Happy New Year! As we step into the fresh calendar, it’s that time when we toss around resolutions and dream up goals for ourselves. The energy is high, and optimism is on the horizon – classic new year vibes, right? But let’s get real, how many of us will stick to them? It’s a struggle to keep the motivation and discipline flowing.
Still, amidst the challenges, let’s aim for resolutions that are not only doable but also meaningful to us. More importantly, making New Year HEALTHY resolutions that revolve around your health and well-being. And the trick here is to turn these resolutions into habits that align with your goals. It’s the small things that shape the big things.
So grab a seat, maybe some popcorn too (because why not?), as we look into some of these tips for setting healthy New Year’s resolutions that you can actually stick, alongside ideas that may spark your interest. Ready to make this year your absolute best? Let the resolution revolution begin!
Getting More Sleep
Feeling a bit like a grouch for no reason? The culprit might be hiding in plain sight— inadequate sleep—chances are you’re skipping one of the most important things in your life. If you’re looking for a life upgrade, sleeping at the right time should top your to-do list—it’s a total game-changer that touches every corner of your existence.
Yes, consistent good night sleep can pretty much enhance everything in your life. Want to look better, communicate better, act healthier, perform better, or even learn faster? Sleep is a non-negotiable foundation of life, alongside your diet. No tweaks or supplements can replace its impact. Everything else in your life is intertwined with the quality of your sleep.
Want to get started on the biggest change of your life? Here are a few tips on improving your sleep habits by establishing a consistent bedtime routine.
- Wind down before bed by taking a warm bath or practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom. Set the temperature to a comfortable level, using a white noise machine to block out distractions might also help, and keeping the room dark by using blackout curtains or an eye mask.
- Limit screen time before bed, as the blue light emitted by these devices can interfere with your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Instead, try engaging in activities that relax your mind and body, such as stretching, meditating, or journaling.
In addition to these strategies, pay attention to your diet and exercise habits, as both can affect your sleep quality. Staying away from caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, and getting regular physical activity during the day, can both help improve your sleep.
Grabbing Breakfast Daily
Have you scrolled through countless posts on different socials pushing the whole “skip breakfast” (cue, intermittent fasting), and now you’re wondering if there’s any legit gain to this morning meal dodge in both the short and long run?
Well, there’s no fixed or definitive rule here. Some prefer a light morning, while others can’t function without their AM munch. The breakfast saga has diverse opinions and research swirling around.
There’s a good reason why grabbing breakfast is a solid move. It hooks you up with the energy and nutrients to kickstart your day on a high note. Studies roll in, showing that when you’ve been fasting for 8-12 hours, your liver kicks in to stabilize blood sugar by converting glycogen to glucose. Big deal, especially for your noggin, which thrives on glucose.
Breakfast also boosts your energy and restocks glycogen levels, keeping your metabolism humming along smoothly. Starting your day with a kick-butt breakfast sets the tone for success, fueling your body for the day’s adventures. Don’t ditch this crucial meal – seriously, invest a few minutes in morning fuel.
You shouldn’t brush off this vital meal – seriously, taking a moment to power up in the morning is rewarding.
Drinking More Water
Are you bad at getting my water in? Well it’s not enough to just focus on your protein smoothies and coffee intake. Obviously it is good for your health, but if you’re wondering what are OTHER benefits from upping your water, you’re in for a treat. The primo advantages of staying hydrated cover your body’s inner workings, from regulating temperature to nutrient transport and waste removal. Plus, it promotes clear skin, boosted mood, less bloat, headache prevention, and support for bone recovery – just to name a few.
Upping your water also helps improve your brain. Recent studies show that even mild dehydration – a body water loss of 1–2% – can impair cognitive performance. In another study of 25 healthy women, mild dehydration dampened moods, increased fatigue, and led to headaches.
Daily water needs vary based on factors such as your age, gender, size, and level of physical activity. However, general rule for men is to aim for 8-8 (that’s 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters) daily, while about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) fluids a day for women. This covers liquids from water, other drinks, and even food (yes, about 20% of your water intake comes from food). Just be careful to drink in moderation as drinking too much water leads to a condition called water intoxication.
Easiest ways to boost your water game intake? Keep a bottle by your side, snack on water-loaded fruits and vegetables, drink a glass of water before, during, and after workouts. Also you can flavor your water with citrus slices or fresh herbs for added taste.
