A New Year presents you with a new opportunity to improve yourself and set new goals to push you forward in life. We often see people starting the new year with different diets and exercise regimens to ensure they finally have met a healthier version of themselves by the end of the year.
However, this effort tends to be futile, and most people give up after a few weeks of trying. The reasons behind this are the setting of unrealistic and unsustainable goals, which lead you to repeat the same mistakes and set the same goals each year.
To break this cycle, you must set goals that will improve your health and sustainable ones that you can follow for life. Discover how to get that “New Year, healthier you” mindset!
Set aside some “me time.”
Most people, especially parents, feel guilty for setting aside time for themselves. Creating time for yourself is not selfish but good for your overall well-being and optimal health. As a caregiver, you’ll be more available to those you care for if you take more time out to fill your cup.
Even though creating time for self-care may seem impossible, you can be intentional and find this time in your busy schedule. Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate and expensive; it can mean finding time to attend your favourite yoga class, prepare a healthy meal for yourself, or find the time to meditate or take a long, rejuvenating bath without distractions.
You can even decide to get an extra hour of sleep as part of your self-care routine. Finding this time to focus on yourself helps you wind down and check in with your feelings and emotions. This is important for everyone, especially caregivers.
Reduce your screen time.
Many people spend most hours of their days on a computer screen, their phones, or TV. Most people spend time on these devices for work and entertainment. However, excessive time spent on these devices, especially spending time on social media, has been linked to depression, loneliness, and anxiety, according to various studies.
Being intentional about your time playing games, scrolling social media, and watching movies will be helpful. You can reduce this time by timing how long you scroll on social media.
The less time you spend watching TV, playing games, or scrolling social media, the more productive you are. It may also help boost your mood.
Cook more meals at home.
We’re in a society where convenience foods have been normalized, and most people depend on them for at least one meal a day. However, those aren’t the healthiest foods you can eat. Although convenience foods are tasty and easily available, they can harm your health when eaten too often.
According to a study, frequently consuming fast foods is linked with poor diet quality, obesity, and an increased risk of having diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The easiest way to cut back your consumption of fast foods is by preparing more homemade foods using healthy ingredients.
Instead of stopping take-out meals simultaneously, you can start by cooking one meal at home. Then, with time, you can increase them to two, and soon, all your meals will be homemade and healthy.
Find a physical activity you enjoy
At the beginning of the year, thousands of individuals purchase gym membership and online fitness programs in the hopes that they’ll finally include workouts as part of their healthy New Year routine. However, most don’t because people choose a fitness activity based on what they think is best instead of achievable.
When picking out a physical activity you’d love to enjoy for the year, pick something you enjoy doing. Also, ensure the activity fits perfectly in your schedule. When you pick something you don’t enjoy, you may not do it for long. Also, ensuring the activity fits perfectly in your schedule sets you up for success.
For example, you can swim at a gym on your way home for 30 minutes. Or intend to walk thrice a week for thirty minutes instead of daily. Adding these activities, little by little, that you enjoy ensures you get working out without too much trouble. If you enjoy doing it, you will have less time to contemplate an activity.
Cut down on added sugars.
We often consume lots of added sugars in the beverages we choose to drink. However, you can change that in your New Year’s resolution. Drinks with added sugars are linked to an increased risk of fatty liver disease, obesity, insulin resistance, and cavities in adults and kids.
Even though you can quit sugary drinks cold turkey, cutting back slowly will help you quit for good.
Get to know your food allergies and intolerances.
As you intend to get on a healthier diet in the new year, knowing your food allergies and intolerances can help you make the best decisions about what to eat and what to avoid. An Allergy and Intolerance Test is a great way to start because you’ll now choose foods based on what you enjoy and what your body appreciates.
Get quality sleep
Sleep is essential for overall health. When suffering from sleep deprivation, you may also increase your risk of conditions like depression, weight gain, and heart disease. There are many reasons as to why you may need more sleep. However, you must focus on your routine and devise a way to ensure you get sufficient quality sleep every night.
The best way to ensure you get enough sleep is by ensuring you get to bed earlier. Even though it can be hard to sleep in, managing the time you get in bed is something you can do. You can have dim lights in your bedroom and set a time to stop screen time so you can sleep on time.
Getting in bed at a reasonable hour and not having screen time from an hour to bedtime is the only way to ensure proper sleep hygiene. Also, reduce caffeine by ensuring you don’t have any caffeinated beverages in the afternoon. Caffeine can hinder sleep onset.
Add more whole foods to your diet.
Switching diets in the new year isn’t sustainable; however, eating healthier foods can help you improve your overall health. Whole foods include whole grains, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and seeds. These contain many types of nutrients that can help your body function optimally.
According to studies, a whole foods-based diet may significantly reduce your risk of having many chronic diseases. The best way to add more of these whole foods to your diet is consistently and gradually. You can add one serving of your favourite veggies daily and keep building on that until you’re on a whole new and healthy diet.
Cut back on alcohol.
Even though you can fit alcohol into your healthy diet, drinking often can negatively affect your health. When you drink alcohol often, it may also keep you from achieving your overall health goals, like losing weight.
If you’re thinking of reducing your alcohol intake in this new year, then you can set a reasonable goal for yourself. While going cold turkey might be good, it may not work if you drink daily after work.
However, setting the intention to only drink on weekends and limit your drinks to a certain quantity will help you manage your alcohol intake and overall your health. You can also switch out your alcoholic drinks with other similar drinks that are healthier, like fruit-infused sparkling water, homemade ginger beer (non-alcoholic), or kombucha.
Try a new hobby.
Often, adults stop indulging in their hobbies as they get older, busier, or less motivated to participate in the once-loved hobbies. However, research suggests that participating in a hobby you love can help you live a long and healthy life. You can start the new year by picking up a hobby you once loved or participating in a new one you’ve always been interested in.
Even though most people keep their New Year’s resolutions for a short time, you can be different by adopting this healthy habit and gradually adding it to your routine to form a habit. Set sustainable goals with clear desired results, and always celebrate the small milestones you accomplish. Getting an Allergy and Intolerance Test is a great way to attach the New Year, healthier you mindset! Get ahead in managing your diet as you switch to healthier foods that work for you and your body.