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Revitalize Your New Year’s Wellness Goals

Revitalize Your New Year’s Wellness Goals

At the end of December, I graduated from college and could not have been more excited to have more “time” on my hands. I could finally make it to the gym, have time to make dinner every night, and take better general care of myself.

Reality hit me hard very quickly.

I may not have been taking 18 credits and working full time, but I now had two jobs plus being a mama (so that makes three). Time is still not on my side, so my new year’s goals, admittedly, have suffered. These goals, like for many people, reside in the health and wellness sphere. Juggling all of that while making sure that I am eating healthy enough to get all the micronutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle is an endeavor in itself.

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By this time of year, most people have lost the enthusiasm they had when they were with friends counting down the seconds to ring in the new year. It’s only natural.

Setting new year’s goals we can keep is difficult. We get back into the swing of everyday life and self care falls to the wayside. In addition to other tips out there on the web — like asking specific questions to define your goals — here are my tips to help resurface the commitment to yourself that you had at the beginning of the year. They take a bit of a different perspective than the usual “Just do it” standards that have become common to give you that extra motivation.

Make a Vision Board

If you are a visual person, vision boards are perfect for you and the effort it takes to create the board will resonate with you for a while. If you have any old magazines, newspapers, even books you’d be willing to take apart lying around, sift through them and cut out pictures and quotes that reflect the goal you are attempting to achieve and create a collage with them. Not only is this very creative but it is a successful form of motivation.

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Write it Out

For those of us who are typically detail-oriented, nothing gets done without a plan set in place. Sit down and create a plan of attack. How are you going to achieve this goal? What are you going to do daily to make sure that it is achieved? Spell out the what, when, where, why, and how of it all.

Then print it out and put it somewhere you will see it daily. Also add the details and times, if this applies, to your calendars.

For me, that means my Google calendar that sends me notifications and my physical calendar at home. Constant reminders are key. Set notifications to be sent to you daily or weekly while at work or once you get off during those times when you know you’re going to be craving a cigarette or want to stop at that fast food restaurant on the way home.

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Try the Buddy System

There’s nothing quite like someone you know in your ear reminding you how badly you want and deserve to achieve this goal. Even something as simple as a call every two weeks within the buddy system is shown to increase the likelihood of staying on track by 78%.

Most of us know someone who is right there with us and feeling a little discouraged, so why not buddy up? There are also countless support groups at gyms, and tons of message boards and forums online with people right there with you attempting to quit a bad habit or focus on healthier living.

Keep it Positive

Write positive, helpful notes to yourself. Yup, I said it: notes to yourself. It sounds silly but it is effective and helpful.

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Take sticky notes and write out reasons why this new goal is important to you and place them in places that you will see every day. They could be as simple as stating the actual goal and placing them in places you see daily or could be things like, “because I want to be able to keep up with the kids,” placed on the refrigerator door or, “Summertime in my little yellow polkadot bikini!” on your bathroom mirror.

Place them in places that you see every day — your car visor, bedside table, a note in your wallet, on the cupboards. Remember to keep them positive. Who doesn’t love a little extra motivation? Make a few of them affirmations as well, like “Because I am worth it,” or “Yellow looks great on me,” or simply, “I am remarkable and I deserve the best.”

Conclusion

You are remarkable and you do deserve the best — even though we all sometimes forget it because life becomes too busy. In the crazy connected world we live in, everything moves so quickly and seems so urgent that there seems to be no time for self care. In reality, this thinking is very backwards. Without proper health and wellness, your mind and body are operating on less-than-excellent conditions, leaving you fatigued and, in some cases, depressed. Time to return to your earlier new year’s enthusiasm and revitalize those wellness goals with determination, support, and a positive attitude.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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