Year after year, the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions are health-related, with vowing to exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight ranking in the top three. While the timing is perfectly fine — after all, the beginning of a new year comes with it the promise of a fresh start — the resolutions themselves are often too vague to instill lasting change.
So, if you’re seeking to recommit to your health and wellness this year, consider aiming for something more specific with a solid plan of attack. A few years ago, we suggested the following, along with tips for each:
- Drink enough water.
- Schedule annual wellness visits.
- Practice mindful eating.
- Get more sleep.
- Boost your activity level.
If the above ideas don’t strike your fancy, here are five other resolutions lifestyle changes you can consider:
Increase your daily step count.
You’ve heard people talk about “getting in steps,” and there’s good reason why: Research shows that boosting your step count can help keep you fit and active while helping to ward off many diseases and potential health risks. While some tout 10,000 as the magic number, any increase in daily activity is good — and you can easily track it with your smartwatch!
Tips for Success: Take the stairs, choose a far parking spot, take a moving break, or walk during commercials.
Ditch screen time for an hour before bed.
Using your smartphone right before you turn off the lights can be distracting, stimulates your brain, and delays REM sleep, all of which can negatively impact your sleep health. If you can’t handle an hour, try even 30 minutes to help shut down your brain and wind down for the night.
Tips for Success: Charge your phone in another room, read a book, or try meditating.
Go to the doctor if you notice an issue.
So many people (women, especially), delay seeing their doctor when there’s a problem, assuming or hoping that it will go away. Not only should you schedule those annual wellness visits, but if you notice something wrong or feel sick for a prolonged period of time, don’t delay! Make an appointment with your provider to see if further tests need to be done.
Tips for Success: We offer several easy ways to make an appointment with one of our providers: You can call 904-241-9775 during business hours, write “Request an Appointment” in the message widget in the bottom right corner of this page, or text “Request an Appointment” to 904-441-6725.
Eat more whole foods.
One of the easiest ways to improve overall health? Consume less processed foods, and eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains. Eating a diet rich in whole foods can significantly reduce body weight and blood sugar levels, and lower the risk of heart disease and other health conditions.
Tips for Success: Add a vegetable to your breakfast, such as spinach blended into a smoothie or bell peppers scrambled into your eggs. Or instead of grabbing that granola bar, opt for an apple instead.
Do something you love (and do it consistently).
Doing something enjoyable is an instant way to boost mood and mental health. Sign up for that painting or dance class and make it a point to go at least once a week. Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming — it can be as simple as taking a bubble bath on occasion or reading a book every night before bed.
Tips for Success: Set a reminder in your calendar to ensure that you participate in your hobby on a regular basis.
And most importantly, don’t forget: If you slip up, you don’t have to throw in the towel and give up! Simply pick up where you left off — this makes it more of a lifestyle change, rather than a New Year’s resolution.