We are nearing the time of year when we make lists of all the things we have resolved to change and which 2/3 of us will fizzle on within the first month.
The problem with resolutions is that often we make multiple major and life altering changes and expect them to happen overnight. Then, frustration hits and burnout results.
This year, I suggest adopting some simple and free healthy habits and letting the bigger changes follow. My goals for next year are written in incremental baby steps with phases to keep me accountable and keep me from burning out early.
These resolutions are changes that anyone can make and stick to:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a non-negotiable for health. Sleep helps the body restore and heal, is vital for hormone production, improves mood, aids weight loss and more. In short, if you aren’t sleeping, you aren’t healthy.
Sleep is also free and this is a pretty simple change to make if you commit to it. Granted, some people do have trouble falling or staying asleep, but there are often simple remedies to help with this as well.
This post has some good tips for getting enough quality sleep and many people also notice that magnesium oil rubbed on the feet before bed helps improve sleep (here is the recipe for magnesium oil).
2. Drink Water
Water is typically free, though quality water can cost a little upfront if you buy a new filter (this is the water filter we use). Water is also necessary for digestion, mental health, removal of toxins and more.
Though there are as many theories on how much water to drink as there are brands of bottled water, some good rules of thumb are:
- Don’t let yourself get really thirsty as thirst is a good sign that you need to drink water (obviously).
- Drink at least one cup of water for each cup of caffeinated beverage or alcohol that you drink (in addition to your regular water consumption).
- Consider drinking some salt water in the morning. Sound strange? Here are some reasons you might want to drink salt water daily.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress can do more to hurt you health than any cheat day ever could. Of course, adding “reduce stress” to your to-do list isn’t going to help much.
Consider taking up daily prayer/meditation. Find the source of your stress and address it. Get regular exercise. Here are some tips I use to help reduce stress.
I don’t like the word “exercise” as it often refers to monotonous miles on a treadmill while watching a stress-inducing news channel or has a negative connotation of something people don’t enjoy doing. I also don’t like the idea of “exercise” as a hobby, as it isn’t something that one should just do for fun.
I prefer focusing on just moving! Movement is (or definitely should be) a normal part of human life, yet many of us aren’t getting enough of it. Movement should also be functional. Endless reps on an exercise machine don’t mean anything if they aren’t helping improve your daily life.
Focus on movements that are useful, such as:
- Lifting heavy objects- useful if you ever need to carry someone out of a dangerous situation (house fire, car accident, etc) or move an object without help.
- Sprinting- useful if you need to escape a bad situation, rabid dog, or other threat. Running a consecutive 26 miles probably won’t be as helpful here but the ability to do a solid 100 meter sprint is vital.
- Walking – In the past, humans have moved a lot more than we do these days. Walking is good for posture, digestion and bone health. Do it.
- Swimming- Great for overall health and lung capacity, but also useful if you ever fall in to a body of water and need to be able to get out of it.
Functional exercises like walking, sprinting, etc are free and you can even lift weights with sandbags or homemade objects or make a pull-up bar in your home (I use this one). No excuses… get moving!
Volunteering is a great activity to do as a family. It teaches children (and adults) to think of others. Not only is it free, it benefits the community. volunteer with local home building projects, food banks, community clean-up efforts, nursing homes, animal shelters or other venues.
What are your goals for this year? Are any of these one’s you’d like to adopt? Share below!