The beginning of the new year signifies a fresh start, complete with a new perspective and for many of us, New Year's resolutions. Each January we resolve to better ourselves in some way, but not many of us actually stick to the goals for at least several months. It's hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after the big night, but it's not impossible. This year we've prepared for you a list of easy to follow worthy resolutions. Stick to them and stay healthy!
Get More Sleep
You probably already know that a good night's rest can do wonders for your mood and appearance. But sleep is more beneficial to your health than you might realize. A lack of sleep has been linked to stress, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, and a greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Spend More Time Outdoors
The health benefits of spending more time in nature are numerous. In addition to absorbing more Vitamin D from sunlight exposure (which has been shown to alleviate depression and food cravings, among other things) being in nature can make you feel more relaxed and less anxious. Make a goal of taking a walk outside or going on a hike with friends at least once a week to get active and enjoy some fresh air.
No More Skipping Breakfast
You've heard it a thousand times but we'll repeat it again - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's true! Eating a healthy meal packed with protein in the morning can stave off hunger and get you in a healthy mindset for the day to come. Experiment with fruit and veggie smoothies, omelets, oatmeal topped with nuts and dried fruit, and remember: a giant coffee on the way doesn't count as breakfast!
Don't get crazy about losing weight
This is probably the most popular resolution, but it's very difficult to commit to. First of all, it's not specific enough, which makes it unrealistic and unattainable. Self-improvement shouldn't be dismissed as "all or nothing'. You are more likely to stick with your goals if you set gradual benchmarks. Remember, small changes can make a big difference. Secondly, don't give up even if there are weeks in which you don't lose any weight. And finally, get off the scale. Health isn't about a number on a scale. This new year, forget about pounds and inches and focus on how you feel - if your body feels great because you are treating it well, you'll know that you are doing the right thing!
Start changing your diet with finding fruits and veggies you love. Many plant-based foods are nutrition powerhouses, packed with fiber and essential vitamins to keep you feeling your best all day. Then, rather than vowing to count calories or give up sugar forever, snack healthier this upcoming year in order to load up more nutrients, and boost your energy and brain power. Swap out sugary granola bars and salty chips for apples, almonds, high-fiber energy bars, or low-fat Greek yogurt.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
It is a scientific fact that optimists enjoy better health and lower stress levels than their glass-half-empty friends. Up your happiness this year by not just thinking more positively, but also engaging in positive self-talk. Replace body-bashing with words of kindness towards yourself (even if you don't believe it at first, you'll soon learn to accept your own compliments) and watch yourself gradually become more and more body confident.
Happy Healthy New Year!