9 Healthy Habits for a Happy New Year!
You just hung up a new calendar for the year on the wall. You’re getting used to writing 2021. And you can almost feel the push from the Universe to start over, do something new and different, and be better than you were last year.
Sound familiar? If you’re feeling like you’re at a tipping point to make some changes, now is a very good time to start.
So what should you change or prioritize to get fit, be healthy, and feel better? Adopt these 9 healthy habits for to kick off the new year:
1. Start with You
If you’re thinking about making a change, make sure it’s for the right reasons. Making a change to lose weight, exercise more, or eat healthier should be a choice you make for you.
If you try to change to make someone else happy, or you feel pressured by someone to change when you’re not ready, it’s usually tough to get healthy habits to stick.
2. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
It’s tough to make progress if you keep doing the same things. Some people call it insanity. You can’t change if you keep doing the same thing, expecting different results.
If you’re thinking about making New Year’s resolutions, pick a goal that’s just outside your comfort zone. Something you haven’t done before. Something that feels a little scary.
Then map out a plan to achieve it one step at a time.
3. Get Help
One of the best ways to achieve a goal is accountability. You’re a lot more likely to follow through, stick to the plan, and achieve your goal when you know someone is watching you.
So ask for help. Tell a friend or family member what you’re up to. Post about it on social media. Join a gym or fitness group with like-minded people. Hire a coach, trainer, or dietitian. Or find an online community you can lean on for help, support, and motivation.
4. Do a Digital Detox
Maybe you use a computer or digital device for work. But do you really need to be plugged in morning, noon and night?
Too much media time, especially towards bedtime, keeps your brain active, interferes with sleep, and can even impact your mood, memory, and relationships.
Take a closer look at your screen time, and look for ways to cut back if you need to.
5. Eat Healthy Food
Here’s a really easy way to get started. Track everything you eat for a week. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Don’t change anything. Just keep a record of what you’re eating.
Then take a look at your average daily calories and food choices. Are you eating mostly healthy foods? Or too much junk?
Based on what you learn, you may need to change your diet. That might seem overwhelming, but we’ve made it simple. Just check out the Portion-Control menu and pick your favorite meals made from fresh ingredients and ready to eat in minutes.
6. Be More Active
Here’s the truth. Most people don’t get enough exercise. The goal...at least 30 minutes a day, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
You don’t have to run a marathon, or climb Mount Everest. But you can go for walk, ride a bike, pick a workout video and follow along or workout at gym (if it’s open), or take a fitness class.
The goal...move more, sit less.
7. Manage Stress in Healthy Ways
Everybody experiences stress at some point. If you don’t manage it in healthy ways, it can take a toll on your health and raise your risk for chronic disease.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Stop and take a deep breath. Practice yoga, meditation, or daily affirmations. Go for a walk. Get a massage. Even counseling can help.
When you cope with stress in healthy ways, you’ll feel better and be healthier.
8. Get 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep
It’s another problem area for a lot of adults. It’s easy to stay up late to get chores done, binge-watch shows, or hang out with friends. But you need your sleep. 7 to 9 hours is best. Sleep helps restore hormone levels that regulate metabolism, hunger, inflammation, and more. When you’re short on sleep, your risk for chronic disease goes up, and you’re probably a little cranky.
9. Take It One Day at a Time
Developing new habits and shedding old ones isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a process. It takes practice. You’re bound to have two-steps-forward, one-step-back days. Roll with it, and keep going. That’s how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Happy New Year!