It’s that time of year when roughly half of the American population makes resolutions they very likely won’t keep. We have good intentions when we make these resolutions, but it’s far too easy to fall into our old habits. In fact, only 8 percent of people wind up following through on their resolutions.
This year is the year you’re going to keep your resolution to live a little healthier. It’s not going to be a grand resolution that’s a complete 180 from your current lifestyle – that’s setting yourself up for failure. Smaller goals are more attainable, and they’re the important baby steps to meeting bigger challenges.
Choose one of the 10 health resolutions below and make it the ONE Thing you focus on. If you do that, when you look back at this time next year, not only will you have a new healthy habit but you can feel good knowing that you’re a part of the 8 percent.
Try the Habit Stacking Method
If you’ve tried keeping New Year’s resolutions in the past but ran into time constraints, the habit stacking method could be an answer for you. We all know creating habits is not easy, but they become a part of our regular routine once they’re set. Habit stacking piggybacks off of the habits you’ve already made in order to create new ones by association.
It works like this: pair the new, very small habit you want to form with a daily habit that already exists, like brushing your teeth. Do the new habit either right before or right after the existing habit. By doing this you’re taking advantage of habit highways that have already been created in the brain. Plus, it’s easier to remember to do the new habit each day until it sticks.
10 Small But Impactful Health Resolutions for 2016
Change Your Mindset About Health
Do you have the right outlook on being healthy? Living a healthy lifestyle starts with the right mindset. Ditch the idea of “all-or-nothing” and start embracing each day as a new opportunity to treat your body well.
Drink More Water
Right now you could be dehydrated and not even know it. If you’re thirsty that means your body is already going into dehydration mode, and it’s telling you to drink up. Make a small investment in a water bottle with a built-in filtration system. That way you have a clean, purified drinking water wherever you go.
Do Stretches at Your Desk Four Times a Day
By now you probably know all those hours sitting at your desk isn’t good for your health. The fix is simple – stand up and stretch. Set a timer for every hour and half as a reminder to stand up and do these stretches at your desk.
Do Brain Games Each Day
Brain health is a part of your overall physical health. Giving your brain a workout is just as important as getting daily physical activity. But don’t worry, no gym membership is required. Your brain can be challenged by games. Luminosity has created a program that is designed to work out different parts of the brain so it stays in peak condition. You can sign up for a free account to get a limited selection of games that form a daily exercise routine for your grey matter.
Find Three Quick and Healthy Breakfast Options
Turns out your mom was right – breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Having a healthy breakfast gives you the energy you need for a productive morning and helps keep glucose levels from spiking and dropping dramatically.
Try a New Piece of Produce Each Month
Broaden your palate and eat healthier by picking a produce of the month that’s in season. It’s a fun way to get the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, plus you’ll get to enjoy produce at its freshest.
Practice Deep Breathing Each Morning and Night
Lately more emphasis is being put on how we breathe. Some researchers warn that taking short, shallow breaths isn’t good for our health, instead suggesting that deep breathing is how we’re naturally supposed to breathe. Get into a better breathing pattern by doing one minute of deep breathing (10 or less breaths per minute) when you wake up and right before going to sleep.
Cook One More Meal a Week
Cooking a meal at home is almost always healthier and more affordable than eating out. Making your own meals will also increase mindfulness when it comes to what foods you’re selecting. If you need a little help getting into the habit use a service like Blue Apron. They’ll deliver everything you need to whip up a fresh, healthy meal in your own kitchen.
Schedule One 30-Minute Media-Free Block a Day
Being constantly connected can drain your energy. Juggling multiple devices can also kill your focus and create untold amounts of stress. Going media free for 30 minutes a day will give you the opportunity to decompress and calm your mind. Think 30 minutes is a lot? Then make your morning routine a device-free zone. It will be much easier to disconnect when you’re busy taking a shower, selecting clothes and enjoying a cup of coffee.
Give Back Every Month
When you give you get a lot back in return. Philanthropic work has been shown to decrease stress, give you a sense of fulfillment and make you feel happier with who you are as a person. And all it takes is an hour of volunteer work a month to reap the rewards. A small monthly donation can also have a huge impact on other people’s lives and your own wellbeing.
What small change do you plan to make in your life in the year ahead? Let us know in the comments section or on Facebook.