A new year is often a fresh start for many of us. Part of this means aspiring to become a healthier version of ourselves, inside and out.
Here at First Day, we're always looking forward to developing healthy habits, whether it's to lose weight, improve our eating habits and our mental well being or just essentially lead a healthier lifestyle.
However, oftentimes, we set the bar too high that we break our New Year’s resolutions within a mere few weeks. That's why it's important to set realistic goals and create a more sustainable new routine that we can actually keep up with.
Why most New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to make it work)
Research suggests that it usually takes a month to create and sustain a new habit. Once you commit to a healthy lifestyle, it will improve your mind, body, and spirit as well as your overall quality of life.
Before we look at some healthy New Year’s resolutions we must all aspire to, it's important to understand how to stick to them.
1. Ask yourself why you're doing it
It's easy to be influenced or feel pressure when you see others listing down their health and wellness goals, and watching them achieve it. However, it's best to remember that everyone has their own goals, lifestyle and pace.
The main thing to ask yourself is why you're committing to these resolutions. Goals motivated by appearance and not by overall health are superficial, and could often lead to more stress and anxiety. At the end of the day, your personal health goals should align with yourself.
2. Take small steps
Let's face it: we all like to dream big when the new year is just around the corner. While this is great and inspirational, we must also remember that we could become overwhelmed.
Learning to divide our healthy New Year’s resolutions into manageable steps will lead to successful change. For example, if we want to eat healthier, think about the healthiest ways to go about your three meals a day. If you are quitting smoking, start small and lessen the amount of cigarettes you smoke progressively. These small steps will allow you to gradually get used to this new habit, and make it a lot easier to achieve a healthier you in due time.
3. Make these goals a little more specific
Looking to live by a healthy diet? Learn healthy recipes and practice mindful eating by choosing healthy ingredients over fast food. Incorporate fruits into your breakfast, snack, lunch, and dinner. Make time for grocery lists and meal prep. Want to shed off a few pounds? Add an extra hour to your exercise routine that you would usually spend browsing on your phone or sitting around.
Turning these small steps into habits means sticking to a better routine day after day. Before you know it, staying healthy will become your way of life.
4. Make room for mistakes and lapses
Physical and mental health go hand in hand to ensure your overall well being. Not living up to our New Year’s resolution could often lead to anxiety or depression. That's why it's important to leave room for mistakes and shortcomings.
Developing a habitual routine, much more a healthy one will take time. We won't always live up to these goals, and it's okay to fall short at times. What matters is you are working towards a new you that your body and mind will thank you for.
5. Keep it realistic
A busy life could often lead us into eating more processed foods than our body can take. Aspiring to eliminate these foods completely in a short time may not be realistic, so have room for adjustments. Remember: think improvement, not perfection.
Cut down and aim to eliminate eventually. Substitute certain ingredients with healthier options. Swap your sugary drinks with water each chance you get. Keep your health goals realistic so you won't get disappointed and disheartened.
9 Healthy New Year’s resolutions you can keep
Now that you have a better idea on how you can keep your New Year’s resolution, it's time to get into the different ways you can become a healthier you.
1. Practice self care more
Self care isn't at all selfish. In fact, this quality time for yourself is crucial in improving not only your physical health but your mental health too. It keeps your stress levels at bay, boosts your self esteem and encourages better health for oneself.
For those who have busy schedules, self care shouldn't eat up much of your time. In fact, the best thing about this is finding different ways to practice it such as cooking yourself a healthy meal, preparing yourself a bath, dedicating some time for yoga or meditation as well as getting more sleep
2. Choose a physical activity you will enjoy the most
The health benefits of staying active are boundless. It encourages weight loss, allows for healthier weight gain, helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases, boosts your immune system as well as improves our well being.
Choosing a physical activity you enjoy the most as your healthy New Year’s resolution allows you to truly look forward to shaping up the way you want to. Exercising isn't just limited to going to the gym. Going out for a run or a brisk walk, regular hiking, biking or playing your favorite sport are all different ways to keep moving. Find one that you will be keen on getting up for everyday.
3. Skip the fad diets
The world of diet and nutrition can be incredibly overwhelming. There are tons of fad diets that countless people swear by. However, oftentimes, these diets aren't always suitable and can't be referred to as a "healthier diet". In fact, research shows that people who are losing weight through chronic dieting end up regaining two thirds of their lost weight within one year.
Instead of going for aimless weight loss through these fad diets, go for a more sustainable way of losing weight by regularly eating healthier foods and amplifying your physical activity. A healthy diet is eating more whole foods that are nutrient-varied every day and pairing it up with regular exercise. This way, you achieve the balance your body needs to remain healthy.
4. Stop skipping meals
Part of the dietary changes you should aspire to isn't just eating better meals. It's also about eating regularly.
Skipping meals isn't healthy because your body is unable to absorb any nutrients it needs to stay functional and energized. Starving yourself to lose weight is also one of the most unhealthy practices you could ever make.
Learn to live by better time management so you can eat a well balanced diet more regularly. At the same time, savor what you eat. Chew slowly and try not to eat in a rush so your body can process the foods you eat properly.
5. Find time to sleep more
It's time to stop glorifying lack of sleep in place of productivity. Sleep is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. This means it should be part of your list of healthy New Year’s resolutions.
Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health conditions and health problems like cardiovascular disease, depression and weight gain. So make sure you are able to get sufficient sleep regularly.
Help yourself by limiting your screen time when i bed, reducing light pollution, cutting back on caffeine and sticking to a specific bedtime.
6. Enjoy the outdoors more often
Spending time outside and enjoying the outdoors relieves stress, improves our mood and even lowers our blood pressure.
Making it your New Year’s resolution is an effective health goal that can benefit absolutely anyone, wherever you live. For example, going out during your lunch break for a quick walk at a nearby park or enjoying more meals outdoors could improve your morale. When you have a better outlook in life, the rest follows: you are more inspired to take care of yourself and the people around you.
7. Visit your doctor more often
Foregoing frequent check ups with your primary care physician is one thing you need to leave behind. Sure, our crazy schedules always get in the way but at the end of the day, we must know exactly how our health is doing, and be able to develop better habits as guided by our doctors.
Actively find time to visit your physician. Preventative care is optimal to prevent us from developing diseases or identifying conditions early on. Make this your New Year’s resolution and you'd be surprised how helpful it can be to our daily routine moving forward.
8. Connect with people more
We shouldn't only look after our bodies. We need to take mental wellness as seriously as we do physically. One of the best ways to do this is by staying connected with our loved ones, our community and even, by opening ourselves up to professional help.
Staying connected helps us to better process our thoughts and feelings and provides us with different opportunities to stay encouraged. For instance, having a grocery shopping buddy or a running partner can help ensure we are doing our due diligence. Moreover, talking to a therapist can also aid in helping us understand what is going on with us internally, and help us make sense on how to move forward with a better perspective.
9. Be flexible
It can be overwhelming listing all these New Year’s resolutions down and feeling like you're setting yourself up for disappointment. However, it's important to remain flexible and not set up one too many expectations.
For example, it could be difficult eating healthy or exercising everyday. Many of us live extremely hectic lives. One way to ensure you're not missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients is to supplement.
First Day vitamins are made with organic fruits and vegetables and are packed with essential nutrients to help bridge nutritional gaps. These supplements will aid your journey towards a healthier you as we ring in the new year.
Here's to a healthier, new you!
These healthy New Year’s resolutions are ways to take care of your overall health for a long time.
When you begin to understand exactly what your body and mind need, you're able to create a much better relationship with the food you eat as well as take all the other steps to care for yourself without feeling burdened by them.