What are the best New Year’s Resolutions?
It’s not such an easy task to choose the best resolutions. Everyone is unique in their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals. However, these top health goals are twenty of the most common health goals. We believe that you will find some helpful goals listed below. Setting goals is easy but keeping goals is a little more difficult. The trick is to make goals simple, specific, achievable, and choose goals that you are strongly motivated to accomplish. Check out our article on this website for more information about how to keep your New Year’s resolutions and goals. You can do it with motivation, persistence and a plan.
20 BEST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
- Eat healthy foods – If you have made a resolution to eat healthier foods, you are not alone. What can you do to successfully achieve your “healthy eating” goal in 2013? First, make the goal specific to your needs. You might wish to throw out all packaged foods or ” junk foods” especially those with hydrogenated oils and high in trans fats such as packaged cookies, corn chips, crackers, candy bars, etc. Instead stock your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat nuts and healthy fats such as avocados. Set goals that are specific and measurable, such as “eat vegetables four times a day.”
- Get a physical exam – Many health problems can be prevented if people visit their health practitioners regularly. Making a yearly appointment with a dentist, optomotrist, and general practitioner is important and a great way to love ourselves this new year. Ask your trusted health professional which tests and exams are important for you to take at your stage in life, then set a goal that fits your needs, such as “Have my teeth cleaned,” or “get a breast exam.”
- Set up a fitness routine. – Most of us have trouble keeping up with our physical exercises and setting a regular schedule. For some, it’s best to do exercises first thing in the morning before showering and heading out for the day. For others it’s best to exercise before going to sleep and others might prefer to exercise throughout the day for shorter periods of time. It might be that your resolution is to practice better posture. Sitting up straight and standing with shoulders back, is good start. Chat with your health professional. Recognize your areas of weakness and consult with a trusted professional about fitness routines and exercises that are best for you.
- Attend educational events. – Sometimes we are so busy with family, work, friends and physical activities that we forget about engaging the mind. The year quickly fades away and then we realize that we did very little except work, eat, and watch TV. You might be one of many people who are deciding to make a conscious effort to schedule time attending educational events this new year (lectures, workshops, discussion groups, art galleries, ballet, concerts, seminars, conferences, classes, etc.). Engaging and stimulating the mind brings renewed energy and health. Check your local paper for events listings and check our MBHA Meetup site for lists of hundreds of health and wellness activities and events.
- Schedule time for hobbies. – It’s not uncommon for people to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and realize that they spent very little time engaging in activities they truly love – hobbies such as tennis, swimming, knitting, playing the piano, dancing, painting, hiking, etc. If you have a hobby that makes your heart happy, you might wish to write this goal as a New Year’s resolution. Make it a point to write down “hobby time” every week.
- Save money and pay off debts. – Being in debt is no longer something to be ashamed of in these economic times. Setting a goal to pay off debts is a great New Year’s resolution. There are many tips that are helpful in removing debt from our lives. Check out our article on this blog about how to stop debt and bring abundance by making lifestyle changes.
- Maintain a healthy weight. – Dieting and losing weight is a very popular New Year’s resolution and certainly in the top 10, but how do we succeed at meeting this goal? A healthy weight for some people might not be healthy for others. Some more intensive physical exercise routines might not be appropriate for everyone, and might actually result in injury. Some people have dietary restrictions, food allergies, and physical limitations such as arthritis or other problems. It’s important that goals are specific to each person’s lifestyle. You might want to set an appointment with a nutritionist or a fitness trainer or coach. It’s a great idea to take a good look at your eating and exercising habits and consult with professionals who can help you design a plan to maintain a healthy weight.
- Volunteer with charities. – Volunteering in the community is a great goal. Get a list of local nonprofit organizations near you and decide which organizations speak to your heart. Do you have a particular skill that can be beneficial to others? Perhaps you are a good reader and would enjoy reading to the blind? Maybe you are the quiet type who enjoys working on the computer alone and can volunteer helping input data for a local charitable organization. Maybe you like physical work and would be happy unloading donating clothing or bags of food from a truck. Choose a goal the works for you and be specific about how many hours each week you will volunteer. Write it on your calendar and stick with it. How does charity make us healthy? Studies show that people who volunteer in the community are healthier and happier.
- Get more sleep. – Lack of sleep is a primary cause of health problems and if continued for long periods of time can lead to more serious health conditions. Many of us don’t get enough sleep or have restless or interrupted sleep due to our living environment or other interfering health problems such as stress, migraines, allergies, muscle aches and pains, digestive problems, etc., and a more serious health problems such as night seizures and sleep apnea. Any or all of these situations can interfere with our ability to get a good night’s sleep. If you think that you are not getting enough sleep, discuss your situation with your trusted health professional and set some goals to accomplish this. He or she might schedule some tests to determine how you can be helped.
- Organize your life. – Do you still have a pile of unopened mail from last year? Do you file your important papers in a sack in the closet or in your sock drawer? Do you have photos stuck between pages of books? Does your refrigerator look like the inside of a toilet? Maybe you need “organization” as a New Year’s resolution. Most of us have some areas of our lives that are less organized than others. For example, you might want to get organized with the email addresses, street addresses, websites, and phone numbers of your friends and family members (either online or in a address book) or you might just want to throw out all the garbage in your closet. Decide what is important to you and what you are motivated to change and set a specific goal, such as “Finish painting the kitchen by March 15th.”
