The start of a new year always brings with it the promise of change. It’s also the time of year that many of us set new goals and make plans to better ourselves in the months ahead. Here are 15 tips to help make the coming year your healthiest one yet:
1. Wear a Pedometer
Experts recommend taking 10,000 steps every day. Ten thousand footsteps is roughly equivalent to a 30- to 60-minute workout, and once you start watching your pedometer, you will see how easy it is to hit the 10,000-step mark.
2. Set Smaller Goals
The easiest way to sabotage your New Year’s resolution is to make it too hard. Instead of deciding on one big goal, set several smaller ones. Each time you reach a goal, give yourself a small reward. As the rewards pile up, so will your confidence!
3. Discover Your “Why”
It’s fine to say you want to lose ten pounds this year, but if you truly understand why you want to lose that weight and focus on that reasoning, you will be much more likely to continue working toward it. Before settling on any resolution, ask yourself, “Why do I want to accomplish this?”
4. Eat Less
Western societies have seen a surge in meal sizes and waistlines at the same time over the past decade. Many of us don’t even realize that we are eating too much. Two tips to try in order to reduce the amount you eat are to use smaller plates when serving meals at home and to ask for a takeout box before you are served at a restaurant, so you can immediately set aside half of the meal for later.
5. Eat More
Eat smaller meals more often. Some people find that consuming four to five small meals a day is more helpful in terms of weight and appetite control than eating the traditional three larger ones. Small meals made up primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables may be a great way to get healthy and lose excess weight this year.
6. Find a Wellness Buddy
If you partner with a friend who has similar health and wellness goals, you will both be much more likely to reach your goals. Having a friend who counts on you (and whom you count on) keeps both people motivated, as you won’t want to let each other down. Positive minded friends give lots of encouragement to each other!
7. Try Something New
Eating the same basic foods day after day can get monotonous, which can lead to lapses in healthy eating. Get out of your comfort zone with new and varied fruits and vegetables to keep your taste buds excited.
8. Stay Hydrated
A very basic, yet often overlooked, aspect of healthy living is to stay hydrated. Water helps your body process impurities in the foods you eat, helps prevent hunger pangs between meals, reduces the amount of calories consumed at meals, and helps keep your skin beautiful and vibrant. Drinking a glass of water 20 – 30 minutes before a meal also gets your whole digestive process in gear and causes you to eat a bit less too.
9. Avoid White
Most so-called white foods, such as bread, pasta, table sugar, starchy pastries and even potatoes, are primarily concentrated carbohydrates with high glycemic indexes. It is a good idea to avoid them or at least keep them only as minor contents of your diet.
10. Eat More Fish
There is a multitude of evidence showing that people who eat fish several times a week experience wonderful health benefits. This is likely due to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, particularly the omega-3 DHA, which is a health-supporting fatty acid that you need, yet it cannot be manufactured by the body.
11. Avoid Fad Diets
Popular fad diets advertise themselves as being miracles for your health and looks and to control your weight. But more often than not, they are empty promises. Understand that healthy eating and regular physical activity are the only real guaranteed ways to get healthy and lose weight.
When was the last time you set aside time for the sole purpose of relaxing? Most of us can’t even answer that question. Making regular time to relax in the coming year will help keep you feeling good in mind and body.
13. Quit Bad Habits
Make this New Year the year you finally quit at least some bad habits. It might be just one or several … whether it’s smoking, drinking too much, focusing on negative thoughts or anything else, there is no better time than now to give it up.
14. Change Your Focus
One of the easiest and most powerful ways to experience a change for the better is to simply focus on the positive aspects of your life and let go of negative thoughts. Focusing on positive thoughts will attract more positive thoughts, people and experiences into your life in the coming year. A good way to do this is to remember to pay attention to your feelings, as they are a reflection of your thoughts.
15. Get in Touch With Yourself
Modern living is fast paced, and because of this, we often don’t realize a problem is coming until it is too late to prevent it. Spend time this year paying attention to your body. If your shoulders are tight, your body is probably telling you that you are stressed. Spend a few minutes every night before bed or first thing in the morning “listening” to your body in order to find out what it needs.