“My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with the desire to lose between 10 and 3,000 pounds.”
— Canadian actor Nia Vardalos
Why bother making a New Year’s Resolution if you can’t keep it? Instead, focus on these three healthy habits that you can easily nail down for an achievable resolution. After all, only 8% of us successfully follow through on the most popular resolutions, which include losing weight, getting organized, falling in love, and spending less and saving more. These are all worthy goals, to be sure, but they’re just hot air if they don’t happen. That could be why nearly 40% of us never make resolutions in the first place!
The key is to shoot for things that are both beneficial and achievable… just like these three beauties:
1. Increase your energy, drink more water
How to keep your resolution: Drink a big glass of water before your morning coffee, have one with every meal — breakfast, lunch and dinner — and sip throughout the day. Using meals as a cue will make it easier to down the two litres, or 5-8 glasses, of water guys are recommended to drink every day.
Fun add-on: Jazz up your H2O by adding bubbles, flavour shots or flavoured ice.
Benefits: Your body is about 60% water and uses it in many ways. Water maintains essential functions such as blood circulation, temperature regulation, and food digestion. Indeed, scientists at Loma Linda University found that men who drank five tall glasses or 2 litres of water every day were 54% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack. Water can literally save your life!
2. Boost your mood, walk to lunch
How to keep your resolution: You need to eat lunch, of course, and getting up from your desk and out of the office will help clear your head and renew your focus. If you packed a lunch, walk to a park bench a few blocks away. If the weather is bad, take the stairs instead of the elevator to the break room in your building. Choose a restaurant, cafe or grocery store a few blocks from your office to eat your meal.
Fun add-on: Snap a photo with your phone somewhere along your route. It will inspire you to get out tomorrow!
Benefits: Even a few minutes of light exercise like this can work wonders on your mood and physical health. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, men who walk 5 city blocks in a day lower their risk of heart attack by 25%.
3. Sleep better, try 30 minutes of tech-free time before bed
How to keep your resolution: Set your smartphone’s alarm to go off 30 minutes before bedtime. This will remind you to power down for the night. You can also recharge your phone somewhere in your home that’s not readily accessible; say, in an unused bedroom or in the basement.
Fun add-on: Fewer high-tech distractions before bed lets you focus your attention on your significant other in the bedroom. Now that’s a fun add-on!
Benefits: Switching off before bed has been shown to help you get to sleep more quickly and snooze more soundly, which in turn helps you feel well-rested and boosts your energy for the day ahead.
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.