The new year is a great time to set new health goals that will serve you and improve your health. It’s easy to get drawn into fad diets that promise quick results. However, these instant gratifications will fail you in the long run because you’ll quickly regain all that lost weight.
Keep your New Year’s goals high enough to ensure it’s challenging but not too up that you’re setting yourself up for failure. That’s why most people only practise their new habits for a few weeks and then give up.
Building habits takes time, and you need to be patient with yourself. For example, if you have worked for only part of 2023, it will be hard to stick to working five times a week the following year. However, you can work out for thirty minutes three times a week. That way, you get fit but still get enough rest in between to prevent you from being discouraged.
The best way to ensure you stick to your goals is by making them specific, realistic, and measurable. Refrain from letting the promise of a new year lead you to make unrealistic, impossible goals. Everything should merge seamlessly with your schedule and availability. It should be something you can achieve if you sacrifice a bit. Here are some healthy New Year habits you can adopt and stick to for the rest of the year.
If your work involves a lot of sitting, often you go home and sit some more as your idea of winding down involves scrolling on social media or watching TV. Working out for 30 minutes five times a week is recommended to keep yourself healthy. However, this may be a huge leap if you last exercised in years.
So you can set a more realistic goal of walking for ten minutes, and then you can keep increasing the time you do as you settle into that habit. Going to the gym is only for some, and finding other ways to exercise becomes easier once you realise this.
You can decide to indulge in a physical activity you love at least thrice a week at the beginning, and then you can find time to do it more often. For example, you can swim, hike, take nature walks, or jog. Alternatively, you can do exercise indoors. These days, there are many workouts online that you can follow from the comfort of your home.
Any form of movement is better than none. For example, research shows that even running for five minutes daily can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, start with something manageable, then you can increase the minutes you do it if you desire.
Hydrate your body with more water.
Hydration is important for our kidneys and other organs. Therefore, ensure you drink more water daily. When drinking water, choose tap water if it’s safe in your area. However, if you feel unsafe, put a filter on your tap to ensure you get clean water that you’re sure is safe to consume.
If you hate the taste of water, you can start making your fizzy drinks at home infused with fruits and herbs. This way, you get to enjoy more hydration at a less cost. It’s especially important to drink water if you slept less the previous night. That is because our bodies need more water after insufficient rest.
If you’re still worried that you can’t drink water, remember that you can also eat more fruits and vegetables since they contain high water content. Water helps lubricate our joints, moisten the eyes, nose, and mouth, regulate the body’s internal temperature, and flush out waste. You can get a reusable water bottle and carry water with you to work. That way, you will increase your chances of drinking more water.
Meditation not only helps decrease stress and anxiety, but it can also help you wind down for bed. You can start with guided meditations for five minutes daily; then, you can increase this however you like as you enjoy its benefits. Meditation is a practice that requires consistency for you to see the results.
You can find various meditation apps to help you do this correctly. Meditation counts as self-care because you get a few minutes out of your day to relax and reflect. It’s good for your wellbeing.
Eat balanced meals
If your goal is to lose weight or become healthier, the foods you eat will determine this. Instead of cutting out entire food groups, aim to have well-balanced meals with all the main food groups present.
Usually, the best way to make your plate is by having half of it filled with vegetables and fruits, and the other half should include protein and carbohydrates. If you follow this, you’ll have sufficient dietary fibre and get all the nutrients you require from your diet.
Including whole foods is a great way to ensure you’re eating healthy. Whole foods include whole grains, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruits. Even though counting calories is a good way to help you maintain healthy eating, it’s not suitable for those with a history of disordered eating. If you’re this person, you better seek help from a professional like dietitian.
Create a time to sleep every night.
Sufficient sleep is necessary for physical and mental health. Ensuring you get enough sleep every night should be a goal you set to achieve this year. You can do that by setting up a time to fall asleep every night. This would help you wake up early feeling well-rested and even restore your circadian rhyme if you messed it up.
However, if you set an unattainable goal, it’ll be hard to achieve. For example, making it a goal to sleep at 10 pm when you have been sleeping at around 1 to 2 am each night will be impossible at first. However, you can push your sleep time to earlier by 30 minutes each night. Then, allow yourself a few weeks to adjust to the schedule, then push it further until you’ve achieved a time you’d love to sleep.
When you have a set time to sleep each night, you’ll experience less trouble falling asleep and waking up early. Also, you’ll have more energy to work the following day, considering you’ve had enough sleep.
To help yourself get in the mood for sleep, set a timer 45 minutes before it’s time to sleep. When the Thai alarm goes off, start your nighttime routine. This can be reading your bedside book, taking a warm shower, cleaning the kitchen, or meditating. Whatever it is, turn down the lights and prepare yourself for sleep.
Whatever activities you wind down, ensure they don’t involve being on your devices like a TV, computer, or phone. These screens emit blue light, which can delay the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. You can even install dim bulbs in your bedroom to help you fall asleep easier. If you must read an ebook, use the night setting, which is much more eye-friendly.
Get tested for food intolerances.
Frequently suffers from digestive symptoms that aren’t normal, which might indicate food intolerance. However, it could also reveal the presence of other conditions that can be more chronic. Therefore, go to a professional and get tested for underlying conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, chron’s disease, and other digestive illnesses.
If you lack any of these or even find these, you can go ahead and get a Sensitivity Test. Often, food sensitivities go hand in hand with digestive illnesses hindering your digestive tract’s ability to break down food. As you start the year on a healthy note, also get to know if you have food sensitivities so you can manage them by avoiding those harmful foods.
Put aside one night of the week for self-care
Self-care means spending time doing what you love. It can mean something different to everyone. To others, it means doing facials; others will take it to mean ordering takeout and relaxing. Whatever makes you feel good, take one night each week to do it and relax. It can be hard for people to do something for themselves, especially if they’re caregivers. However, self-care helps you serve others even more profoundly.
If you love long, warm baths, you can get yourself some bath bombs and enjoy that one night thinking about yourself and relaxing. You can even go out and get a massage as a treat.
Try a new recipe once a week.
Usually, we know what we like and won’t want to change those up for something else. However, there is a different spirit of exploration. Since you’ll be cooking more often in the new year as you adopt a healthier diet, ensure you try fresh foods. Please pick up a unique grain, vegetable, or protein once a week and try to cook it to see how much you enjoy it. Doing this will help you discover yummy foods you didn’t even think of trying before.
You can also switch up your recipes by cooking them differently than you’re used to. By doing this, you’ll discover new amazing ingredients and even further enjoy the yummy meals you’re making at home.
Making 2024 your year requires the adoption of new healthy habits that will boost your health and help you meet your goals. Living a healthier life requires much dedication, especially if you’re used to not doing anything beneficial. Set new goals this year and set the results you expect to see at the end of the year. Celebrating the milestones you achieve will help make the journey even more interesting. You can start your journey by taking a Sensitivity Test to know which foods are causing you digestive symptoms so you can avoid them in the new year.