What To Do This Year Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions

New Years 2020 Goals

When setting goals for the coming year, many Americans look to their health. Among the most common New Year’s Resolutions are goals about health and fitness: lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise more. However, as anyone who has ever made a New Year’s Resolution might expect, most resolutions fizzle out by mid-February. So, if your resolution energy is starting to flag or you are a bit late in setting your goals this year, try something else. Most New Year’s Resolutions fail because it is difficult to uphold resolutions without clear or concrete goals attached to them. Instead of resolutions, pick measurable healthy lifestyle changes that are easier to keep track of and stick to long term:

Goals for Healthy Eating

1. Make Half of Your Plate Fruits and Veggies

Instead of resolving to just “eating healthier,” focus on what you put on your plate. When preparing meals, a good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plates with fruits and vegetables; another fourth of your plate should be protein, and the last fourth should be whole grains. This is an easy, visual way to make sure you are getting healthy servings of the important food groups. Fruits and vegetables often become a forgotten side dish, you can make them a delicious and important feature of the meal. There are an endless amount of recipes that focus on fruits and vegetables – do not be afraid to try something new!

2. Set a Specific Number of Meals to Prepare at Home

Instead of resolving to “eat out less often,” set a specific goal for yourself and your family. Resolve to eat homecooked meals six out of seven nights of the week, or 90% of days in the month. If your family is used to take-out, preparing and cooking meals together can be a fun new experience to try this year. Take turns researching recipes and building grocery lists; each meal is a chance to discover a new favorite dish! When preparing your own meals, you also have the opportunity to make each meal healthier than its take-out alternative. In addition to giving your more control over healthy food choices, eating at home can reduce your food costs and save you money.

3. Try a Healthy Theme Day

Instead of resolving to eat less of a certain food or more of another, choose specific themes that cater to those dietary needs. For example, if you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, start a “Meatless Monday” tradition in your house. You are not only fulfilling your healthy eating goal, but you also have the chance to switch up the regular kitchen routines that may be becoming boring. Brainstorm your own theme ideas based on the healthy eating goals you want to achieve. Ask your family for suggestions – maybe there’s a type of cuisine they have always wanted to try!

Goals for a Healthy Body

1. Set a step or exercise-time goal

Instead of resolving to “exercise more,” choose a concrete and realistic goal to become more active. Want to get in shape? Get a step counter and aim to hit a certain number each day. The CDC recommends between 4,000 and 18,000 steps depending on your health, lifestyle, and other considerations. If you would like to challenge yourself even more, set a time goal for each work out and do not stop until the timer ends. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity. When you do not set specific goals, it is easy to give up before your workout is complete.

2. Try new workouts

It can be easy for your New Year workout routine to lose momentum when you are tired of just running on the treadmill. To keep yourself motivated, pledge to try a new workout routine every week or month. This goal can be up to you – how often do you feel you need to switch routines in order to stay engaged? If you have the resources, take a local class or join a group. If not, there are lots of free resources available for online, including written guides and videos. Learn to dance different styles, try different sports, or focus on strengthening different spots on your body. Once you know what you like, it will be easy to circle back and re-try your favorites!

3. Set a Sleep Goal

One often overlooked aspect of health is getting enough sleep. Staying well rested is crucial to keeping your immune system strong, keeping your metabolism in check, and allowing you to focus and think clearly throughout the day. The right amount of sleep over a sustained period of time will also contribute to your overall health and decrease your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

If you are ready to re-commit to your health in the New Year, give Capital Women’s Care a call to set up your yearly exam.

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