Healthy Habits for the Best Year Ever
So you have decided that your goal is simply to be healthier. No complicated resolutions, nothing set in stone, no pressure to achieve—just a simple decision to live healthier each and every day. Sounds good, right? But how? It's just a matter of adding more positive healthful decisions and removing the unhealthful ones the best you can on a daily basis.
So what does that look like? Here are some quick and easy ideas of how to add more good habits to your life and what bad habits to get rid of in order to live your best life. After all, you deserve it. Cheers to health and happiness all year long!
what to add to Your LIFE
Add more of these things to your day and see how your day and your year improve.
Eat Real Foods
Try eating foods closest to their original state more often throughout your day and forego the highly processed foods. Start by choosing one snack and making the switch and work your way up from there.
Drink More Water
Yes, we all hear about drinking more water. To get started, try trading out one of your daily drinks for a glass of water, and gradually up your intake. How many ounces? Half your weight and aim for that many ounces per day.
Whatever decisions you make throughout the day, good or bad, be accountable for them. You are in charge of your health! Hold yourself to a high standard but be forgiving if you have a bad day. Every step counts.
Get up off the couch or out of your office chair and find ways to move more throughout the day. Add in after-dinner walk to your daily routine, willfully take the stairs, play with your kids. However you do it, just do it!
There's something about the great outdoors that immediately relieves stress and improves your mood. Don't underestimate the power of some outside time and fresh air. Add it to your every day.
As you're going through daily life, it's easy to feel like you're just going through the motions. Be mindful of your moments and remember today quickly becomes the yesterday. Make each day count.
Sleep Better & Longer
Americans don't get the rest they need. Google it and see for yourself how sleep deprived we are. It's not good for health or happiness. Resolve to go to bed earlier, skip binge-watching your favorite show, and get some sleep.
Laugh More Often
Along with getting more sleep, it would help us all to lighten up a little bit and laugh more. Laughing is good for you, you know. Find the humor in life, be willing to laugh at yourself, and spend time with those who make you smile and laugh out loud.
Learn Something New
Learning new things stimulates your brain and gives you mental elasticity. Do something unfamiliar that challenges you to learn a new skill, broaden your horizons and get those brain synapses firing. You may find a new passion in the process.
Have you done something today to nurture a relationship in your life? Compliment your partner, reach out to a long-lost friend, spend some quality time with your kids. Make a point each day to build up one person in your daily life. It adds up and you never know how much the other person may need it.
Give to Others
Research has shown that giving makes us far happier than receiving. Numerous studies have shown that giving money to others or to charity will put a much bigger smile on your face than spending on yourself. Simply put, enriching the lives of others makes us all wealthier. What can you give today?
Feeling thankful can improve your health. Research shows that a sense of gratitude can induce a sense of relaxation, improve the immune system, and decrease blood pressure. Grateful people also tend to cultivate better health habits, like eating more nutritious food, exercising, and avoiding risky behaviors.
what to Remove from Your LIFE
Reduce the things that weigh you down and hold you back so you can live your best life.
Is there something in your life that brings you continual stress? Whatever that thing is, identify and address it. Resolve to stress less this year. It's really not good for you and the more you can do to reduce stress in your life, the better off you'll be.
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." How true are these words? Worry is a part of life but one that has to be kept at bay, which is often easier said than done. Focus your energy on more productive things.
Get Rid of Grudges
Are you carrying the weight of a grudge against someone? Why? Whatever wrongs someone has done to you in the past, make peace with them and move on. You have to decide how much energy you want to expend on something so draining.
Is there a negative force in your life? A person? A situation? An environment? Maybe it's time to get rid of it. Depending on what's bringing you down, assess its value in your life and decide whether it's worthwhile.
Don't Dwell on the Past
Mother Theresa said it best, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Dwelling on the past won't change it. The question is: What have you learned? How will you grow from it?
Let Go of a Bad Habit
Working on removing one bad habit from your life can make a huge impact on your entire year. Whatever that habit may be, identify it, resolve to conquer it, and implement some strategies for success. You can do it!
Less Time Plugged In
Technology is such a part of our daily lives that sometimes we don't even realize how much of the time we are spending plugged in. Have you checked your smartphone's screen time report? How much are you averaging per day? You might be surprised.
Have Less Stuff
There are plenty of documentaries out there if you need some extra motivation to get rid of the clutter and why it matters. It's not just a physical thing, it's a mental thing too. Free up some space in your home and see how it affects your mind and mood. It's all related.
Lighten Your Load
Are you one of those people who have a hard time saying the two-letter word "no"? Do you feel overcommitted? Overwhelmed? Overscheduled? Maybe it's time to prioritize your life and your commitments. It's okay to realize that you can't do it all and do it well.
If you find yourself sitting in a familiar spot a little too often, then make a decision to change. Get up and take a stretch break. Walk up and down the stairs. Take a break and do something else that gets you up and moving. A sedentary lifestyle can sneak up on you, so the first step is awareness and the second step is change.
The holidays are over but maybe you're continuing the celebratory tradition of more than your usual one or two drinks per day. Unfortunately, that's not doing you any good. Alcohol is adding more empty calories to your day that you probably don't need or want. Consider the cost. Start with a small change and work your way up to a goal.
Drop Excess Pounds
Knowing the healthy weight for your body type and working to stay within healthy boundaries is a worthy goal. Simply tracking what you eat on a daily basis is a really good start. Apps like MyFitnessPal, among others, make it easy to track what you're consuming day in and day out. You're probably in for a little bit of a shock.