3 Resolutions You Should Keep (and How to Keep Them)
Focus on Your Health in the New Year
No matter what publication or survey you reference, the most popular resolutions each year revolve around health: losing weight, exercising more, and eating better. Those are goals we should all have. After all, nothing is more important than your health.
With that in mind, here are three resolutions for 2022 that you should keep, followed by a few strategies to help you keep them:
Take 10,000 Steps a Day
There’s a reason you’ve heard that suggestion, well, probably 10,000 times. Getting that many steps per day, which equals approximately five miles, is good for both your physical and mental health. The truth is the magical number came about from a Japanese marketing campaign in the 1960s. But the advice is still sound.
Taking 10,000 steps daily can help you lose weight, have more energy, and even stabilize your blood sugar.
Plus, lack of exercise has been shown to accelerate chronic health diseases. And this resolution has the added bonus of being able to be tracked with your smartphone. If reaching 10,000 steps is not within your physical capabilities, set the goal at 5,000 steps or, better yet, talk with your primary care physician and set a goal that aligns with your health.
Drink Eight Glasses Daily
We’re not talking about wine or soda here. We’re talking water. And though the exact number of ounces of water you’ll need each day varies, particularly if you are exercising a lot, it's very likely that you should consume more than you are currently. There are numerous health benefits associated with drinking eight glasses of water per day.
One way to know you’re not getting enough water is by the color of your urine. If it’s not clear, you are likely not drinking enough water.
Another sign of inadequate hydration is finding that you are thirsty at various times throughout the day. If you are thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how much water you need to be consuming each day, but drinking more H2O each day is a resolution that should be easy to keep.
Get Better Sleep
Just like exercise and diet, sleep can have outsized effects on your health and mood. Every person is different, but it’s a good idea to get eight or more hours of sleep each night.
Eliminating screen time before bed, reducing light pollution in your bedroom, and forgoing caffeinated beverages at dinner are all ways you can help ensure you get the quality and quantity of sleep your mind and body need.
It also helps to have a bedtime routine that you stick to each evening. It goes without saying that few resolutions require as little effort as simply sleeping does. Sweet dreams, indeed.
Tips to Help You Keep Your Resolutions
Unfortunately, the majority of New Year’s resolutions fail. Most are abandoned before the calendar turns over to February. In fact, based on one recent study, January 19 is the day most people give up on their resolutions.
There are several reasons why resolutions are so hard to keep, and understanding them will help ensure you stick to those three important resolutions above.
Set Realistic Goals
Though weight loss and getting in shape are popular resolutions, it’s unlikely that you’ll transform yourself into a chiseled Adonis or a willowy runway model. Those bodies you see on television or when scrolling social media are typically supported by teams of nutritionists, personal trainers, and chefs.
Using models or actors as your benchmark is a recipe for failure. Your goal needs to be more realistic. Maybe you want to fit into a pair of old jeans. Maybe you want to be able to better keep up with your grandkids or even eliminate one of your medications. Those are admirable and realistic goals. Looking like you’re ready to be cast in the next superhero movie is not.
In other words, instead of saying you’ll lose 50 pounds, try starting with five pounds.
Make Sure They’re Measurable
It’s also important to make your resolutions specific. For example, “I want to look great” is not a well-defined goal. Losing two inches from your waist, on the other hand, is. And though your goal may be to keep up with the grandkids, you can achieve that, perhaps, by setting a goal of swimming a mile or jogging three miles in under 30 minutes.
If your goals are specific, they can be more easily measured. And if your resolutions are measurable, they will be easier to track and, consequently, easier to stay on top of. There’s a reason the three resolutions mentioned above check those boxes.
Don’t Go It Alone
Friends and family can help you stick to your resolutions. Whether it’s a partner who walks with you each morning on your way to 10,000 steps or a group you exercise with, having a support network can ensure you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
Along those lines, it’s a good idea to share your plans with those closest to you. Instead of telling someone you're going to lose ten pounds, tell them the things you are doing to reach that goal. Tell them you are walking three miles five days each week.
Those people you share your journey with can help create positive peer pressure and keep you on the path to success.
A New Outlook for the New Year
2022 can be your best year yet. Adopting the above resolutions as your own will go a long way toward that. So, make your plans and get ready to feel better than you've felt in years. And, as always, speak to your physician before beginning any new exercise routine or changing your diet.