There’s no doubt about it - new year’s resolutions can be tough. We spend time thinking of ways we can improve our lives and ourselves during the year ahead, but somehow end up back in the same old rut come February. While creating goals for the new year is perfectly healthy and positive, giving yourself too many things to change and achieve can be unrealistic at best, and stressful and worst. If you’re taking a more easygoing approach to a better year, try these five healthy habits you can easily try out for 2018.
Cut down on sugar
This might seem hard for the sweet toothed foodies or milk-and-two-sugar tea drinkers out there, but it can be surprisingly easy once you know how. The first thing to do if you regularly drink sweetened tea or coffee is to try and gradually cut down over the course of a month or two. If you take two sugars, start by decreasing a teaspoon full to half a teaspoon, then gradually less and less until you hopefully end up sugar-free. There are lots of handy apps out there that make monitoring sugar intake easier, such as the Food Smart app by Change 4 Life. This app lets you scan the bar code of the food you’re about to eat, and gives you an interactive low-down on the levels of sugar, saturated fat and salt in your meal.
This is something that’s often on the list of people’s new year resolutions, and rightly so. Making the effort to try and read more is important as it gives you a break from social media and TV, and makes a great way to unwind at the end of the day. Start by picking out your new read by either asking friends for recommendations or exploring your local bookshop. I know they say you’re not meant to judge a book by a cover, but we all do secretly, so go with your instincts and pick whatever catches your eye! Start taking your new book everywhere with you so that it’s ready to get out for long train journeys or boring lunch breaks.
The start of the new year is the time when healthy recipes are most googled, alcohol is cut down and strict diets ensue. While it’s great to make an effort to eat more healthily, this is another habit that’s often forgotten throughout the year, as giving yourself a super strict eating plan can be difficult. Instead of completely limiting your diet in the new year, try and simply be more mindful of what you’re eating throughout the day. A good way to do this is by using a daily planner/journal where you tick off your 5 portions of fruit and veg, 7 glasses of water, and keep a note of your meals. When shopping for your dinner, make small changes such as buying whole wheat pasta or switching cereal for porridge oats and dried fruit. You’ll enjoy that Saturday night takeaway or mid week pizza even more knowing you’ve already got some goodness in you. And so you should - pizza’s amazing!
If you’re not a gym-goer, jogger or a person who enjoys sport in any form, but you’re conscious of your lack of exercise, give walking a go. Walk at any opportunity you get, whether this means walking to and from work, walking to the supermarket or taking a long walk somewhere scenic on days off. Monitoring your steps is a good way to walk more by aiming to exceed the steps you’ve walked on each day, increasing your goal each week.
Be kind to yourself
Last but not least, make sure you’re kind to yourself in 2018. Say no to things you don’t want to do (within reason), make time to chill out and unwind with a netflix binge, treat your skin well, drink gin and tonic in the bath - live your best life! Making time for some kind of self care and changing toxic thinking habits is a great step to take to having a healthier and happier new year.
We want to know your own new years resolutions! Let us know in the comments and give us your go-to tips on how to stick to them.