Usually we like to start the new year with goals and resolutions that we want to start doing to feel happier and healthier. While almost half of us make resolutions for the new year, they are often forgotten or dropped within a few weeks. In fact, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only about 8% of Americans actually stick to their New Year’s resolution.
Why are New Year’s resolutions so hard to achieve? Some of the most common were to lose weight, quit smoking, fall in love and spend less money. These are major goals that require commitment and cannot be achieved overnight. Sometimes when goals appear too ambitious, we are less likely to stick to a habit that will help us get there.
While keeping these resolutions in mind, little changes in your daily life may be more effective. They can help to increase happiness, longevity and are overall better for your well-being. Pick up these few new healthy habits and slowly but surely, they can help you achieve your long-lost resolutions.
1. Start your day with a glass of lemon water.
Lemons have been proven to have many benefits for your health. Not only do lemons contain an abundance of Vitamin C, they contain many other vital nutrients such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Starting your day with lemon water will also flush our your system and balance the pH levels in your body.
2. Have a good mindset.
Healthy people start and end the day with positive thoughts. Life really is a state of mind, so having a good mindset can help you reach for opportunities or get back up from setbacks. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude may make you happier and more successful.
3. Walk or bike instead of taking the car.
Put those car keys down. Instead of driving to work, opt to start your day on your feet. People who walk instead of take the car have reported having more energy, reduced stress levels and an overall improved feeling of wellbeing. Not only are you doing your body a favor, you are protecting the environment and saving money.
4. Break a sweat.
The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, 5 days a week. The healthiest people consistently have some form of physical activity in their lives.
5. Eat mindfully.
When you were a child, you may have been told to always finish your plate, but that rule no longer applies. A study conducted in Japan found that people who stopped eating when they were 80% full had higher longevity than those that kept eating.
6. Protect from the sun.
Make sure your moisturizer contains sunscreen or apply a light coat of sun protection daily. Not only will your chance of skin cancer decrease, but it will protect against aging. While wrinkles may not be a concern right now, your skin will thank you in 20 years.
7. Maintain a balanced diet.
Yes, you probably hear this at least once a day, but there is a reason that it is constantly repeated. Making sure to eat a variety of foods ensures that you get all the nutrients your body needs to support you. Overall, people who maintain a well balanced diet are healthier, according to the American Dietetic Association. A balanced diet aids in growth and development, weight control, improved energy levels and reduced risk of illness.
The British Nutrition Foundation indicated that women should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and men should drink 10 glasses per day.
#SpoonTip: always keep your own reusable water bottle with you to avoid buying plastic because, ya know, global warming.
9. Drink red wine.
Red wine contains antioxidants, called polyphenols, which may reduced the risk of heart disease. Additional benefits may include longevity, maintenance of cognitive function weight, and prevention against sickness. While these may be questionable, take the excuse and pour yourself a glass of red wine.
10. Cook at home.
Cooking for yourself gives you ultimate control of the ingredients and portion sizes. This study from the John Hopkins School of Public Health reported that those who cooked at home more frequently consumed less calories, less carbohydrates, and less sugars. Home cookers were also more likely to make healthier choices when going out to eat.
11. Sleep more.
Studies have shown that the people who live to be over 100 consistently got at least 6 hours of sleep. This gives your body time to rest and repair and have you ready to start your day! It may even help you lose weight.