Five Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Achieve
Ah, new year’s resolutions – those lofty promises we make to ourselves each year to erase all our bad habits, overhaul our lives and in general, try t0 dramatically change everything about ourselves we find unpleasant.
Typically, resolutions seem to last about two weeks until around mid-January, when we begin to backslide and by February, they are distant, guilt-ridden memories.
Although some psychologists would argue that it’s nearly impossible for most to change certain habits, setting unrealistic goals and expectations for oneself pretty much guarantees eventual failure.
Instead of vowing to lose 25 pounds in January or run a 5k by March, set smaller, more attainable objectives that you can incorporate into your every-day life and evolve into healthy habits.
Resolution #1: Set SMART Fitness Goals
Perhaps the number one resolution uttered around the world is the determination to get more exercise. But, if it’s not something you know how to start working towards, you’ll be discouraged before you can feel or see any results.
Don’t make generic fitness resolutions that you know you won’t keep. Try creating a SMART goal for yourself, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Commit to scheduling three workout sessions each week for 60 days. If you are able to achieve that goal, give yourself a reward, like a pedicure or a vacation.
Other ways to ensure you’ll stick to your fitness resolution:
- Bring a buddy and make yourself accountable to someone else.
- Make sure you’re drinking enough water during your workout.
- Take a class and blend into a crowd.
Exercise does not have to happen within the walls of a gym – it can take place outside or even in your living room. And, remember, even if you don’t lose any weight, increased exercise still improves your heart function and overall physical state.
Resolution #2: Eat More, Not Less
But, we’re not talking about cake, here.
Typically, diets are all about everything you CAN’T eat. But, by focusing on incorporating more healthy foods into your every-day meals – like greens and proteins – you’ll be replacing less nutritional choices.
And, that old saying ‘everything in moderation’ is a saying for a reason. Obsessing about the favorite treats that you must abandon for the rest of your life causes anxiety and discouragement. Allowing yourself a small portion of these foods here and there can keep you satisfied and feeling balanced.
Resolution #3: Get Your Full 40 Winks
In today’s fast-paced world, sleep tends to go by the wayside. But, the importance of a full night’s rest – every night – can’t be over emphasized. Lack of regular sleep leads to weight gain, risk of disease, memory loss and even a shorter life.
Make a resolution to go to bed and wake up at the same times, no matter your schedule. Creating sleeping habits will lead to better sleep cycles and more rest.
Resolution #4: Don’t Forget to Floss
How many times have you told your dentist you “forgot” to floss, when really you just skipped it?
Flossing can seem like the first chore that gets knocked off your every-day “to-do” list, but maintaining healthy gums doesn’t just keep your smile attractive – it’s essential to dental health. Skipping the floss can lead to gum disease and infection.
How to make flossing a habit? Pair it up with another habit that you know you won’t skip – like taking a shower. Keep your floss in the shower stall and floss your teeth while you wait for your conditioner to soak in.
Resolution #5: Keep Calm and Carry On
New year’s resolutions are promises we make to ourselves to improve aspects of our physical or mental states that we want to change. When we can’t stick to those goals, we may feel as thought we’ve failed ourselves.
But altering habits and behaviors is a long-term process. Putting too much stress on yourself to make an immediate change from one day to the next creates unrealistic expectations. Focus on making small changes and don’t beat yourself up if you slip – just get back up on that resolution horse.
Make a resolution to keep your teeth healthy this year. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.
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