A new year . . . A new you?
Every year, millions of us write down New Year’s resolutions, confident that this will finally be the year that they stick. But many of us fall short. In fact, according to Forbes, just about eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
Setting yourself realistic, achievable goals is one way to set yourself up for success.
So, when it comes to health, life, and fitness, what does a great resolution look like? Here are a few healthful New Year’s resolution ideas, courtesy of health experts around the web:
1.) Practice Mindfulness
As Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, told CNN:
“I find that mindfulness not only allows me to react more calmly in stressful situations, but it also helps me feel happier overall and more in the moment, whether I’m eating, being active, or spending time with my hubby and pets.”
Focusing on being more mindful and living in the moment can be a great way to set yourself up for success in all aspects of life in the new year.
Fortunately, you can break this lofty goal into more manageable actions! Consider taking up activities that encourage mindfulness, such as daily meditation or yoga.
You can also practice mindfulness when it comes to the other aspects of day-to-day life. For instance, you can practice mindful eating by taking the time to plan out meals and really savor what you’re eating in the moment. As Dr. David Cox, chief medical officer at mindful meditation app Headspace, told SELF: “If you pay attention to your food you are psychologically more satisfied by it.”
2.) Reduce Stress
Chronic stress has been shown to increase the risk of insomnia, depression, heart disease, obesity, and more.
And while stress at work and home may be an inevitable part of life, there are many ways that you can help cut back on the negative effects of stress in the new year.
For some people, practicing mindfulness may help; focusing on things you can control, rather than worrying about every little thing that could go wrong, may help improve your attitude. Carving out personal time, improving your eating habits, and getting more sleep can all help reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
In particular, experts say that sleep is one area where Americans tend to fall short.
Rachel Salas, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told SELF that “a lot of people don’t emphasize the importance of a consistent sleep/wake schedule.” Making sure that you get enough sleep, on a consistent schedule, could help you manage stress in the new year—while also warding off other side effects of sleeplessness, including a greater risk for developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
3.) Connect With Others
This is another area of life where mindful living comes into play. Taking care to engage in social activities, practice random acts of kindness, and really consider the thoughts and feelings of others can put you in a mindset “to think about how you can be more compassionate all day, so you can realize the perfect moment to act on it,” as Danielle DuBoise, co-founder of SAKARA LIFE, told CNN.
In the new year, carve out time to spend with friends and family in person, and away from distracting technology; you may also consider volunteering, or joining social clubs, as a way to meet more people and develop new relationships.
Spending time with others may well leave you feeling rejuvenated—and healthier overall! According to a study in the journal PLoS Medicine, a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse or smoking.
On the other hand, “someone who makes this sort of resolution [to spend enough time with others] is likely to obtain a tremendous personal benefit in the happiness department,” says Peter Kanaris, Ph.D., coordinator of public education for the New York State Psychological Association. In fact, studies have shown that people with more positive emotions are 20 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease.
4.) Kick Bad Habits
Could 2018 be the year when you finally move away from your worst health habits for good?
Rather than focusing on how hard it may be to give up your favorite vice, consider all of the positive benefits you may see as a result. For instance:
- Cutting back on your sugar consumption could dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
- Lowering your alcohol intake reduces your risk for liver disease, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and certain cancers. Plus you won’t have to deal with those pesky hangovers!
- Giving up smoking helps reduce your risk for developing lung, throat, and mouth cancer. And giving up cigarettes could save you hundreds of bucks a year!
5.) Get Your Health and Life Plans in Place
Healthcare laws and regulations are always changing, and 2018 seems poised to be a particularly turbulent year on that front.
At the same time, there’s never been a better year to get started with developing the perfect health and life insurance portfolio for yourself and those close to you. The Enrollment Specialists are here to help, whether you’re
- looking to set up a group health plan for your business,
- considering adding a life insurance policy,
- turning 65 and considering Medicare Advantage plans, or
- looking for personal guidance on all things insurance.
Led by your personal health and life insurance superhero, Matt Peebles, the Enrollment Specialists have helped thousands of clients across the country find the perfect policy for their needs. We don’t believe in cookie-cutter care, and we’ll always work to find you the right plan, featuring the greatest possible coverage at the lowest price.
Ready to head into the new year with confidence? Ready to say, “I Got A Guy!” for all things health and life insurance? Drop Enrollment Specialists a line today to get the conversation started!