the time to make them reality, you are spending your time well. It makes you are better, and happier, person in all areas of your life. Here's to a healthy new year!