Starting a new year is a great opportunity to reflect upon the past 12 months and think about the kind of goals you set and accomplished.
Did you achieve your New Year’s resolutions last year? It’s okay if not – a lot of people don’t. That’s generally because they make their goals unattainable or too strict. It’s hard to go from “zero” to “ten” literally overnight, in other words, which is why you have to start small with your goals.
Let’s take a look at five unexpected New Year’s resolutions to make in 2019 that can help you improve your health.
#1. Vow to Focus on the Steps, Not the Destination
Have you ever made a goal to lose a lot of weight or dramatically overhaul your diet and lifestyle? These intentions come from great places. But how did they turn out for you? Most of us will struggle to achieve such lofty goals. The problem isn’t that the goal isn’t a worthy one. It’s not even that we lack determination or the desire to change. Instead, the issue is generally that the goal is so overwhelming that it’s incredibly difficult to pick a starting place and move forward consistently.
Instead of getting stuck at the enormity of your end-goal, focus instead on the small steps you’ll need to get there. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds in 2019, for example, then that goal is automatically broken down to celebrate every bit of weight you lose. When you lose five pounds, celebrate! Be proud of yourself for losing that weight and look forward to the next five (not the next 95). Celebrating the small steps gives you the positivity and motivation you need to go the distance.
#2. Vow to Hula Hoop Daily
Did you ever use a hula hoop when you were a child? These hoops likely brought you quite a bit of joy and laughter when you were younger. No one says that happiness boost has to stop just because you’re an adult! Hula hoops might not be the most sophisticated of exercise tools, but they’re effective because they get your body moving and they’re fun to use. That means that you won’t mind spending time moving the hoop around and are more likely to actually use it every day.
I know – hula hooping is fun, sure, but will it actually improve my health? According to the Mayo Clinic, the answer is a hearty “yes”. Any kind of hula hoop provides you with aerobic exercise and can help you meet exercise goals. This is true of traditional, non-weighted hoops as well as those that are weighted. The lighter hoops provide more vigorous exercise because they require more work to keep moving, but the heavier options might be easier for beginners. Either option can help you lose weight and improve your endurance.
#3. Vow to Keep a Food Journal
You might think that you keep good track of the food you eat, but you might be surprised at what slips through your mind. It’s incredibly easy to grab a small candy here and there throughout the day, especially if you work in an office environment where they are commonly on desktops. Opting for a quick lunch from a fast food place might seem like no big deal once every week or two, too, but are you really remembering exactly how much of it you’ve eaten? Many people are certain they’ve only had one or two fast food lunches over the course of a week but are surprised to find that they’ve actually indulged far more frequently.
This is where a comprehensive food diary comes in. When you keep a food diary, there is no guesswork involved in reviewing your calorie intake. All you have to do is open up the journal and check your entries for the day – and it’s important to write down everything that you eat, even the smallest of candies. Record them so that you can see if they really are just an occasional treat or if they might be something you indulge in a bit too frequently. Doing this will help you assess your current diet and struggles and plan better for the future, better enabling you to reach your health and weight loss goals.
#4. Vow to Walk More
Walking is a great way to keep yourself in shape (or to get in shape, if you’re just starting out). You can adjust the frequency and intensity of your walks to suit your schedule and your physical condition. If you want a challenge, for example, then opt for a walking path that offers plenty of hills or stairs. For an easier, but still beneficial, walk, you can take a straighter and flatter path that meanders around a particular area.
The great thing about walking more is that it’s not a hard activity to begin. Chances are good that you already have the opportunity to walk places as it is. If you have a pet, try taking them on longer walks even if you have a nice backyard they can play in. If you don’t, consider finding a park nearby and taking an afternoon stroll! This activity can improve your mood along with your health.
#5. Vow to Set a Bedtime
Finally, you might consider setting a bedtime in 2019. This might sound a bit infantile, but the truth is that setting a bedtime and sticking to it has incredible benefits. You’ll get more sleep on average and feel your stress levels decrease as a result. And as your energy rises, so, too, will your ambition to tackle some of your other goals throughout the year. To make the most of these benefits, make sure to invest in a quality mattress that suits your sleeping position and promotes good spinal alignment.
Are you ready to take on the new year? Make a commitment to your health and make 2019 your best year yet!