The New Year is about starting fresh, making changes and having a new outlook on life. The majority of resolutions people make pertain to changing lifestyle habits, such as eating healthier, exercising more or quitting smoking. While these are all excellent resolutions, they are also the most difficult to obtain. Not because the change itself is unachievable, but because the resolution is often made with unrealistic goals and expectations. For example, if the resolution is to eat healthier, some people may think that by slipping once they have been unsuccessful and therefore will no longer feel it’s necessary to continue meeting their goal. When setting goals, they should be realistic, obtainable and properly planned. So, for your resolutions in 2017, make sure your resolutions are within reach and if you hit some bumps along the way, give yourself a break and try again. To help you get started, here are a few resolutions to consider, including a couple of the most popular resolutions and tips on how you can stick with them.
If you are like most people, exercise is something that you do only when you find the time. This year, look at exercise in a different way than how you typically picture it. For example, exercise doesn’t have to mean spending an hour at the gym each and every day, nor does it mean doing painful crunches in the middle of your living room. You can include more exercise into your daily habits by making a few simple changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking a few spots further away from the main entrance of the grocery store.
One of the quickest ways to break this resolution is by having an all or nothing attitude. If you are accustomed to eating a certain way (which may include bad food choices) and this is how you have eaten for years, telling yourself to stop immediately isn’t going to work. Instead start with small, easy changes, such as substituting one bottle of water for one soda each day and gradually increase it until you are no longer drinking soda. If you enjoy a fried chicken sandwich for lunch, once or twice a week, instead of ordering the chicken sandwich, order a salad with fried chicken in it or better yet, pack a lunch that includes a homemade salad with grilled chicken. For dinner, include one extra vegetable every couple of days until you are eating two vegetables with each dinner. Gradually introducing healthier foods into your diet will help you to not only achieve your goal, but you will also start to feel healthier.
Feel Good Resolutions
This year make it a goal to do something that “just makes you feel better”. If you enjoy getting a facial or a massage, but can never find the time, make time. Simply going once every couple of months will help to reduce your stress and improve your outlook on life in general. There is nothing that helps you feel better about yourself than helping others, so consider volunteering a couple of hours a month at a local retirement center or homeless shelter.
Whatever resolution you make, it is important to remember that there will be bumps. Changes do not happen overnight, and in many situations, it took years to develop unhealthy habits, so it will take some time to undo them. Keep in mind that every step you take (regardless of how small) will bring you closer to achieving your goals, so celebrate each milestone you make towards improving your health.
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