Trimming Down on Processed Food
Processed foods tend to pack a handful of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Ever pondered the overload of heavily processed foods you’re chowing down on? Things like crackers, jarred pasta sauces, and cake mixes sneak into our daily food routine big time. More than half of the calories in the average American diet roll in from ultra-processed foods such as packaged snack foods, frozen dinners, and soda. Alternatives to processed foods include whole, unprocessed foods. Up north in Canada, it’s a tad lower at around 48%. Tracking the quantity of these processed foods we eat is key – add in more wholesome, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Trimming down these processed foods from your diet can lower the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, heart diseases, and type 2 diabetes. Fueling up on a spread of whole, unprocessed foods not only boosts your energy levels but leaves you feeling satisfied and energized for longer. Cut out the processed packaged snack packs, frozen dinners, and soda for the healthier choice – load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Cook More at Home
Cooking is an ultimate mood lifter that never fails to make me feel better after a rough day.
Your kitchen is a playground for creativity, a chance to flex those culinary muscles with new recipes. Like a lot of people, I’ve always seen cooking as a chore that I never thought to learn or pick up on until a few years ago, but did you know cooking can be very fulfilling and therapeutic?
It’s empowering, rewarding, and just plain fun. You’re the maestro, orchestrating what goes into your body. Not to mention the joy of mixing’ and matching’ ingredients to whip up something delicious for yourself and for others to appreciate. Making it a great way to bond with family and friends, as you can involve them in the cooking process and enjoy meals together.
Turning up the heat in your kitchen isn’t just a flex; it’s a game-changer for your overall health. When you cook your meals, you have control over the ingredients and can choose healthier options. For example, you can use whole, unprocessed ingredients, and avoid added sugars, unhealthy fats, and excessive sodium.
Eat More Vegetables
Eating more vegetables is a simple and effective way to improve your diet, as vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories. Up your vegetable intake for a healthier, smarter you. Loading on vegetables packs a punch with benefits like:
- Smooth Digestion: Fiber-rich veggies keep things moving and wave goodbye to constipation.
- Weight Management: Low calories, high-volume vegetables keep you full without the calorie overload, making weight management a breeze.
- Improved cardiovascular Health: Antioxidant-packed vegetables play a key role in your body’s defense, lowering the risk of heart issues and other chronic conditions.
- Enhanced Immune Function: vegetables are a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and folate, giving your immune system the support it requires.
- Improved Mental Health: Research suggests people who consume more vegetables are less likely to develop depression and anxiety, keeping your mental health on point.
With tons of vegetables to choose from, you have the opportunity to mix things up. Toss them into sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, and soups, or roast them for a tasty side dish.
Taking a Break From Social Media
This one is a bit of a challenge but it worth it. Take it from someone who has been there, if you’re glued to the internet, never taken a time off, but you’re curious to know much of the impact social media has on your mental health, taking a month off, or even just a day or two can shake things up.
And you might be surprised to find out you’re more present and engaged in your day-to-day life. Having more time for hobbies and spending time with family and friends, feeling more focused and productive at work. You might even notice that you compare yourself less to others and feel more content with your life. Although it’s a struggle when you miss seeing updates from your loved ones or falling behind the latest news and trends. But the perks of a social media breather far outweigh the downsides.
If you’re feeling burnt out or drowning in social media overload, that’s a sign to take a break. If you’re not ready to ghost it that long, set some boundaries. There are also tools that can help you keep that social media addiction in check. You can also find other activities to fill the time you would normally spend on social media, such as reading, exercising, or simply spending time with your loved ones.
Exercise for 30 Minutes
Hitting 20-30 minute workout/exercise daily? Major key for leveling up your physical and mental well-being. Boost your energy levels, upgrade your heart health, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Read a New Book a Month
It’s true that a lot of avid readers out there read for pleasure, but a reading habit can foster your career.
For ages reading has been known to increase intelligence, it’s a relaxing and enjoyable activity that helps reduce stress and improve both physical and mental well-being. It gives you a better vocabulary, makes you smarter, creative, reduces stress, fosters empathy, perseverance and so on.
But one of the biggest benefits (I’ve personally enjoyed) is that it makes it easier to connect with people, (and no, not necessarily just by talking about books you read). Reading exposes you to ideas, events, places, and cultures making it easier to find common ground with all sorts of people.The ability to connect with people is an important skill in any career path.
A few years back, I attended a business conference where I met someone who had a striking Neil Gaiman quote on their laptop. Our shared enthusiasm for Gaiman’s work sparked a conversation about some of his notable work and shared love for classic science fiction, which transpired into friendship, and over time. Fast forward, and that conference acquaintance is now a successful author, and we still connect to share stories, exchange book recommendations, and support each other’s ventures.
How about kicking off the new year with a reading habit? Pick a book each month, and go from there?
To keep things going:
- Mix it up: look into different genres, try various formats (physical book, e-book, audiobook), and play with lengths.
- Make a list: Jot down books you’re itching to read, so you’re never stuck in the “What should I read next?” dilemma.
- Schedule the read: Set aside dedicated time for your literary adventures – it’s like a date with your book.
- Find your cozy spot: Find a comfy reading nook, maybe team up with a reading buddy or group for epic book discussions.
