With common goals to look better, feel better or do better, it’s common to set a list of resolutions at the top of a new year. People often have an idealized version of who they want to be and the life they want to have, and use the new year as an opportunity to pledge total transformation. And though small changes to our daily habits do have the power to beget large shifts in our lives, resolutions don’t always have to hold so much weight.
Whether you are looking for a major change in your life, or something more simple, you have the power to live an overall healthier, happier lifestyle. In this article, we’ll walk you through some ways to approach potential resolutions on your list.
Watching What You Eat
Regardless of age, maintaining a healthy diet is always a good idea, however, the consequences of unhealthy eating are far more severe for older adults. Regular consumption of fried, processed or sugary foods can lead to serious health conditions, like diabetes. Alternately, eating fresh, natural foods offers positive health benefits, such as disease prevention and increased energy.
Fortunately, a healthy diet doesn’t have to be a lackluster one- you can still enjoy your favorite dishes. Start small by cutting off things like sodas, fast food and sugary drinks, and slowly begin to incorporate healthier options like naturally sweetened drinks, fresh or grilled foods, and organic snacks. Every now and then, reward yourself with the occasional indulgence of your favorite treat.
Though “getting in shape” is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, it can be intimidating to those who aren’t used to regular exercise. Even if fitness is unchartered territory for you, getting started is so easy- you don’t even need a gym membership.
Whether you want to focus on flexibility, building your strength, or increasing your balance, dedicating just 10 minutes of regular exercise a day is enough to have a positive effect on your health- and you can do it all at home. If you need help feeling motivated, try incorporating exercise into the things you enjoy. For example, invite a friend to join you on a brisk walk, or practice your at-home exercises as you listen to your favorite song.
Believe or not, caring for ourselves takes practice. Even the natural nurturers among us may neglect their own needs. Though everyone needs to practice self-care, people have their own ways of creating peace for themselves. Regardless of what area of life you want to devote the most attention to, there are some universal needs that strengthen overall wellness.
Build your social relationships by introducing yourself to others, calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or joining clubs and activities in your community.
Feel more energized by creating a healthy bedtime regimen and adjusting the unhealthy habits that make you tired and cranky (i.e. drinking caffeine late in the day, staring at a tv, phone, or computer screen right before you sleep, or napping throughout the day.)
Feel more purposeful by volunteering with different organizations, meaningful causes, or dedicating yourself to positively impacting your community in whatever ways you can.
Remember that these changes won’t come overnight. No matter what you want to achieve this year, it’s attainable as long as you stay consistent, and dedicate yourself to making small adjustments to your mindset and routines. Be patient with yourself!
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