New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but can be difficult to maintain.
Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half are still on target six months later.
It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti, but it’s not impossible. This year, pick one of the following worthy resolutions, and stick with it because it could be a matter of better health, so here’s to your health!
1. Lose Weight – The fact that this is among the most popular resolutions suggests just how difficult it is to commit to. But you can succeed if you don’t expect overnight success. Beware of the valley of quickie cures.”
Also, plan for bumps in the road. Use a food journal to keep track of what you eat and have a support system in place. Around week four to six…people become excuse mills, that’s why it’s important to have someone there on a regular basis to get you through those rough times.
2. Stay In Touch – Feel like old friends (or family) have fallen by the wayside? It’s good for your health to reconnect with them. Research suggests people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t.
In fact, a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse and smoking, and even more than obesity and lack of exercise.
3. Quit Smoking – Fear that you’ve failed too many times to try again? Talk to any ex-smoker, and you’ll see that multiple attempts are often the path to success.
Try different methods to find out what works for you and think of the cash you’ll save! (We know you know the ginormous health benefit.)
4. Saving Money – Save money by making healthy lifestyle changes. Walk or ride your bike to work, or explore carpooling. (That means more money in your pocket and less air pollution.)
Cut back on gym membership costs by exercising at home. Many fitness programs on videogame systems like Nintendo’s Wii (Wii Fit Plus) and Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect (Your Shape Fitness Evolved) can get you sweating.
Take stock of what you have in the fridge and make a grocery list. Aimless supermarket shopping can lead to poor choices for your diet.
5. Cut Your Stress – A little pressure now and again won’t kill us; in fact, short bouts of stress give us an energy boost. But if stress is chronic, it can increase your risk of—or worsen—insomnia, depression, obesity, heart disease, and more.
Long work hours, little sleep, no exercise, poor diet, and not spending time with family and friends can contribute to stress. Stress is an inevitable part of life. Relaxation, sleep, socializing, and taking vacations are all things we tell ourselves we deserve, but don’t allow ourselves to have. Plan to do one or all of these this year to help reduce your stress level.
6. Volunteer – We tend to think our own bliss relies on bettering ourselves, but our happiness also increases when we help others. And guess what? Happiness is good for your health!
7. Go Back To School – No matter how old you are, heading back to the classroom can help revamp your career, introduce you to new friends, and even boost your brainpower. What’s more, several studies have linked higher educational attainment to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
By going back to school, you are gaining a sense of accomplishment by gaining new knowledge, and you are out there meeting people and creating possibilities that were never there before.
8. Cut Back On Alcohol – While much has been written about the health benefits of a small amount of alcohol, too much tippling is still the bigger problem. (In fact, binge drinking seems to be on the rise.)
Drinking alcohol in excess affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and can increase the risk of depression, memory loss, or even seizures.
Chronic heavy drinking boosts your risk of liver and heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and mental deterioration, and even cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and breast.
9. Get More Sleep – You probably already know that a good night’s rest can do wonders for your mood—and appearance. But sleep is more beneficial to your health than you might realize.
A lack of sleep has been linked to a greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. And sleep is crucial for strengthening memories (a process called consolidation).
So take a nap—and don’t feel guilty about it.
10. Travel – The joys and rewards of vacations can last long after the suitcase is put away. We can often get stuck in a rut, and we can’t get out of our own way. Everything becomes familiar and too routine.
But traveling allows us to tap into life as an adventure, and we can make changes in our lives without having to do anything too bold or dramatic.
It makes you feel rejuvenated and replenished, it gets you out of your typical scenery, and the effects are revitalizing. It’s another form of new discovery and learning, and great for the body and the soul.
To Learn more: http://www.health.com/health/