Eating More Fruits
Earlier, we discussed how good vegetables are good for you. It’s only fair to remind you to incorporate fruit in your meals, so eating more fruits is a simple and effective way to improve your diet and overall health, as fruits are rich in nutrients and low in calories. Fruits are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can help support healthy digestion, weight management, and cardiovascular health. There are many different types of fruits to choose from, so it’s easy to incorporate a variety of them into your diet.
Some ideas for adding more fruits into your meals and snacks include adding them to salads, smoothies, or yogurt, or eating them as a stand-alone snack.
Declutter Your Home
You probably know getting rid of unnecessary items and finding designated spaces for everything you own can create a more organized and efficient home/work environment. What’s surprising, though, is how this simple act can positively influence other aspects of your life. If you’re someone who battles anxiety and constantly feels on edge, decluttering can transform your living space into a haven of peace, relaxation, and a sense of accomplishment.
On the flip side, a cluttered space can bring on stress and overwhelm, making it a struggle to find what you need.
How do you start, you ask,
It starts with learning how to ask yourself questions you never would have about decluttering your living space.
Why is this box here? Do I really want or need to use this? where would it make the most sense for it to live? Will I ever really get around to fixing it or having it fixed?
Once you get past these questions, here are a few practical steps to kickstart your decluttering journey:
- Start small: Choose one area or room to focus on at a time, and work your way through it slowly.
- Follow the “one in, one out” rule: For every new item you bring into your home, try to get rid of an old one to help prevent clutter from accumulating.
- Make a plan: Determine what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of, and create a plan for where everything will go.
- Be consistent: Set aside time regularly to declutter and organize your home, and try to maintain your new system to prevent clutter from building up again.
If you’ve ever struggled financially,you know the stress is enough to get you in gear on financial independence. Your savings, no matter how big or small, can affect your self-confidence, and physical well-being.
If you’ve ever been in a financial squeeze, you know the stress can kick you into gear toward financial independence. Your savings, whether big or small, can affect your self-confidence and overall well-being. Without that safety net, you’re on edge, as any minor emergency can throw you into the mercy of others. But learning how to save equips you with the resources to chase after your goals and dreams.
Just like everything else you want to strike for a balance – you don’t have to sacrifice your quality of life just to hit a specific savings goal. Aim to save enough to stand on your own two feet and maintain a good life during both emergencies and retirement. Start your money-saving journey today by setting a budget, living below your means, cutting unnecessary expenses, and learning viable ways to increase your income. By implementing these strategies, you can build up your savings and create a solid financial foundation for the future.
Volunteering rocks – tossing in your time and talents can really change lives, including yours. Plus, it might just add a sprinkle of purpose and fulfilment to your own story.
If you live in a city where there’s tons of volunteer opportunities,and a few hours to spare each week or month, consider volunteering for organizations that resonate with your values, or line of work might be one of the best choices to make. Your time is the ultimate gift, and it’s a fantastic way to support a cause while gaining experiences you wouldn’t stumble upon otherwise. It makes you more adaptable, introduces you to different cultures, and adds skills to your resume, all while boosting your appreciation for life and level of impact more… having a positive impact on your well-being.
Whether it’s with nonprofits, schools, hospitals, or community groups, there are diverse opportunities to volunteer – be it for a few hours or on a more regular basis. Why not jump in and make a positive impact on both your community and your well-being?
Spend More Time Outdoors
Spending more time outdoors, specifically spending time in nature has been proven to reduce depression, loneliness, anxiety, and blood pressure. Nature is fascinating, pleasant and enjoyable, and you can expect to feel euphoria and be in a good mood. Not to mention, it’s free and available all around you.
While nature is good and helpful to us, as humans we also evolve as a social species. Spending time alone in nature shouldn’t overlap, non-work social activity, like bowling, or just having dinner with loved ones.
If you have been doing a little soul searching lately trying to figure out how to be the best version of yourself. All you want to be in life is the best you can be as possible.
Want to make positive changes and achieve your goals in 2024? See our 10 transformative habits to consider adopting below to set you on the right path.
Today, the majority of health issues stem from lifestyle choices, which indicates lifestyle as an important factor of health. When you invest time and effort into your well-being, whether it’s through regular exercise, nourishing meals, or even just some good relaxation, you’re sending a powerful message to yourself that you matter and deserve to feel good and be taken care of.
Creating lists, how it can change your life and prioritizing things that matters to you is more likely to elevate your awareness, confidence, knowledge and lifestyle. And also in turn exposure to more opportunities not available to the masses.
You might have these thoughts bouncing around in your head already. But if a little nudge is what you need, well, hello, 2024 – the perfect time to hit the start button.
It’s time to get into a routine in 2024 that repeats everyday with so much returns.