Can you believe 2020 is already underway? Seems like I’m still trying to catch up with my to-do list from 2019 (okay…2018)! If you haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions yet, don’t stress. The holidays can be so hectic that it seems like the entire month of January is a time for everyone to regain their footing. Maybe you’ve tried making resolutions in the past but haven’t had much success. Some of the most common resolutions revolve around losing weight, but they can be difficult to achieve. You may have better luck if you focus on health-related resolutions in general. Here are several ideas for New Year’s resolutions you won’t break that are easier to accomplish and will still improve your health, either physically or mentally.
Eat more fruits and veggies
Let’s get what I consider the hardest one out of the way. Fast-paced, modern life makes it REALLY hard to eat the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies every day. (If only you could get a bucket of zucchini at KFC…) But if you can add even just ONE more veggie into your diet each day, you’ll be doing your body a great service.
Floss your teeth
Come on, you KNOW you should do this one. Your dentist knows you should do this one. A few years ago, I made this resolution for myself, and it actually worked! I’m a regular flosser now. What helped me was making it part of my nightly routine. Flossing also requires a bit of dexterity, but once you get used to it, you can floss your teeth pretty quickly. Try some of those floss pics if you need to make it easier on yourself. Your gums will thank you.
Get more sleep
I know this one is tough, but it’s SO important. In my own personal world, as much as I enjoy exercise, quality sleep is actually more important to me. I mean, I can’t get through a workout on 4 hours of sleep. If you have trouble staying asleep, talk to your doctor. You might even have success with over-the-counter remedies like melatonin or valerian root. When I travel, I never get good enough sleep, so I’ve started taking an herbal supplement that contains both melatonin and valerian and it helps a great deal. If you can, try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
Drink more water
This is another one of my past resolutions that I’ve managed keep. I basically keep a (reusable) water bottle within reach at all times and sip throughout the day. When I first started, I downloaded a counter app on my phone to help me track exactly how much I was drinking. I even used the app to count how much tea, coffee, or other beverages I was consuming. I’m in the habit enough now that I don’t need the counter any more!
Establish a self-compassion practice
Your mental health is just as, if not more, important as your physical well-being. If you feel like you could be a bit gentler with yourself, think of ways you could create habits of self-compassion. For example, maybe you could journal for five minutes a day or meditate when you’re feeling stressed. Even a short walk around the block a few times a week to collect your thoughts may be helpful.
Whatever resolutions you choose, be mindful to pick ones that don’t come from a place of self-hatred. Even resolutions around working out or improving your diet won’t work if you’re framing them in a negative light (“No more sweets, EVER!” “Work out every day until I’m 20 pounds lighter!”). Choose kindness for yourself, know that you deserve to treat yourself better, and you’ll come up with New Year’s resolutions you won’t break.