The new year is almost upon us. Have you started making resolutions yet?
Let me begin by saying that I usually don’t like New Year’s resolutions. Less than a quarter of people see them through, and I feel like we should be constantly improving throughout the year. Why wait until the end of the year to make over-promises to ourselves? Why set ourselves up for failure.
But when it comes to health and wellness, we really can treat ourselves better. And we should. After all, it’s not just a cliche that health is wealth. If we don’t have vitality in our bodies and minds, how can we enjoy whatever riches we have? How can we improve our situations if we are too sick and tired to thrive?
So this year, please join me in doing something to improve your well-being. Even if you can only pursue one of the following goals, you will be on your way to a better 2017.
1. Learn How to Manage Stress
Our harried lives make it nearly impossible avoid stress. The constant pressure and demands of our modern lifestyles cause us to not only worry, but to think and behave negatively. Identifying chronic stress is an important first step. Check out these tips from the American Psychological Association to help you cope better with the situations you are involved in.
2. Sleep More
Did you know that a nap is more beneficial than caffeine when it comes to learning, memory and performance? That it isn’t possible to “catch up” on lost sleep on the weekends? This is one of my biggest challenges and the number one health issue I will be focusing on in the coming year. Adding even a couple of extra hours a night can help you tremendously. Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
3. Do What Makes You Happy
We engage in negative-energy producing activities for all kinds of reasons. Stop and take stock of the things and people you are involved with and take active steps to doing what you love and care about. Did you know that happiness has health benefits? Harvard Medical School recommends “feeling good, engaging fully and doing good.” Check it out!
4. Get Moving
There are all kinds of reasons why people fail to exercise and so many excuses as well. Choose something you love to do (see above) and just get out there and do it. Exercise doesn’t have to happen at the gym and you don’t even have to set a number of days to exercise. Sometimes setting unattainable goals just sets yourself up for failure. This year just vow to do something active for you and promise yourself that you will try different activities until you find one that feels good for you and makes you feel amazing. It’s never difficult to do stick with things that you enjoy is it?
5. Make Positive Dietary Changes
Again, this doesn’t have to be a “diet.” In fact, research has shown that diets don’t actually work. My philosophy on food is this: we are all biologically very different and have different needs. We also eat for a variety of different reasons. One thing we can all hopefully agree upon is that we need to consume food for nourishment. Figuring out what foods work best for your body, and achieving a balanced diet is a very big challenge. Avoid jumping on fad diets this year. If you are really struggling to figure out a way to improve what you are putting into your body, consider getting some help. Many certified nutritional consultants offer affordable programs to help you acheive your goals.