It's that time of year again – the time when we reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. And while resolutions like "lose weight" and "exercise more" are common, they can also be intimidating and overwhelming. That's why it's important to choose resolutions that are achievable and sustainable. Here are 7 healthy New Year's resolutions that you can actually keep.
Move your body
Regular physical activity can improve cardiovascular health, help to control weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Additionally, physical activity can help to improve mental health and can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
One healthy new year's resolution you might consider is moving your body more in a way you enjoy. This can help to make physical activity feel less like a chore and can make it easier to stick to your goals. There are many different ways you can add more movement into your daily life, depending on your interests and preferences.
Some options might include joining a sports team or club, going for a walk or hike in a scenic location, or trying a new activity such as swimming, cycling, or dancing. If you are strapped for time, you can take simple steps to increase your daily physical activity, such as by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or by going for a walk during your lunch break.
The important thing is to find activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle, rather than forcing yourself to do something you don't like. By moving more in a way you enjoy, you can make physical activity a more enjoyable and sustainable part of your routine.
Get regular health check-ups or screenings
Getting regular health check-ups or screenings is an important aspect of maintaining good health as it can help detect potential health problems early on, when they are often easier to treat.
There are several types of check-ups and screenings that you may want to consider, including:
- Physical exams with your primary care provider, which can help identify potential health problems and track your overall health
- Screenings for specific health conditions, such as mammograms for breast cancer or colon cancer screenings
- Vaccinations to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases
- Lab tests to check for various conditions, such as cholesterol levels or diabetes
By making a resolution to get regular health check-ups or screenings, you can take a more pro-active role in your health. It's important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine what check-ups and screenings are recommended for you, based on your age, medical history, and other factors.
Don't be afraid to ask questions and advocate for your own health – it's an important step towards taking control of your health going forward.
Learn a new skill or hobby
Engaging in activities that challenge and stimulate the brain can help to improve cognitive function and can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as we age. Additionally, when you learn a new skill or hobby, it can provide a sense of accomplishment and can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
There are many ways you can learn a new skill or hobby, depending on your interests and goals. Some options might include taking a class, joining a club or group, or finding online resources or tutorials. You might consider learning a physical skill, such as a new sport or dance, or you might try something more intellectual, such as a language or a new software program.
When choosing a new skill or hobby, it's important to consider your interests and what will be most enjoyable and rewarding for you. It can also be helpful to set specific goals for your learning, such as a certain level of proficiency or completion of a project.
Manage your mental health
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and it can be affected by various factors, including stress, trauma, and life events.
There are several ways to manage your mental health, including:
- Setting aside time for self-care, such as taking a warm bath or going for a walk
- Engaging in activities that you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports
- Seeking help when needed, whether it's through therapy, support groups, or medication
- Finding healthy ways to cope with stress, such as deep breathing or meditation
- Connecting with others and building a support system
- Taking breaks and setting boundaries to avoid burnout
By making a resolution to manage your mental health, you can improve your overall well-being and lead a happier, healthier life. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, and there are many resources available to support you.
Practicing mindfulness, or the act of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment, can have numerous benefits for your mental and physical health. Research has shown that mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and boost overall well-being.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness, including through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and pay attention to your surroundings. You can also practice mindfulness in your daily activities, such as by paying attention to your senses while eating or by focusing on your body and breath while exercising.
To start, try just setting aside a few minutes each day for a mindfulness meditation. You can find guided mindfulness meditations online or through apps, or you can simply sit in a quiet place and focus on your breath. Another option is to find a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program, which teaches mindfulness techniques and practices.
Volunteer or give back to your community
Volunteering or giving back to your community can have positive effects on both your physical and mental health while also making a positive impact on others. By committing to doing this in the new year, it can help you feel connected to others and contribute to something greater than yourself.
There are many ways to volunteer or give back to your community, such as:
- Donating time or money to a charitable organization or cause that you care about
- Participating in community service projects or events, such as beach cleanups or food drives
- Tutoring or mentoring children or youth in your community
- Volunteering at a local animal shelter or animal rescue organization
- Participating in community gardening or sustainability initiatives