Typical New Year’s resolutions are easy to break when the goals themselves are impersonal. Instead of telling yourself to lose weight, exercise more or get a raise—because that’s what everyone else is doing—focus your year on individual, holistic wellness goals. Start off 2021 with your sights set on becoming your authentic self through small, impactful changes. To help jumpstart your list, here are a few ideas worth considering:
Instead of resolving to “just exercise more,” find simple ways to remain regularly active. Whether you’re behind a desk for most of the day or just struggle to find the motivation for workouts, a sedentary lifestyle can negatively impact your health. Sit less and move more by scheduling simple activities that are enjoyable and achievable into your day. Set a goal to move once or twice per hour; just a few minutes of physical activity can give you energy, maintain a healthy weight, and increase life expectancy.
Meditation is a practice focused on attention and awareness. Through meditation, individuals achieve a clear and emotionally stable state. Research shows that common benefits can include:
- Lower stress levels
- Eased anxiety
- Lessened risk of depression
- Reduced pain
Meditating for long periods of time may seem daunting at first. Instead, start with five minutes of focused breathing each day, using a guided meditation app as needed. You will quickly start to reap the benefits of the practice as you strive to make time daily for meditation.
Refine Your Diet
The word, “diet” is frequently associated with New Year’s resolutions and unfortunately has a negative connotation. Instead of opting for a restrictive food regimen this year, rethink the foods you already eat. Instead of eating less or loading up on foods you really don’t like, practice moderation and implement small, sustainable improvements.
Try to choose leaner meats, replace white rice and breads with whole grain options, select water over sugary beverages, and incorporate more vegetables into each meal. Research shows that a whole, nutrient dense diet can lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. While dietary changes may also lead to weight loss, your goal should be to improve long-term and happiness.
Get More Sleep
Do you get a quality night’s rest? An investment in better sleep can ultimately:
- Boost cognition
- Regenerate cells
- Promote immunity
- Improve overall health
Pledge to go to bed a little earlier each night or begin a nighttime routine that will set you up for better sleep. Consider cutting back on caffeine, limiting screen time or practicing deep breathing before putting your head to the pillow.
This new year, it’s time we learn to love the “now.” Instead of looking back on the past or to the future, focus on the present. A present mentality can improve general happiness by reducing negative thoughts or anxieties. Spend less time on your phone or consider taking a social media break as a start. Stop throughout your day to notice your environment and make a point to listen to others intently. Overall, aim to be more mindful in your everyday interactions.
Opt for Sustainable Wellness Goals Over Typical Resolutions
Striving to be healthy is a wonderful goal, but there is so much more to health than how our bodies appear on the outside. As the new year approaches, set wellness goals that impact your mental, emotional and physical health. Ditch restrictive resolutions and instead seek simple changes that you can stick with for years to come.