A single, overarching resolution for the new year can be a difficult task for almost anyone to manage, especially seeing as life can come with many other challenges, starting with work and family.
However, this doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to improve your life, even if it means making the most minuscule of changes from time to time.
In fact, it’s the small steps that really count, and if you can continuously keep achieving these smaller goals while creating new ones to work towards, it’ll become much easier to achieve your bigger, long-term goals as well.
On top of this, it’s never too late to start, and you could begin planning out your year even now, and while the early bird does get the worm, you’ll still be able to achieve a lot even with only 11 months to work with instead of 12.
Take on a much more freeform dieting plan
Controlling what we eat has become a crucial part of staying healthy and fit, but it’s not always the best thing you could be doing for your health.
A restrictive diet plan means that you’re forcing yourself to give up on the food you love and instead choose to eat smaller, less soulful meals.
It does sound counterintuitive, but starting a year off with a strict diet is the best way to set yourself up for failure, especially if your goals include becoming fitter.
Motivation runs out incredibly fast, and this is particularly true for dieting goals, mainly due to how dependent we are on food and how big of an impact it has on our emotional well-being.
However, you should maybe learn to prioritize the more important things in life and ditch the diet, as it’ll allow you to make small changes that you’ll actually stick to.
Give up on processed food
This goes in line with dieting, but you don’t have to be on a diet to stop consuming processed meats and cheeses.
In fact, it’s probably for the best to drop them entirely, as they usually have a much greater sodium content than their freshly made counterparts, and this can have a variety of different effects on your body, most notably on your blood pressure.
Apart from this, a diet consisting of processed foods in high quantities has been found to be linked to high obesity rates in countries like Australia and the US, although that’s only one of the factors that go into this.
Opt for fresh food like vegetables and raw meat instead of cooking with processed alternatives like sausages and pre-made vegetable broth, and sooner or later, your body will be thanking you for it.
Be realistic about your exercise schedule
We all want to have a chiseled body and look like the models we’ve looked up to all our lives, but sometimes it’s more important to be realistic about our goals.
If you’re overweight, achieving your ideal weight within a single year is nearly impossible, and even if it’s doable, it’ll require much more effort than you could probably fit into your schedule.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t press on towards some shorter-term goals like losing a pound or two every month and working your way up from there.
Remember, exercise is much more effective if you’re consistent, and with several months of dedicated work, you’re bound to begin seeing results.
Small steps lead to long-term goals, and it’s only when we stack up a massive amount of these smaller goals that we can see exactly how much progress we’ve made in spite of all the odds being stacked against us.
Sleep is invaluable
Getting 8 hours of sleep daily has become an unattainable goal for some of us, and with so many other things to take care of in a single day, it’s hard to find the time to go to bed on time.
This is even more difficult for those with children, as kids have their own responsibilities and needs, and meeting all of them in a single day usually means you’ll be left with next to no time for yourself.
Sure, you could instantly hit the sack and put it off for tomorrow, but with a new day, you’ll be facing new challenges, and sooner or later your own responsibilities will begin to suffer.
However, there’s always room for improvement, and with only a few minor changes to how you approach things in your day-to-day life, you’ll be able to get the sleep you need.
Make a list of priorities to take care of every day and slowly you’ll begin noticing that the time you’ve got for your own needs is beginning to extend.
Once you’ve got a nice balance of work/obligations/needs, the 8 hours of sleep will naturally find its way into your daily routine.