When we create broad, sweeping goals for ourselves at the start of a new year – lose 50 pounds! Yoga every morning! – we set ourselves up for failure. Research shows that making small, digestible changes to our habits is a much more sustainable way to improve our lives. Going all out with major lifestyle changes may leave you feeling great at first, but will almost certainly lead to burnout and a return to your old ways. That means that as you create your 2020 new year’s resolutions, you’re more likely to succeed if you make them small, manageable, realistic goals. Here are just a few ideas that we hope will serve as inspiration as you decide on your 2020 resolutions.
1. One Walk Per Day
Virtually all of us have 10-15 minutes to spare in a given day. Resolve to spend those minutes going for a walk. Walking has a multitude of health benefits, including lower stress, improved mood, better cognitive function and memory, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower body mass index (BMI), and a longer life. Daily walking increases your metabolism and keeps your body burning calories faster and longer. Need we sing its praises anymore? Walking is a simple yet incredible way to improve health. It may require cutting into your TV time or time spent reading your favorite book, but you’ll reap the benefits immediately, feeling better inside and out.
2. Journal Once a Week
While the start of a new year is a time when many of us resolve to improve our physical wellness, it’s important not to neglect our mental health. Journaling is a great way to reorient, refocus, and remind yourself what is most important to you. It creates a richer, more intentional experience of life and allows us to get more out of it. When was the last time you gave yourself five minutes to simply be still and think about how you’re feeling? If you can’t remember, you’re not alone. But journaling will go a long way in improving your mental wellness. If you’ve never written in a journal before, here are a few questions to get you started:
3. Try a New Healthy Food Every Month
One of the great secrets of sustaining a healthy diet is finding nutritious foods that you actually love to eat. The whole experience becomes less about forcing yourself to do something, and more about enjoying simple pleasures. Granted, it may be harder than finding junk food that tastes good – but delicious healthy food is out there! It all depends on your taste buds and preferences. Start your search for healthy foods you love by trying a new one each month. Kimchi, black beans, pomegranate, dark chocolate, almonds – you name it. Add something different to your grocery cart and experiment with different ways to prepare and eat it. You’re bound to find something you like eventually, so much so that you can easily incorporate it into your regular diet. In addition to improving your physical health, trying new things is good for the brain – it helps prevent us from getting into ruts, and keeps us young.