Happy new year!
January is the time when millions of us pledge to lose weight, get in shape, join a gym, or otherwise take steps to improve our lives and health. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, the problem with many new year resolutions is that they’re ultimately unsustainable.
That crazy crash diet? You’ll soon be so hungry and cranky that you’ll eat anything in sight. Going to the gym five days a week? If you love the gym then that’s great. But if you hate it, you’ll stop going and that expensive membership will seem like a big waste of your hard-earned dollars. None of this is a sign of failure on your part. It’s human nature.
But what about new year resolutions you’ll actually want to keep? Here are five that we think you’ll be happy to stick to.
Try Some New Foods
The problem with many diets is that they focus on the things you can’t have (no carbs, no sugar, no fat, and so on). But one of the best ways to improve your health is to introduce more delicious and healthy things into your diet.
So why not make it a resolution to try at least one new food every week in 2022? This could include buying a vegetable you’ve never eaten before and learning how to prepare it, choosing a new recipe to cook (if you’re pushed for time, meal kits are a great option), or even being adventurous when you order at a restaurant.
Remember that variety is essential to health as well as being the spice of life.
Find a Form of Exercise You Love
We all know that fitness is good for us. But if you hate running and are daunted by the thought of visiting a gym, it can be hard to know where to start. This year, make it your mission to find a form of physical activity that you enjoy. You might have to try a few activities before you find “your thing”, and that’s all part of the fun!
Here are a few options you might want to consider:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Yoga or pilates
- An adult dance class such as ballet, tap, or ballroom
- Aerial sports such as pole fitness, aerial hoop, or silks
- Winter sports such as skiing or ice skating
- Amateur team sports such as football, soccer, baseball, or basketball
- Joining a running or hiking group
The bottom line is that keeping physically active is good for you. But that doesn’t have to look a certain way - the options are endless.
Whatever type of activity you choose, it’s vital to protect your body. The appropriate protective garments can help you to avoid injury and heal more quickly from the strain that exercise puts on your muscles. For example, you might protect your wrists with a wrist sleeve or wear a brace to prevent back injuries.
Limit Your Scrolling Time
We’re not going to tell you to give up your smartphone or stop using social media. That’s not realistic for most of us, and these technologies do have a place. But if you’re spending inordinate amounts of time “doomscrolling” (absorbing negative news) on Facebook, answering work emails at 2am, or finding yourself having negative thoughts about your body after seeing one too many fitness models on Instagram, it’s time to close the apps and walk away for a while.
Aim to be more conscious about your phone and social media usage this year. Why not ban screens an hour before bed (which will also help you sleep better) or resolve not to check your phone until after your morning coffee? You’ll likely notice you feel calmer and less overwhelmed within a week or two.
Devote More Time to Your Hobbies
Life can be busy and stressful. But that means it’s even more important to make time for the fun and relaxation that hobbies can bring. Make it your mission this year to dedicate at least some time to your favorite fun activities each week.
Here’s a bonus tip: resist the urge to monetize your hobbies. While it can be tempting, if you turn something you love into a “side hustle”, you risk sucking the joy out of the experience. The point of hobbies is that they’re purely about pleasure and fun.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Doing things for other people makes you feel good, and the world always needs more kindness and happiness. Therefore, why not make it a resolution to perform one random act of kindness every week in 2022?
Give a genuine compliment, give to charity or to an individual in need, help a friend or neighbor out, or just spend quality time with someone. The Random Acts of Kindness website has hundreds more ideas to inspire you.