There’s never a better time to turn your life around than the start of a new year. At the beginning of the year, it feels like you’ve turned a page and started a new chapter where all the pages that lie ahead are all blank, waiting to be written by you.
Instead of being overwhelmed by the unknowns of the future, you should embrace this opportunity to craft your life into what you want it to be. Setting New Year’s resolutions can feel silly sometimes, but the start of the new year is a great time to make your goals tangible and create actions plans for working towards them.
Most commonly, people hope to achieve better health in the year, whether it be by weight loss, healthier eating, or increased exercise. Unfortunately, people usually fall off the wagon pretty quickly. Most people’s resolutions have even failed as early as February.
There are many reasons people aren’t reaching their goals and it varies for each individual person, but the most likely explanation is the failure to set specific and realistic goals. This year, rather than trying out a fad diet for a month or binge visiting the gym only to stop going by spring, take initiative to make changes to your overall lifestyle to help benefit your health.
Change your attitude about exercise
If you never visit the gym, you can’t expect it to be easy to start doing five workouts a week. You’ll quickly burn out and you probably won’t be very likely to return after the disappointment.
When people want to start exercising more, they often associate that idea solely with going to the gym, running on the treadmill, and lifting some weights. News flash! Going to the gym isn’t the only way to get a workout in.
Eliminate your biases that make you think the gym is your only venue for exercise. Any way you can get your body moving and your heart rate up is good enough. This can be walking outside, biking around a park, or going on a hike. Working out and getting some quality exercise can even be fun when you open your horizons. Try something new this year like taking a dance class, starting yoga, taking up kickboxing, or swimming. You may find a hobby that you really personally enjoy that doubles as exercise.
Learn more about nutrition
Going on a diet where you cut out all carbs and sugars isn’t a sustainable way to improve your diet. Instead of following all the trend diets you hear about and give up on after a week, take the initiative to learn more about your nutrition this year and craft your own meal plans that are healthy and well-balanced.
With the entire internet in front of you, it’s not difficult to learn up on your nutrition. As a quick crash course, there are six major food groups:
Each one is valuable and important to keep your body running the most effectively. The most important aspect is balance. Be consistent, make sure you’re meeting your daily requirements, and you’ll end up in a much healthier place than where a fad diet would get you.
Catch up on your lost sleep
We all know sleep is important, but some part of us occasionally convinces us that we are invincible and can sacrifice sleep for other priorities. The older you get, the more often this becomes an issue.
Sleep is a key component in maintaining your health and regular bodily functions. Chronically missing out on sleep is more serious than just feeling tired. Sleep deprivation can take a major toll on your health if you leave it untreated.
This year, make sleep your priority. And not just the hours of sleep you’re getting, but the quality as well. There are many culprits to a bad night’s sleep including light pollution, noise disruptions, and even an improper mattress that isn’t designed for your needs. Find a bed that’s right for you, your sleeping position, and preferences so you can rest easy.
As life goes on it can feel like times move exponentially quicker and we have less time for seemingly unproductive tasks like sleeping, but this is the year you should re-prioritize your sleep for the sake of your health.
Keep your mental health in check
In all the focus on your physical health improvements, your mental health can easily fall in the background. Mental and physical health work hand in hand. You can’t work on one without thinking about the other.
When you think about your progress on your health, don’t leave your mental wellbeing behind. Making yourself a priority is never a bad thing. In fact, it’s necessary in order to achieve growth. Keep tabs on your own mental health by checking in on yourself and now and then. If you need a break from anyone or anything, take it.
By committing to these lifestyle changes, you’ll be on your way to a happier and healthier year.
Author’s bio: Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based in NC. She enjoys writing on ways to achieve a happier life.