Looking for a healthy New Year’s resolution that you can actually keep?
Every January, the feeling of needing to make a life-altering change sneaks up on us without warning. Those around us talk about “losing at least 20 pounds,” “going to the gym every day,” or “getting 10,000 steps.”
Having goals that will improve your quality of life is certainly a great thing, but the pressure that comes with every new year sometimes makes it harder to follow through. The more specific and large our resolutions are, the harder they are to keep.
In fact, Discover Happy Habits said that just 7% of surveyed participants stuck to their resolution in 2019. That’s not to say that the other 93% weren’t dedicated or trying, it’s just maybe the resolutions were too daunting.
Instead of starting the year with a goal so high that you’ll have to drastically change your life to reach, set some small ones that will help you get there. Remember, the new year lasts 12 months, meaning you have all of that time to get there.
Rather than saying, “My New Year’s resolution is to lose 50 pounds,” try, “My New Year’s resolution is to be more active throughout my daily life so that I can be healthy and maybe even lose some weight!”
There’s a quote by Ohio-born author James Clear (Hi, James!) that goes like this: All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision.
And that couldn’t ring more true when it comes to making decisions that will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Here are four healthy New Year’s resolution ideas that you can keep, all of which will lead you to a happier, healthier life.
Healthy New Year’s Resolution Ideas
Be more active, naturally.
Find simple ways to be more active throughout your daily life. For example, next time you visit Aladdin’s, rather than driving around until you find the closest parking spot, park your car further away. Sure, it may only be a few extra steps, but, over time, those few steps will quickly add up.
Skip the packaged and processed foods as often as possible, and reach for fresh, colorful ingredients and snacks when you can. Carrots instead of potato chips as a midnight snack, cucumbers instead of that handful of M&Ms during your 2pm slump. At first it may take some adjusting, and definitely some extra time at the grocery store, but your body will thank you.
This is especially important when ordering food from restaurants. It’s so easy to order the nacho platter or the loaded fries because they often look and sound so delicious. But, in reality, the way they leave you feeling after you’re finished is almost not even worth it.
When dining out, order things like hummus and fresh vegetables, or pita pitza that’s loaded with all of your favorite vegetables.
You’ve heard it time and time again — avoid pesticides, avoid refined sugars. Unless you have a ton of free time to research each meal you eat, it’s not always easy to completely avoid these things you don’t want. Instead, just try and be smarter about the choices you make when it comes to the meals you consume, especially when dining out. Instead of that greasy cheeseburger from the drive-in down the road, visit that adorable Lebanese restaurant in your neighborhood and enjoy a high-quality lean beef, cage-free chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, and so much more. (See what we did there?)
According to the folks at Greater Good Magazine, mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
To be more mindful as you consume the food before you is actually pretty easy — and very enjoyable. Just slooooow down! Focus on your meal, enjoy every bite. It doesn’t have to be like when you were a child and your parents would make you chew ten bites per side. Just chew your normal style but in slow motion. Take bites with larger gaps in between. This way, you’ll really enjoy your meal and you’ll give your body enough time to tell you when its full so that you don’t overeat.
All in all, those sound pretty easy, right? Small steps to help you achieve a bigger goal. Try incorporating those four habits into your daily life and watch how you feel. The choices you begin to make will soon become second nature, and, instead of a healthy New Year’s resolution, it will just be your way of life.