With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the changes we can make for a healthier mind, body and spirit. While only nine percent of the population sticks to their New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to set realistic goals and put a plan in place to achieve them. Here are five healthy resolutions with simple tips to help you follow through:
The most common resolution—made by almost 25 percent of every person making one—is to increase fitness and physical activity. An easy way to commit to this resolution is to make exercise a social interaction. Join a local running club or sign up for a fitness class. If you can prepay – do it! Or find a friend to tag along. Financially and socially committing to something means you’re more likely to see it through.
Cut out junk
The foods we eat put us at a greater (or a lower) risk for serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. A simple way to ensure healthier eating habits is to commit to healthier snacks. Meal prep with lean proteins or refrigerate pre-cut fruits and vegetables for an on-hand nutritious bite.
Catch more z’s
We all know that sleep is important, but most of us could probably use some more. The National Sleep Foundation actually recommends seven to nine hours of sleep each night. This year, try laying your head down just five minutes earlier each night until you hit the amount of sleep recommended for adults.
Studies suggest that practicing gratitude can help overcome adversity, boost physical health, and improve quality of sleep and overall well-being. Keep a daily journal of things you are thankful for—a new job, friends, health or maybe just a tasty meal you had that day. Take it one step further and vocally thank someone in your life for a specific experience or moment in time. Even if it’s just thanking a friend for listening to your problems the day before, it will make a difference.
Say no to Instagram
Research shows that constantly looking at others’ social media profiles can lead to depressive symptoms. Implement simple—and reasonable—rules to safeguard yourself from too much social media comparison. For instance, try to avoid social media during meals, during your commute, while in the bathroom or in bed. Sometimes it helps to take a break and disconnect for the weekend. A little time away from the screen can remind you how nice life is without the constant pressures of social updates.
The new year is your blank slate and a perfect time to transform your mind, body and spirit through whole-person health. It’s an opportunity to start making the changes that you’ve always pushed to “next week” or “next month.” Start making your list of important lifestyle changes and formulate a plan to encourage personal follow-through. Here’s to a healthier you in 2018!
Author: LivingWell PDX Blog
Adventist Health is committed to creating a healthier Portland community.