Are you the type of person who gets excited about the idea of making New Year’s resolutions? Or do you think making resolutions is just setting yourself up to fail? Whether you wake up on January 1, 2019 with a fresh-start mentality or you’re perfectly happy continuing with your life business-as-usual, you’ll be able to use the tips below to make healthier choices.
1. Get 8 hours of sleep (most) nights
Some people say sleep is overrated or they can sleep when they’re old, but sleep is an essential part of keeping you healthy. A lack of sleep can actually make you gain weight, weaken your immunity system, and doesn’t give your brain the opportunity to clear away waste and support learning and memory. While 8 hours every night might seem unreasonable to you, try to find the right amount you need for your lifestyle.
2. Use the 8x8 rule when drinking water
What’s the 8x8 rule? As a reasonable goal, you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This equals about 2 liters or half a gallon. Water is essential because it makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and your body depends on it to survive.
Water keeps your body temperature normal, lubricates your joints, protects tissues, and helps your body get rid of waste. Being evenly mildly dehydrated can drain your energy, make you tired, and affect your body’s normal functions. Keep in mind the amount of water your body needs each day is also affected by your personal needs and activity.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
Many people start the new year with lofty goals by saying they’ll go to the gym for one-hour every day or lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months. Instead of interrupting your normal daily routine by suddenly pressuring yourself to fit in gym time or giving up certain food cold turkey, focus on small goals each day that will lead to breaking bad habits and help you maintain a healthy weight.
For example, one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy weight is eat breakfast. If you normally don’t eat breakfast or find yourself grabbing a scone at your local coffee shop, you don’t have to suddenly fill your fridge with all the ingredients to make an egg-white only veggie omelet every morning. You can decide to grab a banana and a rice cake with peanut butter instead of a scone.
4. Try walking as regular exercise
Again, exercising regularly doesn’t mean you suddenly spend 2 hours at the gym every day. But it does mean you make the choice to do something physical each day. Try going for a 30-minute walk each day. For example, you could walk on your lunch break or after work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park just a little further away and walk a few extra steps to your destination. If you have a competitive streak in you, wear a device that tracks how many steps you take each day and shoot for 10,000 steps a day.
5. Carve quiet time out for YOU each day
Setting aside even 10 minutes a day just for yourself can act as a reset for your body, mind and soul. What this time looks like will be different for each individual, but some ideas are reading a book, journaling, listening to your favorite music, taking a bubble bath, meditating, going for a drive, yoga, doing a crossword puzzle or simply sitting on the patio and reflecting on the day.
As you begin the New Year, remember that you don’t have to pressure yourself by making lofty resolutions. Instead, focus on small, daily habits that will result in big changes and a healthier, happier lifestyle.