- Spend more time with loved ones or family members. – Do you wish that you would have spent more time with your family members or loved ones, this past year? Most people do. If you want to set this as a goal, it’s important to look at what you are doing that is interfering with making this happen. Make a list of how you spend your day and what happens in an average week. Start planning ahead and schedule specific dates and times for family and/or loved ones. If you continue to break appointments with those you love, you might want to discuss the situation with a therapist or counselor, health practitioner, or trusted friend to help you work through relationship issues. A professional can help you to set goals.
- Reduce TV time. – Studies show that most of us are watching too much television (or watching programs on the computer). Electromagnetic radiation can be damaging to our health, and long hours spent watching televised programs keep us away from physical exercise of the arms, legs, neck and eyes. Those who watch television for long periods of time or spend long hours on the computer often spend very little time communicating verbally and stimulating that area of the brain. Staring at the light from the television or computer screen can be fatiguing and straining for the eyes. Reducing TV time can be helpful to bring about a healthier body, mind and spirit.
- Spend more time in nature. – Research studies show that fresh air, sunshine and time in nature are important to a healthy body, mind, and spirit. If you feel you spend too much time indoors, it might be a good New Year’s resolution for you to schedule time participating in outdoor activities alone or with others such as: planting a garden, walking in woods, visiting a park, or simply sitting outside in a lawn chair resting and listening to the birds.
- Read a book. – Whether you are curling up to the fire with Kindle or an old-fashioned hard-cover novel, it matters little. Reading is an important way to meet your health and wellness goals for this new year. Browse through book titles and choose subjects that are interesting to you so that you are motivated to keep this goal. A healthy mind, creates a healthy body and spirit.
- Quit smoking. – You are not alone if you are still smoking and want to quit. There is no question that smoking contributes to poor health. Why do you want to quit? Is it because others are aggravating you with their criticism, or is it because you want to be healthier and happier? Knowing why you want to quit is an important step toward success. Other reasons for stopping smoking are to improve the health of those who live with you, and to save money. You don’t have to quit smoking alone. There is help available. For tips on how to stop smoking, contact the American Lung Association. Work with a partner and set specific achievable goals to kick the smoking habit.
- Quit drinking. – Quitting drinking or cutting back on drinking is a popular New Year’s resolution. Why do you want to quit drinking? Do you have blackouts? Is your drinking interfering with your work or family life, or is it interfering with you accomplishing your goals in life? If so, you might have a drinking problem. You can find help with a goal of quitting drinking at Alcoholics Anonymous. Find out where the closest AA group is near you. Whether your goal is quitting drinking completely, or cutting back, it’s great to set definitely goals, and schedule alternate, healthy activities to replace time spent drinking alone or with friends.
- Walk more and drive less. – One of the best and easiest ways to become more healthy and fit is to walk as much as possible. Walking is great for improving circulation, oxygenating the body, and stimulating the senses. Walking is enjoyable and refreshing. Is walking the best resolution for you? Do you live within walking distance of a grocery store, post office, or restaurant? Try walking to various locations instead of driving. Although walking is a relatively safe exercise, always check with your doctor or trusted practitioner, before beginning a new exercise routine.
- Learn a new skill. – Is there something that you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, but have been putting it off for months, or years? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to go parachuting, rollerblading, to learn how to speak French. Learning a new skill is not only fun, it’s very healthy and stimulating. Choose a skill that is achievable and that you are highly motivated to learn.
- Conquer a fear. – Have you been struggling with fears that keep you from moving forward on the job, with your life goals, or in your personal relationships? Do you have a fear of a situation, like fear of spiders, elevators, swimming, or crowded rooms? Conquering a fear might be a good resolution for you. Take some time to be alone and listen to your inner feelings. Make a list of situations that trigger feelings of anxiety, regret, guilt, shame and fear. Once you have identified the situation and the fear, begin to bring feelings of confidence, hope, peace, contentment, forgiveness, calmness, detachment, and love into your heart. Use your imagination to experience confidence and inner peace. Write down on paper what you want to achieve and imagine it without fear. Read motivational quotes, believe in yourself and achieve your goal. You might wish to seek professional help or join a support group to help you with your fears. You don’t have to tackle it alone.
- Travel or plan a vacation. – Planning a vacation or trip is a popular New Year’s resolution. Traveling away from the daily work routine is a great way to relieve stress and energize ourselves. Do you have a place that you’ve always wanted to visit? Do you have fun friends that live far away that you would enjoy visiting? Is there a particular place that brings you joy or contentment? If you can’t get away for a week or a few days, schedule one day every week or every month, to get away to a nearby beach, forest, health spa, or other natural setting. Any shift in scenery is a great way to recharge.
Remember, you can do it, if you plan it, see it, and be it. Best wishes to you from your health and wellness friends here at MBHA.
Jean Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University, is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder, and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, a 501(c)3 health education nonprofit organization. To find out more about our Health Educators, or to apply as a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance writer or volunteer, visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com
Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.