There’s a few more days left before the new year. Have you thought about how you can have a healthy, fresh start for the new year? We emphasize the importance of health because that is what allows us to take action towards our goals.
If you’re thinking about new year’s resolutions, here are some that you should consider.
1. Eat more healthy food
You may be tempted to binge out during the holidays so you should consider eating healthier in the new year. Make sure that you have lots of fruits and veggies in your daily meals. To ensure that you do, try to regularly do your groceries and cook meals at home too. Practice meal prepping so you always have healthy food around. Don’t rely too much on convenience foods and bring a lunch box instead. You can even try out doing your own bento box to make meal preparation more fun and creative.
2. Cut back on sugar
One way to instantly make an impact on your health is to cut back on sugary foods and beverages. Sugary food contributes to inflammation in the body which leads to many other health issues. You can go cold turkey but gradually minimizing your intake will most likely help you kick out this habit for good. Start by limiting the number of sweets you put on your plate. Maybe opt for half a cupcake or share a cake slice with a friend.
3. Drink more water
Since you will be reducing your intake of sugary beverages, you can just replace it with water. We know just plain water sounds boring so try out hot beverages like tea or lemon water. You can also put some cucumber, mint or lemon slices into your water to infuse it with the flavor of these herbs. Fruit slices are an option too. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. This will definitely give you a healthy, fresh start for the new year.
4. Sweat and move more
Some of us may have stopped exercising due to the quarantine and also due to the cold weather. You can still move around your home instead of just sitting all day. Walk around or jog in place when you take breaks from working. Stretch your body even as you are seated. Take a walk outside to take in some sunshine and get some exercise. Dance to some music or incorporate some dance steps while you mop or sweep your floor. Just get your body moving!
5. Get better sleep
Your aim is to get better quality sleep, not necessarily more sleep. Different people of different ages require different sleep hours. Although the 8 hours of sleep is still the standard, some of us working adults might have found that we can do with just 6-7 hours of sleep. Others may require less or need 9 hours, especially if they are physically exhausted from their job. Make a ritual of sleeping so you can signal your body that it’s about to sleep and you can gradually fall asleep more easily. That would mean a healthy, fresh start to your mornings in the new year.
6. Be more grateful
One of the ways you can prep your mind and body for better sleep is to include a gratitude journal in your daily routine. Sit down and write 3 things that you are grateful for during the day. It doesn’t have to be an essay but do recall the positive feeling that you got as you write down each of what you are grateful for. Say a prayer of thanks for each blessing that came your way that day.
7. Do more of what you love
If you really love writing, then keep a diary. If you want to document your dreams, then have a dream journal. Love drawing or sketching? Keep a sketch pad and pen with you at all times. Is singing your passion? Sing to your plants, to your friends or join a group. Do you have a sport you really want to learn? Get lessons. Buy books to read more.
Try to do more of the things you love. You will not only have more fun in your life; you will also get to meet new people who share your interests. This is also a time for you to indulge your inner child. What did you love to do as a child that you haven’t been able to do as a grown-up? You can start with that.
8. Be present in the moment
Not too many people practice meditation but it is such a simple way to relax and quiet our mind. It also helps us stay in tune with our inner selves. If you are just starting, try doing it in the early hours of the morning when the world is still quiet. You can also do it as a way to relax when daily activities stress you out. Some people may find it hard to do at first. You can start by observing mindfulness during your meals or when folding your laundry, etc. The goal is to be focused and present in the moment and not be distracted with your own thoughts or other things around you.
9. Practice self-care
Show more love for yourself by practicing daily self-care. This requires you to schedule some “me time” during the day. This is when you can meditate as well. Your main goals is to spend more time with yourself. You can indulge in reading your favorite book, listening to music you love, giving yourself a manicure or pedicure or a DIY facial, etc.
This is also a time for you to talk to yourself; pat yourself on the back for your little victories and manage negative self-talk. Remember that your thoughts also influence your health. So it is helpful to talk to your self positively. This is the time to show love for your self. Practicing self-care ensures that you give adequate attention to your own personal needs so that you can be your best self when you are with other people.
10. Forgive more
Reconnecting with friends and family who you don’t really get along with or who you have had issues with in the past is difficult. But if you can learn to forgive yourself and these people in your heart without needing them to apologize in person; then you can let go of the bad experience you had with them. This means that you can face them with a more positive outlook and a lighter heart the next time you see each other. You can include forgiving them and yourself in your meditation. Try learning about Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian forgiveness ritual to help you.
11. Listen to your intuition more
Have you ever had times in your life where you had a strong “gut feeling” that seems to warn you from doing something and it turns out to be right? This gut feeling is your intuition and it is your inner guidance system. When you spend more alone time, meditating, being mindful and practicing self-care, you can get more connected and in tune with your intuition. Think of it as your angels guiding you and sending you messages to keep you away from negative experiences and warning you of negative people. Try to feel for this “gut feeling” each time you are hesitant about something and trust what it tells you.
12. Be more authentic
Adulting is hard and we sometimes have to sacrifice a lot of who we are in the process. How many of us have had to let go of our childhood dreams in order to earn a living? Do you sometimes feel guilty for not saying what you really wanted to say because you didn’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings? Most of us have suppressed who we truly are in order to fulfill other people’s expectations of how we should be.
Start to honor your true self by accepting your self, flaws and all. Talk to your loved ones about what you truly want. Tell your friends what you truly think but reassure them that it is because you care that you are being honest with them. It may take some time for other people to understand you. You may lose some friends along the way but this is part of the journey. Those who accept you will stay and they are the ones who deserve your love and a place in your heart.
We hope you consider these resolutions to create a healthy, fresh start for the new year for yourself and your loved ones. Be kinder to yourself as you make these changes. In the meantime, do try your best to stay healthy this holiday season. Cheers to new beginnings!