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Make Healthier New Year's Resolutions This Year

Make Healthier New Year's Resolutions This Year

woman marking a calendar

Of all years to think about New Year’s resolutions, 2020 has many of us more than ready to plan for a healthy, happy fresh start in 2021. It’s a great time to look for hope and get excited about better days to come.

Make the most of your goals this winter and avoid the dreaded February burnout. First, choose resolutions that make you feel your best; and second, make it as easy as you can to keep them.

Resolve to Do Healthy Self-Care

New Year’s resolutions are tough to keep. Often, they’re about taking away things we enjoy or things we think we “should” be doing that feel hard and not at all fun.

Good health habits are a great focus for your goals in the new year. Try making ones that come from wanting to care for yourself and make life better for years to come. Here are 10 healthy ideas:

  1. Make all your medical appointments in January. Figure out when all your checkups are due, and schedule them even if it’s months ahead of time. Put them in your calendar right away, and you won’t have to worry about keeping up with checkups.
  2. Move your body and have fun with it! What kind of movement do you like to do? Promise yourself you’ll do something that feels good—even just a short walk—for 20 minutes, three times a week. (Too much? Start with once a week.)
  3. Get your RDA of SPF. Being outdoors is good for you, but protecting your skin from UV rays is even better. Use an SPF of 30-50 for best results every time you’re outside (even in winter.)
  4. Eat more plants. Rather than focus on quitting junk food, show your body some love by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your day. Remember that lots of colors = lots of nutrients.
  5. Take more naps. Okay, it also counts if you get more sleep at night. One way or another, though, give yourself plenty of time to rest every day when you need it most.
  6. Continue COVID-19 precautions. Public health experts have warned that this winter will be dangerous for coronavirus spread, even as we’re starting to see vaccines come out. Stay safe by wearing a mask when you have to go out and washing your hands often. Stay home as much as you can, and practice social distancing.
  7. Start saying no. Stress is one of the worst things for your health. It might be time to cut down on your to-do list every day—and try to keep from adding anything you don’t have to do.
  8. Turn off your screens. It can be hard to avoid staring at a screen all day, but too much of it can cause eye strain, among other things. Plan free-time fun away from computers, phones, and TVs every day.
  9. Keep in touch. It’s extra important now to connect with the people you love. Plan to say hi to a loved one at least once a week, whether it’s a text, email, phone call, or video call.
  10. Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes, to be bad at things you enjoy, or just to have a crummy day. Let it be okay to be human.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Picking the right resolutions matters, but so does making them easy to keep. Try these tips:

  • Use a “trigger” to help you remember a new habit—like putting your vitamins next to your toothbrush to make sure you take them.
  • Find a buddy and check-in and cheer with each other every week to stay on track.
  • Change works best when you do only one or two new things at a time. Who says you can’t plan some of your resolutions to kick off in a few months?
  • Plan to reward yourself for goals you know will be a little harder, so there’s something to look forward to.
  • Help yourself succeed. Set reminder alarms, put things where you’ll see them, post sticky notes, or use apps to automate tasks.

When you make resolutions that are about filling your life with energy, good health, and joy, you’ll count down to the new year feeling eager to get started.