Ready to have a healthier, happier year? Here’s how to crush your goals

resolutions As we get ready to ring in the new year, many are looking forward to a fresh start. Creating better health habits is a common goal that can benefit everyone, but staying accountable is often where things get challenging. So, where do you start? Here are some helpful tips to consider if you want those resolutions to really stick, and make sure you’re kicking your health goals into high gear.

Create More Realistic Resolutions

  • Only set two to three goals at a time and write out a plan. When you map things out, it can help you stay committed, organized and focused.
  • Take things slow to avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you’re trying to eliminate a bad habit, cut it out of your life little by little. This will be more sustainable long term rather than going cold turkey.
  • Get specific about what works best. If setting one big goal seems too intimidating, setting smaller goals each month might be better suited for you..
  • It’s easy to overcommit to things. It’s okay to change your mind if you need to regroup, and spend your time in ways that work for you.
  • One of the most valuable things you can do is learn to say “no.”

The Basics

Focus on Eating

  • Pay closer attention to what you put in your body.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water, and salty snacks with fruits and vegetables. Get creative by chopping up some fresh fruit into sparkling water, or try some crisp veggies with hummus when you’re craving something savory.

Get the Sleep You Need

  • Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Put down your phone, turn off the television and start to wind down at least an hour before bedtime. Use that time to read or meditate.
  • More sleep equals more energy to tackle the next day.

Get Moving

  • Little changes in your day can make the biggest difference. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your destination or take a walk to pick up your coffee in the morning.
  • Mix it up. Try a new fitness routine, like yoga or tai chi. It not only improves your strength, flexibility and posture, but lowers your blood pressure and pulse rate.
  • Aim to get 2-3 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week. However, check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new routine.

Remember: be realistic, choose wisely, sleep more and find ways to measure your success. Most importantly, don’t be discouraged if you get off track. Pick up where you left off and keep moving forward!

If one of your goals was to improve your health, it helps to have a professional caregiver on your side. Whether you need to find a primary care physician or schedule preventive screenings, set up those appointments now.