Come January and we are all pledging to a fresh set of New Year’s resolutions (again). For most, 2020 was an extremely challenging year. A new year brings an ocean of opportunities and hopes. It is the time of the year when we all make resolutions to accomplish a personal goal or improve our health. Out of all the different resolutions, weight loss is the most common one. But resolutions can be hard to keep, however, there are plenty of ideas to benefit your health and ultimately will help you improve your wellbeing and quality of life. With the coronavirus pandemic still looming large, we encourage you to keep health and wellness as your priority. Here are some healthy resolutions worth a commitment in 2021…
If you want to make a new year’s resolution to get back in shape, it’s always best to set achievable and measurable goals. Accept that motivation fluctuates. When it comes to embarking on a new health and fitness journey, you don’t need to be fit to get started, you just need to start. Don’t make a radical change – your resolution could be as simple as a daily 15-minute walk or a 10-minute yoga video each morning. Set SMART goals and work in 28 day blocks. 28 days is long enough that you can see results but not so long that you’ll lose focus.
Raise your hand if you've signed up for a gym membership in January of years past, gone for a few weeks and then stopped going. Save that money this year and just work out from home. Last year, the stay-at-home order and social distancing didn’t do many favours for some of our healthy habits; in fact, most people reduced their physical activity and ordered takeaway food for meals. Now, it’s time to reconsider those unhealthy habits that the pandemic created. For example, if you’ve dropped exercising these past few months, it’s time to get back to it. Find ways to get yourself moving and motivated. Follow online workout classes at home. With a good workout app and 30 minutes a day, you can get fit in the comfort of your living room.
If one of your goals for the new year is to start eating healthier and lose weight, then one of the best places to start making changes is in your pantry. Your pantry can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Starting fresh means clearing out the nasties! Any packaged or processed foods which contain an abundance of refined ingredients need to go in the bin.
Another way to lose weight is to plan your meals. It can help you with portion control, prevent you from eating out, and gives you more opportunities for healthier choices for snacks like veggies & hummus or a piece of fruit.
Ditch sugary drinks
Kicking a soda, sweetened coffee, or juice habit in favour of plain water is vital for good health. This simple New Year’s resolution saves about 240 calories for each 20-ounce soda — along with whatever money might have gone toward the bad habit, which has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Vegetables and fruits are some of the most nutrient-dense foods! That means that per calorie, you get a much higher ratio of key nutrients that our bodies need, like vitamins and minerals. By eating more plants, you’re lowering your calories and getting more of the building blocks your body needs to build a healthy body. Walking into the supermarket with a shopping list is an effective way to avoid impulse purchases of unhealthy foods and save money while doing it.
Drink more water
While the old saw about drinking eight glasses of water a day is outdated, staying hydrated is still critical for good health. Sip fluids regularly throughout the day and with each meal. Drinking enough water each day can help relieve headaches, boost your energy, relieve constipation, and can even help aid weight loss.
Sleep is absolutely essential to our health, and when you turn in early and wake up early, it’s incredibly beneficial. Studies show that people who go to bed earlier are happier, reduce their risk of diseases, and control their weight easier than those that don’t. The stress and anxiety of 2020, however, have made a good night’s sleep elusive for many, however. It’s time to seek help from an expert if this applies to you.
2020 had a lot of negative news. Pairing that with social distancing and the inability to visit loved ones: it’s impacted the mental health of thousands of people around the world. Identifying mental health stressors and learning new ways to manage and deal with this stress is a great way to start the new year. Make ‘de-stressing’ part of your routine. Some options to consider include: prioritising 7-8 hours of sleep each night, limiting screen-time, scheduling daily walks, planning regular conversations with loved ones, reading a book, or indulging in activities like puzzling or colouring that can soothe your mind.
Even though you may have failed new year’s resolutions in the past, the important thing to remember is your past failures do not dictate your future results. Separate the old you with what you want to achieve. Don’t let baggage and bad memories of past experiences derail this one. However, none of these New Year’s resolutions for health and wellness are beneficial unless you have a healthy mindset. A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. All you need to do is to set aside some time for mindfulness. This could involve journal-writing, spending five minutes focusing on your breath to wind down before bed or dedicating some time to goal setting. If you get your mind in the right place, your body will follow.