Simple and attainable new year’s resolutions for healthier and happier living.
Setting a new year’s resolution is all about making positive changes for the year to come. With such good intentions, why is it that so many of us fall off track before we even hit February?
If you truly want to make a lasting difference in your health and happiness in 2020, forget about trying to achieve that one lofty goal and, instead, set your sights on a set of smaller, habit-forming tasks. These more attainable resolutions can be thought of as stepping stones towards a larger goal and, when completed repetitively, will lead to a cascade of changes that can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Create your own set of lifestyle tweaks or choose from our list of new years resolutions below to help you stay happy and healthy throughout the upcoming year.
Add more single-ingredient foods to your grocery cart
Every time you head to the grocery store, make a point of starting your shop in the produce section before venturing down the aisles. The more you fill your cart with healthy, single-ingredient foods, the less space you’ll have for the processed and packaged goods that can be found in the rest of the store. Keep this routine going and, over the course of a year, you’ll find yourself adopting healthier eating habits and reducing your salt and sugar intake.
Book your healthcare appointments for the year
When life gets busy, it can be easy to put off scheduling your annual check-ins with your healthcare team. Rather than wait for those appointments to sneak up on you, take a few minutes at the start of the year to call each of your practitioners and schedule something in. Try connecting with your doctor for your annual physical, your hygienist for your dental cleanings, your optometrist for an eye exam, and your physiotherapist, RMT or personal trainer for your first few self-care appointments of the year.
Drink a glass of water every morning
Staying hydrated is essential to feeling good but, as the day goes on, it can be easy to forget about drinking water. Make a habit of starting your day with a tall glass of H2O first thing in the morning – doing so not only rehydrates your body from the night before, it also increases your level of alertness, helps to fuel your brain and jumpstarts your metabolism for the upcoming day. Even better, keep the positive hydration going by carrying a reusable water bottle and make a point of taking at least a few sips every hour.
Choose to take the stairs
Taking one single flight of stairs isn’t going to make or break your fitness goals, but adopting a permanent change and doing this consistently can have great, cumulative effects. Whenever you see the option to take an escalator or elevator, make the conscious choice of taking the stairs instead – this will get your heart rate up for a quick cardio boost and, over time, can lead to real changes in stamina and climbing endurance.
Reduce the sweetener in your coffee or tea
We would never ask you to get rid of your morning pick-me-up, but what if you were to test out ways to make it a little healthier? Over the course of a couple of weeks, see what would happen if you began to gradually reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener you add to your coffee or tea. Eventually, you may even be able to get rid of it completely, resulting in one less serving of sugar within your daily consumption. And who knows, you may not even notice it’s gone!
Plan regular vacations – big or small
Planning a holiday, whether big or small, is a great way to switch up your routine and fit in a little self-care. Doing this regularly throughout the year means you always have something to look forward to, which can boost your happiness levels for weeks. Whether you choose to head to a quaint little neighbouring town for the weekend or go jet-setting across the globe for a culture shock, use each time away to look around, reset your focus, and prioritize the things that matter to you most.
Get outside every day
While fitting in a 60 minute run every day may not be a practical resolution for most of us, the simple act of getting outside should be a far more attainable goal. Being outdoors for even just a few minutes each day can have real benefits towards stress relief, focus and concentration, and overall mental health. Want to take it one step further? Pair your time outside with some light exercise like walking to really reap the benefits of your time in the fresh air.
De-clutter your space
You’re a product of your environment and, as it turns out, this sentiment can really hit close to a cluttered home. Living in a space that’s in constant disarray has been shown to correlate with increased stress levels, reduced energy and, in some cases, higher incidences of mindless eating. Set aside one day in the year to tackle the chaotic zones around the house by implementing simple tidying systems like coat hooks, key baskets, and storage boxes. Once this is started, keep it tidy by following a regular schedule of de-cluttering, donating old clothes and getting rid of items you no longer use.
Ever taken a look at the weekly screen time tracker on your phone? It may surprise you to learn how much time you actually spend on that little device. Make a point of setting regular time away from the screen each day, preferably in the hour leading up to bedtime. If you need help policing yourself, the iPhone has a handy feature called “Downtime” that you can set on a custom schedule.
Whatever resolution you choose to pursue this year, make it meaningful and have fun with it! And remember that the “all or nothing” theory doesn’t have to apply here. Choose a goal that you both can and want to maintain and find ways to make it part of your lifestyle then give yourself a break when you fall of track (but don’t use that as an excuse to stop altogether).
Follow these little tips throughout the year and before you know it, 2020 will be coming to a close and you’ll still be on track towards a healthier, happier lifestyle.