Although New Year’s resolutions are often associated with failure of lack of achievement, not everyone quits. And the process of looking forward and establishing objectives for this year is healthy and can guide behavior change.
If you haven’t yet identified any 2020 goals, here are some fairly simple and doable options. Pick out one or a few and go for it. If you get derailed, don’t beat yourself up. You have an entire 365 days to pursue these best New Year’s resolutions for health.
Best New Year’s Resolutions for Health
- Walk more and take the stairs – Unless you have an active job, most of us sit way too much. Get intentional about walking more to benefit your body and mind. That means run errands on foot, get off the bus a stop or two early and hoof it, become a dog owner or volunteer at a shelter, skip the elevator and take the stairs, hold walking meetings at work, pace when you’re on the phone, mow your lawn and maybe invest in a treadmill desk. Just move more.
- Drink smarter – Consciously take in more water by carrying a bottle with you, keeping one in your car and at the office and ordering water along with your coffee or in place of other drinks at restaurants. You’ll have more energy, your skin will look better and you may even drop a few pounds.
- Vary your exercise – You knew exercise would be on this list. If you’re not exercising, get started doing something. And if you’re a regular exerciser, try something different, like taking a new class, subscribing to a streaming workout service, getting on a different piece of equipment, hiring a trainer, joining a running club, etc. Make sure you are participating in cardio and strength training for optimal results. Challenge your body differently and engage your mind.
- Eat more fruits and veggies – Another predictable one, yes, but so important to your health. Make a smoothie in the morning, pack fruit with your lunch and include veggies with dinner. Look up some new recipes for creative ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily diet.
- Practice regular stress management – Life is stressful, and this takes a toll on your body and can increase your susceptibility to illnesses and health conditions. Find a way to destress – such as yoga, meditation, journaling, massage, a hot bath, reading or whatever relaxes you – and do it regularly. Plan a vacation each year.
- Sleep more – Many of us are sleep-deprived, so try to go to bed and get up at approximately the same times each day. When you are short on sack time, catch a catnap for 15-30 minutes to re-energize.
- Volunteer – Yes, many of us are strapped for time, but helping others pays big dividends and shifts our focus off of ourselves. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, but volunteering nourishes the spirit and can lower mortality.
- Take care of your body – Seems obvious, but people sometimes overlook self-care. Get regular physical exams, see a doctor when something is hurting, use a foam roller, visit a chiropractor or acupuncturist for pain, take vitamins and more.
- Embrace kindness and gratitude – It’s easy to complain and be negative, which drain your energy. And in today’s stressful world, rudeness creeps in more often. Find things to be grateful about every day, and share them with others. Be kind to others, and expect nothing in return.
- Don’t give up – If you blow it on your resolutions, don’t quit. Start again and persevere. You can do this!