5 Ways to Easily Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

A new year means a fresh start filled with excitement. And an opportunity to shape the year ahead with your goals and intentions.  New Year’s resolutions are common, but over 80 percent of them fail. This year, we challenge you to approach your resolutions in a new way that is sure to keep you on track and moving in the right direction.

  1. Your resolution: Exercise regularly.
    Make it happen: Make small changes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you take too big of a leap, so focus on small steps. Adding in 10 minutes of exercise a day in the form of a walk or dance party in your living room is a great start. Add on five minutes each week until you’re up to 30 minutes. Then up the speed, incline or how often you go to the gym.
  2. Your resolution: Eat healthier.
    Make it happen
    : Focus on one change at a time. Eating healthy is a lifestyle that is created though smart decisions that add up. Each week, focus on a new healthy goal: bring lunch from home instead of eating out, switch from a high-sugar dessert to an orange and some tea after dinner and aim to drink half your body weight in water. When each improvement feels like a habit, move on to the next.
  3. Your resolution: Spend more time with family and friends.
    Make it happen:
    Mark it on your calendar. Your planner isn’t just for work meetings and your kid’s sports practices—use it to keep track of fun social engagements too. Adding in fun social events with friends and family will uplift your mood and help you stay connected with your loved ones. At the start of each week, see where you have time to grab a quick coffee with your neighbor or call up a friend and pencil it in. Fostering relationships is a healthy priority to add into your week.
  4. Your resolution: Volunteer
    Make it happen
    : Think small. If you look, you can find little opportunities to help your community. While there are a lot of great organizations across Michigan, you can also rake leaves for your elderly neighbors, clean up litter as you go for your daily walk or throw some extra canned goods in your cart and drop them off at a local food bank. These little actions can go a long way.
  5. Your resolution: Quit smoking
    Make it happen
    : Learn your triggers. Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions you can make for your health—it can help lower your risk for a long list of serious diseases associated with tobacco use. That said, don’t feel like a failure if you light up again—the most important part is continuing to try. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offers a Tobacco Cessation Coaching program where you can set goals and feel stronger with a support system behind you. Learn what your triggers are and find a replacement to avoid starting again.

According to the American Psychological Association, sharing your struggles and successes with someone helps your new habits feel a little easier. In other words, by recruiting a friend to be your gym buddy or getting your spouse on board with cooking healthy dinners, you’ll stay accountable and stick with it. So, write it down, find a friend and get ready for your best year yet.

Check back at A Healthier Michigan regularly to learn more tips about eating better, exercising more and feeling happier.

 

Photo: mt23

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