Resolved to have a healthier, happier new year? Here’s how

resolutions ‘Tis the season of gathering, giving thanks and looking forward to a fresh start. Making resolutions is a time-honored, and time-tested, way to set the tone for what’s to come.

So, where to start? Better health is a common goal, and making a resolution is a good start, though staying accountable to it is often where things get challenging.

Let us help. Here are six things to consider if you want to make those resolutions stick through the entire year, as well as three healthy goals that can benefit everyone.

Make Better Resolutions

  • Only set two to three goals at a time and write out a plan. When you map things out, it can help you stay committed, organized and focused.
  • Take things slow, so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed. Maybe it’s better to try to do less of something rather than eliminate it.
  • Get specific about your needs – maybe short-term goals for each month are better suited for you? Maybe you want to stick with one big one? It’s up to you.
  • It’s easy to overcommit to things. Remember – it’s OK to change your mind if you need to regroup.
  • Your time is your time, spend it in ways that work for you.
  • One of the most valuable things you can do is learn to say “no.”

The Basics

Focus on Eating

  • Pay closer attention to what you put in your body.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water, and salty snacks with fruits and vegetables. Get creative by chopping up some fresh fruit into sparkling water, or try some crisp veggies with hummus when you’re craving something savory.

Get the Sleep You Need

  • Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Put down your phone, turn off the television and start to wind down at least an hour before bedtime. Use that time to read or meditate.
  • More sleep equals more energy to tackle the next day.

Get Moving

  • Little changes in your day can make the biggest difference. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your destination or take a walk to pick up your coffee in the morning.
  • Mix it up. Try a new fitness routine, like yoga or tai chi. It not only improves your strength, flexibility and posture, but lowers your blood pressure and pulse rate.
  • Aim to get 2-3 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week. However, check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new routine.

Remember: be realistic, choose wisely, sleep more and find ways to measure your success. Most importantly, don’t be discouraged if you get off track. Pick up where you left off and keep moving forward!

If one of your goals was to improve your health, it helps to have a professional caregiver on your side. Whether you need to find a primary care physician or schedule preventive screenings, set up those appointments now.