The start of the year is the perfect time to start thinking about personal improvement. New Year’s resolutions are a good way to begin this process. Here are a few that are guaranteed to help make 2016 your best year.
1. Make working out part of your daily routine
Approximately 37% of Americans have made staying fit their top New Year’s resolution. However, these good intentions often fall by the wayside because many people feel there is no time to fit a workout in their already busy day. If this is you, instead of hitting the gym every day, set up a more realistic daily fitness challenge such as walking 10, 000 steps a day or doing 50 squats a day.
2. Cook more often at home
Eating healthier starts with eating more often at home. There is more to eating healthy than cutting out carbs or doing a juice cleanse. Weeknight meals don’t have to be a chore either. By making a big batch of homemade soup or grilled chicken cutlets on the weekend, you will have healthy food ready to go by the time you get home.
3. Find a creative outlet
Many of us wish to learn to play the piano or take a painting course, but then life often gets in the way. Make this year the year that you stop making excuses, just go ahead and finally pursue that previously-ignored passion of yours. You’ll start to feel much better about yourself just by trying.
4. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
Believe it or not, along with obesity and smoking, sleep deprivation is one of America’s most pressing health crises. While most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep, almost a third of all Americans get less than six hours per night. Get in the habit of sticking to the same bed time and wake up times each night and this will help you develop a more stable body clock.
5. Watch less TV
While it may be tempting to spend all your free time binge watching Netflix, watching television has been proven to reduce life expectancy. It also impacts our world view by encouraging consumerism, oversimplifies life and results in less overall satisfaction.
6. Go outside
It has been proven that simply spending time outside leads to increased energy, wards off feelings of exhaustion and results in a greater overall sense of well-being. Try to make spending some time outdoors a part of your daily routine. A simple walk around the block at night is a good start.
7. Stop slouching
The effects of poor posture can be both physically and visually bad for you. When you slouch, your head pushes forward, shoulders round forward and your neck shrugs. Not only does this not look very pleasant, but can lead to neck, jaw, shoulder and back pain. It can even cause headaches.
8. Put your mind at ease
Many people struggle with slowing down their mind before bed. To ease a busy mind at bedtime, try to practice mindfulness. If you need more direction, try daily yoga for 20 to 60 minutes. This will help to calm the nervous system and balance the effects of overstimulation in your everyday life.
9. Lose Weight
This popular New Year’s resolution is also one of the most difficult to commit to. It’s important that you don’t expect results overnight. Food portioning and patience are two important elements to losing weight. Use a good journal to keep track of what you eat. Also make sure to have a support system in place. Have a few good friends help your diet stay on track.
10. Keep in touch
Feeling down? Call up an old friend! Research has shown that having healthy social relationships helps increase life expectancy. In fact, having a lack of social bonds has been shown to cause as much damage to your health as alcohol abuse, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise!