As New Year’s Eve draws ever closer, we are beginning to think about our goals for the next twelve months. Love them or loath them, New Year’s resolutions are a part of our culture. And after the excess of the Holidays it does seem like the most logical time to adjust our course for better horizons. Especially with regard to our health.
While eight health resolutions might sound like a lot, I am not suggesting you take them all on in one go. I believe it is important to set ourselves realistic goals that we can stick to without getting overwhelmed and then giving up before we have had the chance to feel the benefit.
Big, crazy goals rarely stick. So I am not going to suggest that you move to Peru to herd llamas and mediate all day. I am not going to tell you to become a vegan, or to sell all your possessions. Let’s just keep it real.
It takes time to form a new habit. The trick is small and consistent steps, rather than big, bold and unsustainable ones. So with that said, here are eight ideas for simple health resolutions that can fit into any busy lifestyle, with no llamas required.
1. Healthy mind
We have all heard the saying, “Healthy body, healthy mind.” These days there is an ever-increasing pool of evidence to support the mind-body connection. Many modern ailments, such as stress and anxiety, begin with our thought patterns, turn into a chemical release, and end up with stress hormones rampaging in our blood stream.
If you suffer from any kind of idiopathic pain, or find yourself tired all the time, a great place to start is by working on your state of mind. A simple goal of using one of the many meditation apps on the market, perhaps just a few times a week for ten minutes or so, is totally achievable and very much worthwhile.
2. Move more
This doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym, unless you like that, of course. This can be as simple as walking part of the way to work, walking a neighbor’s dog, or going for a swim. If you think a little creatively, exercise can be free and lots of fun. It does not have to be expensive and stressful. So what was your excuse again?
3. Work, rest and play
Moderation and variety are key here. Too much overtime at work is detrimental to health. So is too much time on the sofa. If you find time hard to manage, try a simple calendar app on your phone and work a little structure into your week. I love my Google Calendar app; I color code my exercise, work and downtime. It keeps my nerdy side happy.
Read also – 10 Apps to Help You Keep Your 2017 Resolutions
4. Healthy holidays
And from downtime at home to your official holiday from work. If you are anything like me, then you are getting a little too old to be drinking tequila shots at an all-inclusive resort. So why not make your holiday a little healthier?
Aim for somewhere with stunning views that will encourage you to hike. Clean air, sea and sunshine are amazing for our well-being. Why not visit some healthy destinations to improve your health?
I think this could be the simplest health hack known to mankind, yet we all underrate it. How about making it a little challenge for yourself? Purchase a drinking bottle with measurements on the side and keep an eye on how much you drink throughout the day. Take note of which days you feel the most energized to find the optimal amount of water for you.
6. Simple food swaps
I think that most of us women know from experience that going cold turkey on unhealthy foods is torturous and just doesn’t last. Am I right? If you have ever tried to give something up, then you know that thing is all you can think about until you get it. And then you feel guilty for letting yourself down.
Can we just stop the madness please? Be nice to yourself, you are only human. Instead of cutting things out, just cut them down and try some food swaps to keep yourself sane.
Instead of a big bar of chocolate, try raisins or nuts with a chocolate coating. Try turkey bacon instead of pork bacon, or turkey burgers instead of beef. And just one glass of wine instead of two. It is self-care, not a punishment!
7. Work your smile
Oral health plays a big role in our overall health and immunity. And of course, if your teeth and gums are looking good, then you smile more and feel more confident. If you are a little lax in the oral care department, then this a great resolution for you, and it only needs a few minutes of your time each day.
Focus on your flossing technique to remove bacteria-rich plaque before you go to bed at night. When we sleep our immune system is busy working on repairing our cells, and so it isn’t as strong at defending us against invading bacteria. Flossing is a quick and easy trick to get some bad bacteria well away from you.
Have you tried oil pulling? It is popular with many people for both gum health and tooth whitening. Wouldn’t you love to go into 2017 with a dazzling Hollywood smile?
Read also – How to Finally Hit Your Goals in 2017
8. Feed your soul
None of the above is going to stick if you are not happy and motivated. Human beings need to feel purpose; it is an essential part of what makes us tick. So what feeds your soul and gives you purpose? Now is a great time to revisit an old hobby or sport that you used to love, but perhaps let go of because life gets too busy.
Health isn’t much without happiness. Make your mental well-being a priority and you will feel the benefits throughout your whole existence; mental and physical.
Have a happy and healthy 2017! Go out there and make this year count.