A new year often implies a fresh start for many people. For some, this means setting healthy goals, such as losing weight, following a healthier diet, and starting a brand-new exercise routine.
However often, the health and wellness resolutions chosen are highly restrictive and unsustainable, leading most people to break their resolutions within a few weeks. Many people make the same resolutions year after year and fail to stick to them.
To break that cycle, it’s important to make resolutions that can not only improve health but also be followed for life.
Here are a few New Year’s resolutions you can actually keep.
- Cut back on sweetened beverages
Cutting back on sweetened beverages is a smart idea considering that sugary drinks are linked to an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver, heart disease, insulin resistance, and cavities in both children and adults
Though quitting sweetened beverages cold turkey is always an option, gradually minimizing your intake may help you kick your sugary drink habit for good.
- Get more quality sleep
Sleep is an essential part of overall health, and sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences. For instance, lack of sleep may increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression
There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep, so it’s important to focus on your schedule and lifestyle to determine the best ways to improve sleep quantity and quality.
Decreasing screen time before bed, reducing light pollution in your bedroom, cutting back on caffeine, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour are some simple ways to improve sleep hygiene.
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- Limit screen time
Many people depend on their phones and computers for work and entertainment. However, spending too much time on electronic devices — particularly on social media — has been linked to depression, anxiety, and loneliness in some studies
Setting a resolution to cut back on the time you spend scrolling through social media, watching TV, or playing computer games may help boost your mood and enhance productivity.
You may find yourself scrolling mindlessly on various social-media platforms, but the important thing to do when you find yourself amidst this is to actively remind yourself of the goals you’ve set in terms of limiting screen time and ensuring you stick to your plans.
- Try a new hobby
It’s common for adults to let once-loved hobbies fall by the wayside as they get older due to busy schedules or lack of motivation.
However, research shows that partaking in a hobby that you love can help you live a longer, healthier life
Make a resolution to try out a hobby that you’ve always been interested in — or pick back up a hobby that used to bring you joy.
- Stop negative body talk
Talking negatively about your body can lead to feelings of body shame. In fact, research shows that engaging in and hearing negative body talk is associated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction and decreased self-esteem in both women and men.
Make a healthy New Year’s resolution to engage in positive self-talk regularly and reduce negative body talk. This may not only help improve your relationship with your own body but also encourage others to stop talking negatively about themselves.
- Take care of your teeth
Maintaining your oral health is a New Year’s resolution idea that can and should be sustained for life.
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can help prevent oral conditions like gum disease and bad breath.
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, most dentists recommend a check-up and cleaning at least once a year.
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The bottom line
Though most New Year’s resolutions are only kept for a short period, the healthy resolutions listed above are sustainable ways to improve your physical and emotional health that can be followed for life.
Creating a healthier relationship with food and taking better care of your body and mind can drastically improve your health in various ways.
This New Year, try out a few of the resolutions in this article to help make this year — and the years that follow — the healthiest and happiest possible.