Stay Healthy Throughout the Year

How is everyone’s new year resolutions going? Here’s a fun fact: did you know most resolutions are health-related, like losing weight, following a healthier diet, or starting a new exercise routine?

 

Goals like the above may seem intimidating to follow through with and uphold in the long run. However, with disciplined effort and consistency, things might not look too daunting.

 

Focusing on your health doesn’t always translate into a new diet or workout plan. Expanding your sights to improve what cannot be seen — your mental health, a better sleep routine, or a more optimised daytime routine — can prove to create a strong and sustainable start to your new year!

 

To break the cycle of difficult-to-follow and restrictive goals, here are some steps to craft health goals that not only improve your quality of life, but are something that you will be excited to stick to.

New Year, New Fitness Goals

Taking on healthy habits sounds easy enough, but it can be difficult to commit to. Be on the look out for quick cures that simply act as a temporary band-aid over long term problems. You can succeed, but try not to expect overnight success, because building a healthy lifestyle is a journey and the length of that journey varies from person to person. Find out what pace works for you and make sure you’re always comfortable.

Change your health outlook

Instead of seeing it as all-or-nothing, a study advises that we look at health as something that is continuous and ever-changing.

 

“For instance, drinking a soda would move me in the wrong direction, while drinking a glass of water would move me in the right direction. By making small, positive decisions, I move closer and closer to good health,” she says.

 

We should be realistic and forgiving with ourselves, and shift our fitness goals to that of a holistic approach. For instance, a realistic and easy change is to switch to wholegrain foods such as brown rice and pasta — equally as delicious and a small step to take towards a healthier lifestyle!

Aim to move more

If you haven’t exercised for a while, subscribing to a gym membership and expecting to go every day may not be a realistic goal. An easier way to go about it, is aiming to add more physical activity into your daily life.

 

Any amount of physical activity has some health benefits, so if you have a few minutes, you have time to exercise. Finding time for fitness when you’re busy is easier than you think — whether it’s opting for the stairs or exercising on the spot while watching television!

 

As you become more physically active, you will start to feel better over time, and find it harder to go back to your old ways.

Break unhealthy habits

It’s easy to lean on unhealthy coping mechanisms that may temporarily ease stress. One of the most successful ways to eliminate these types of coping mechanisms is to replace them with healthier ones.

 

For example, instead of biting your nails when you’re anxious, reach for a drink of water or tea throughout the day so you have a physical object to hold on to rather than biting your nails. You could even go for a walk to clear your head!

 

Breaking unhealthy eating habits is also key. Consider buying high quality food items of kitchen staples and make the switch to healthier options like wholegrain rice or pasta sauces that are low in sodium to kickstart your new year. Additionally, you could give yourself an incentive to drive motivation to succeed.

Strive for Mental Progress

While you can focus on changing your diet and exercise routines, you can also focus on other aspects like saving money or monitoring your stress.

 

Either way, the best approach to achieving any goal is to make a plan and take your time to make progress. This all requires getting into a healthy mindset to motivate and maintain your progress!

Pick up a new hobby

Whether it’s a big project like learning to play a new instrument or a less intense one like putting together a puzzle, doing something new can do wonders for your mental health.

 

“The monotony for most people working and living in the same space makes it feel like you’re stuck in an infinite loop at times. So, anything new you can add to the routine makes a huge difference, says clinical psychologist Paraskevi Noulas.

 

Ultimately, progress is not linear. “If you want to set a goal on January 15 to lose weight, there shouldn’t be any reason to feel guilty about that,” she said. “Your resolutions are yours alone, but they don’t need to be limited to January 1.”

Write down specific goals

Creating specific goals is always better than general statement. A recommended way to create goals is to follow the SMART System: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based.

 

Once you’ve created your SMART goal, figuring out the steps you need to take in order to reach it will become much easier!

Get more sleep

Sleep is an essential part of overall health, and sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences. Lack of sleep may increase your weight gain, heart disease and depression. Your quality of sleep is equally as important as your quantity.

 

Decreasing screen time before bed, reducing light pollution in your bedroom, cutting back on caffeine, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour are some simple ways to improve sleep.

Celebrate Your Milestones

While on a journey to a healthier, happier you, make sure to occasionally pause to celebrate your milestones, no matter how big or small they might be.

 

Any progress is good progress and you should take pride in yourself for pulling through to achieve your goals. This will also serve as much-needed motivation as your goals get bigger and life gets busier.

  • List down what you’re doing well with and what you’re struggling with, and celebrate what you’ve been excelling in.
  • Reward yourself with a treat. Whether it be that item you’ve been wanting for a while, or a dessert, this creates an incentive for you to work harder and exceed your goals as the year progresses.
  • Focus on improving your weaknesses
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to focus on too many things at once. Make it simple, create a plan, and move on to the next one once you feel that you’ve created a good habit.

Of Happiness and Health

Setting health goals that are focused on your well-being is an important first step.

 

Simple swaps in your diet like choosing wholegrains such as brown or mixed grain rice, or using coconut oil over butter in baking, can prove to have a huge impact with minimal but conscious effort.

 

While following these tips can help make sure you stay on track toward becoming a healthier, happier you, setting and maintaining a precedent for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle is what’s most important!