5 Healthy Lifestyle Choices for the New Year

It’s that time of year when everyone pledges to become happier, healthier, and more productive.  New Year’s resolutions are a great first step to achieving your potential in the upcoming year, but we all know that they’re often easier said than done.  As we begin in 2021, let’s take a step in the right direction and focus on how we can make healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices.

First of all, let’s stop labeling healthy lifestyle choices as “New Year’s resolutions”.  A lifestyle change is about developing a new way of thinking and behaving.  Eating and living healthier shouldn’t be a temporary problem to solve, but a permanent way of life.  Here are some ways to get started…

Stretch More

That’s right!  A few morning stretch exercises serve as a great way to boost blood circulation, ease back pain, and give you a greater range of motion.  Here’s a link for some great stretching exercises to kickstart your day. They say it takes 30 days to develop a habit, so try to challenge yourself to do morning stretch exercises for at least one month. In time, it will soon be part of your routine. 

Identify Your Bad Habits

How can you change your lifestyle habits until you identify the bad ones?  Self-examination is required here, but worth it.  Harvard Health suggests that for each bad habit you identify, come up with a reason you want to change.  Maybe it’s your own mental wellbeing. Or, so you can play with your grandchildren.

Also, as you identify bad habits, it’s important to remove negative triggers that support them.  Is staying up too late hurting your sleep?  Are desserts used as comfort food when stressed?  You probably already know what triggers your bad habits, so identify and erase them from your life.

Reassess Your Fitness Goals

It’s time to be honest with yourself.  What workout routines are simply not working anymore?  I have to be self-aware and realize that the intensity, pace, and type of exercise that worked in my 20’s and 30’s may no longer be effective for me.  Start by reassessing your goals and looking at what’s healthy and reasonable for your specific needs today. 

Also, if an evening workout doesn’t benefit you, try switching it to the morning.  I’ve noticed that the early morning daylight keeps me motivated, but implement what works best for you. 

Involve a Buddy

Whether it be a friend, co-worker, or family member, someone else on your journey will keep you motivated and accountable.  I’ve noticed that when I go with a friend, the trip to the gym stops feeling like a chore and starts becoming fun.  Having someone to share your struggles and successes while motivating you makes the workout seem easier and less intimidating. 

Track What You Eat

Looking closely at what I eat is often an eye-opening experience.  Tracking will help you tweak your diet so that you can still enjoy foods you love without sabotaging your healthy lifestyle choices. You don’t have to do it for the rest of your life, but it’s a great habit to start.  To get started with an appropriate app, I highly recommend checking out the 3 Best Free Nutrition Apps

Finally…

Did these tips help you?  Is there a tip that you’d like to share that I could use for future blog posts?  I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com.  Also, be sure to subscribe to our Heart & Soul newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday. 

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