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January 03, 2019

Five healthy New Year’s resolutions that are actually achievable

Wellness Resolutions

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2019 Image Thom Carroll Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Whether your plan is to exercise more, eat healthier, or ditch drinking, coming up with a New Year’s resolution is easy — sticking to a new habit or routine, however, is where the real work comes into play. In fact, staying the course is so difficult, only eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

To avoid abandoning yours before the year is up, choose an attainable goal that doesn’t require you to upend your entire lifestyle. For example, before you commit to cutting sugar out of your diet completely, start slowly by making small but meaningful improvements to your daily diet, and you will likely be far more successful in the long run. Here are five more achievable resolutions for the new year:

1. Drink more water

The importance of staying properly hydrated may seem obvious, but studies show that the average American only drinks 1.8 cups a day, which is far less than the 8.5 cups per day recommended by most healthcare professionals. To boost your H2O intake, keep a water bottle at your desk, or drink a glass before each meal. Rather than reach into the kitchen cabinet for a snack, drink an eight-ounce cup of water to quell your hunger instead, as many experts say people often confuse hunger and thirst.

2. Add fresh food to your diet

If losing weight is your goal for the New Year, focus less on what you need to subtract from your diet by honing in on what you should add. Commit to putting more fresh fare (like fruits, vegetables, and nuts) on your plate rather than taking items away. If it’s an addition instead of a takeaway, you’re more likely to repeat the positive behavior again and again until it becomes second nature.

3. Regulate your sleep

Most people make the mistake of trying to “get more sleep.” While this is a laudable goal, it is too broad to be easily achievable. Try instead to go to bed at the same time each night, and rise at the same time each morning. Regulating your sleep patterns in this manner will program your body for success, providing you with the rest you need to make it through the remainder of the year.

4. Reboot your workouts

Instead of aiming to hit the gym five nights a week, take a step back and find an exercise regimen that works for you. Decide whether you want to increase muscle mass, improve flexibility, or burn fat, as these differing objectives will require different techniques. Try new workouts based on your specific goal, and make sure they’re ones you enjoy, so you keep coming back.

5. Stay in touch with loved ones

Research proves time and again that people who build lasting relationships enjoy longer, healthier lives. In the age of social media, it’s never been easier to stay in touch or reconnect with family or friends. Make it a habit to check in with loved ones in the New Year. Jot down a list of people who you wish to reconnect with, and commit to reaching out via text, phone call, social media, or in-person to ensure you make time for the important people in your life.

Sticking to your New Year’s resolution, whatever it may be, starts with setting realistic goals. Don’t let small failures derail your progress, as missteps are bound to happen. Everyone makes mistakes, but they don’t have to stop you from achieving your latest and greatest goals.

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