The start of the new year is a great time to wipe the slate clean and work on the areas we need improvement in. From eating healthier, to exercising, organization, and building healthy habits, you can choose any part of your life you would like to make improvements in. Studies have shown that fewer than 10% of adults who make a new year’s resolution are able to maintain their resolution after a couple months. Often, we feel that to make a change we need to take major and drastic steps to achieve that change, and as a result the change isn’t realistic or attainable. Making small steps daily can help you form new, healthy habits, and as a result your resolutions won’t feel as much like a chore. Here are some simple, daily healthy habits you can adopt that can make a big impact on your life and keep your health goals on track in 2022!
1. Eat a “green thing” every day
Eating a green fruit or vegetable daily is an easy habit to adopt and is a great way to improve your diet and improve your overall health. Green foods such as spinach, kale, cucumbers, broccoli, green peppers, avocado, peas, green apples, and kiwi, are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. If you enjoy these foods already, make it a priority to grab one for a snack, or eat a salad full of greens for a meal. If the thought of eating green fruits and vegetables is intimidating, there are many ways you can add them to meals you already enjoy. Adding green vegetables to eggs, soup, stir fry, and casseroles is easy and can disguise them. Roasting or steaming is a great way to serve these foods as a side dish. Some great ways you can incorporate green fruits and veggies into your meals are shown in the recipes below!
2. Move 30 minutes per day
One of the most common new years resolutions you see is that people want to get into shape. The story of people signing up for a gym, using it for a while, and then falling out of a routine and wasting money on a monthly membership, is one that we hear too often. If going to the gym or using workout equipment at home isn’t something you enjoy, you are less likely to use it. Getting into better physical shape starts with building small habits, and continuously improving and adapting those habits. Therefore, you should choose a hobby you enjoy, such as going for a walk, riding a bike, swimming, or anything that gets you moving for 30 minutes a day! Moving your body for just 30 minutes a day can have drastic effects on your health, such as relieving stress, anxiety, depression, and lowering your chances of developing a chronic disease.
3. Start Meal Prepping
Most of us start the week out with intentions of eating healthy, but as the days go on and we get busy, it can be much easier to opt for convenience food, instead of spending what little free time we have on cooking our own meals. The most convenient way to continuously eat healthy home cooked meals, is to start meal prepping! By planning and cooking your meals ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of stress during the week. Also, by preparing your own meals, you have full control of how they are being prepared and what ingredients are being used.Meals made outside of your kitchen, whether it is from a restaurant or convenience store, typically have lower amounts of vegetables and fiber, and are much higher in calories, sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. By practicing meal prepping, you can eat healthy home cooked meals each day, and add variety to you diet!
4. Practice Gratitude
Making habitual lifestyle changes is HARD! When we deal with difficult situations, such as making lifestyle changes, it is easy to become discouraged. A great way to counter the feeling of discouragement, is to practice gratitude every day. If you don’t succeed at something right away, try putting a positive twist on the situation, and be grateful, and proud of yourself for having the courage to make a change in your lifestyle. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking the time to notice and acknowledge what they are thankful for are scientifically proven to have a better quality of life, and better physical and mental health.
A great way to practice gratitude is to use a journal the notes app on your phone and write 3-5 things you are grateful for each day!
Allow yourself the opportunity to pat yourself on the back. Change is one of the hardest situations we must deal with in life. Be proud of yourself for being brave enough to strive for something difficult. Creating new healthy habits shouldn’t be about becoming perfect overnight. It should be about making small changes overtime that will increase your quality of life, improve health, and make you a happier version of yourself!