7 Healthy Habits to Maintain Throughout the New Year
The most popular New Year’s resolutions are often related to health and finance. This includes plans to eat better, exercise more and save money. Yet, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by February. To increase one’s chance of success, avoid overly ambitious goals and embrace a realistic approach. Here are seven healthy habits to implement throughout the year:
- Create a Budget: Proper budgeting can support both short and long-term financial goals. Start by tracking purchases to better understand spending habits. Make a clear distinction between needs (i.e. food, shelter, insurance) and wants (i.e. entertainment, travel, designer clothes). If possible, put at least 20% of monthly income towards savings. This can be used for anything from an emergency fund to a down payment on a home.
- Develop Stress Management Techniques: Find time to relax and focus on one’s emotional well-being. Chronic stress can trigger or worsen health conditions like depression, anxiety, diabetes and heart disease. Set personal and professional boundaries, practice time management and utilize stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing and exercise.
- Eat a Nutritious Diet and Exercise: Aim for a portion-controlled, nutrient-dense diet consisting of lean protein, whole grains, heart-healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Also, make physical activity a priority. It supports bone, muscle and joint health, while also reducing the risk of chronic conditions, such as coronary heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. These behaviors are crucial for preventing illness and maintaining optimal health.
- Get Quality Sleep: Rest is vital to refocusing the mind and repairing the body. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight and lowers the risk of developing a chronic condition. For the best results, a person should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
- Reconnect with Loved Ones: Maintaining close relationships can have a positive effect on everyone involved. It extends life expectancy, reduces blood pressure and boosts mood. Put down the screens and look for simple and effective ways to increase family time. Schedule a weekly dinner, game night or any activity the whole group can enjoy.
- Start Organizing: Visible clutter can influence a person’s mental and physical state. It may contribute to asthma, allergies and even stress. Clutter increases confusion, which can make it difficult to complete normal tasks. Organizing gives individuals control over their environment, empowering them to make better decisions and to feel accomplished.
- Stay Inspired: Success is a combination of discipline, planning and consistency. It’s important to stay inspired throughout the journey. Create a vision board, read books, seek professional advice and find a support system. Some health organizations offer webinars where members can learn a variety of self-improvement techniques. Over time, these small changes will lead to big results.