The start of a new year brings many positive intentions and healthy goals for the upcoming months. One of the most popular resolutions for a new year is to lose weight, eat healthier or increase fitness. I am no stranger to these goals myself, as each year I find myself dreaming of a year filled with ideal health and wellness.
Even though our lifestyle may not be perfect, improving health and wellness doesn’t always have to involve drastic changes. It’s easy to start the new year off with a killer diet and intense workout routine – but what happens when life starts to get busy and motivation fades after just a few weeks?
Related: 5 Ways to Overcome Low Motivation
Making small, healthy changes may not feel like a lot in the beginning, but can really pay off with time. Setting resolutions for wellness can involve so many different goals, but making a few simple changes will likely expedite your progress in multiple ways.
These healthy resolution ideas will set you up for your best year ever, while taking hardly any time at all. Making a few intentional changes as the new year begins will help you make 2019 your healthiest year yet.
15 Ways to Make 2019 Your Healthiest Year Yet
1. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day.
Water plays such a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. If you’re looking to make one simple change this new year, let it be to drink more water.
If drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day is a huge leap from what you’re currently drinking, then start small. Gradually increase your water intake each week in manageable chunks – say by adding an 8 ounce glass of water each day – until you reach a total of half your bodyweight.
2. Get outside every single day.
Maintaining physical and mental health is especially challenging in the beginning of the year, when the air is chilly and darkness comes early.
Start off 2019 by making a point to get outside each day – no matter how cold or dark it may be. Even just a few minutes of fresh air at some point during the day will help clear your mind and rejuvenate your energy.
3. Make a plan to get 10,000 steps.
If you’re looking to set some healthy resolutions this new year, setting a goal to hit 10,000 steps each day is a great place to start.
Whether you hit your step goal by walking the dog, taking the stairs, adding in regular breaks throughout the day, or trudging it out at the gym, a healthy level of movement will increase your calorie burn, metabolism and give you a healthy burst of endorphins to keep you motivated.
Related: Clever Ways to Get 10,000 Steps
4. Go to bed half an hour earlier.
No matter how healthy you eat, how much you exercise, or how much water you drink in a day, if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, your body is bound to suffer.
Make a point to head to bed half an hour earlier each night this year. If you’re anything like me, those final 30 minutes of the day are likely filled with procrastination or pointless time spent scrolling on the phone. Set a goal to consciously avoid this wasted time and replace it with a few healthy minutes of extra sleep.
5. Swap a daily snack with a serving of fruits or veggies.
One of the most common resolutions for wellness is to eat healthier. While that goal is likely filled with a great deal of positive intentions, this vague statement makes commitment and consistency difficult. A goal like this sets the stage for major changes, which can often be hard to maintain.
Rather than setting yourself up for an inevitable failure, set a goal to make small changes each day that will gradually help improve your health. Swap one regular snack with a healthy serving of fruits or veggies to begin adding more nutrients to your day in a simple yet maintainable way.
6. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
This one simple change will help increase your step count and get your heart pumping at moments when you’d likely have been sedentary in the past.
Making a point to take the stairs instead of the elevator in every situation is a healthy choice that can pay off in great ways.
7. Add a serving of fruit to your day with a smoothie.
Another simple way to improve your eating habits in a small way is to add an extra serving of fruits or veggies into your daily diet. A delicious and easy way to do so is by creating a smoothie!
Give yourself a mid-afternoon or early morning pick me up with a healthy smoothie that’s packed with nutrients. Blend some of your favorite fruits with a bit of spinach, ice, milk, yogurt and protein powder for a nutritional snack that will keep you full.
Related: 10 Delicious Healthy Snack Ideas
8. Swap 30 minutes of television with reading.
Most of us are guilty of spending a bit too much time in front of the television (I know I am). When darkness comes early, it’s easy to hibernate in the living room and spend hours mindlessly watching television.
Setting a goal to swap 30 minutes of tv time each day for half an hour with a good book will engage your mind and help diversify your activities.
9. Recharge at lunch away from your desk.
Falling into the trap of eating lunch at your desk is so easy. We get caught up in a task and just can’t seem to tear ourselves away during the day. But then before we know it, it’s been 8 hours since we’ve looked away from our computer screen, let alone gotten a chance to walk around.
Making a point to eat lunch away from your desk each day gives your body a much needed mental break and opportunity to recharge. Just a few minutes spend away from your desk may help you be even more productive when you return.
10. Make a regular list of things for which you are grateful.
It’s so easy to get bogged down in negativity when things seem to be going poorly. When one thing goes wrong, our brains tend to escalate the problem and before we know it it feels like everything has gone wrong.
In every day moments, and tough moments especially, it’s easy to forget how many things we have to be thankful about. Take some time each day or week to consciously think through or list out what you are grateful for. You might be surprised that even in the darkest times, your list is still quite long.
11. Try 15 minutes of meditating or journaling.
Feeling a bit out of sorts as the new year begins? Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the holiday season leaves us frantically trying to stay on top of our to do list with little extra time to set goals or prepare ourselves for a change.
When life feels busy, its especially important to take some intentional time each day to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Meditating and journaling are both great ways to gain a sense of clarity and propel your mind for a season of productivity and joy.
12. Mix up your workouts each week.
Monotony can be the enemy of progress when it comes to fitness. Make a point in 2019 to vary your workouts and focus on your entire body.
Regardless of your sport, you’ll benefit from full body strength in more ways than you expect. Mix up your workouts each week to burn calories, gain strength, and keep your mind fresh and engaged with each new activity.
Related: 19 Workouts to Try in 2019
13. Create a weekly meal plan.
I’ve learned from many failed attempts that eating healthy and changing your diet is a challenge. After evaluating my progress this past year, I’ve determined that my greatest failures have come when I’ve lacked a plan.
Setting a goal to eat healthier and cook with wholesome ingredients is a great first step, but without an action plan you’ll be unable to sustain this habit and more likely to fall back into your old ways. Take some time at the beginning of each week to plan every meal, make a grocery list and do any meal prepping that will make sticking to your goal easier than ever.
14. Add in some core strengthening with a daily plank.
Our core is the center of our entire body. We use our core in nearly every single movement, whether we can feel it our not. Having a strong, tight core gives us extra self-confidence throughout the day and provides us with the resources to compete at our best.
Luckily, strengthening our core doesn’t have to involve a huge time commitment. One of the most effective core exercises is the plank. Try completing a plank every day for a designated amount of time, and you might be surprised with your progress.
Related: The Ultimate 30 Day Plank Challenge
15. Eat a breakfast filled with protein.
You’ve probably heard many times before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but without the right foods, eating breakfast may leave you feeling hungrier than ever.
Focus on incorporating healthy sources of protein in your breakfast each morning. A serving of protein kick starts your day in a healthy way, while helping you stay full and focused for longer.
The new year doesn’t have to be filled with drastic lifestyle changes. Make a point to add a few simple activities to your daily routine in 2019 and you’ll set yourself up for your healthiest year yet.
There’s no better time to begin than right now. No matter how healthy you are, there’s always room for improvement. As 2019 begins, let’s make this a year we remember. Here’s to a healthier you and the best year ever!