Every New Year, 60 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions. However, just eight percent of Americans actually achieve those goals. Why do the other 52 percent of resolutions fail? Because too often we make vague goals — like “lose weight” instead of “lose fifteen pounds.” If you truly want to improve your health this year, then start by setting reasonable and attainable goals.

Healthy Resolutions for 2018

1. Reduce Stress

Reducing stress is a great way to reach many of your goals and resolutions for the year. When you are stressed, overwhelmed or anxious, it is easy to neglect your exercise routines and sleep patterns. Additionally, some people overeat when stressed or eat foods that are high in fat for comfort.

By reducing your stress, you can truly improve your overall health. Start by making a list of all the things you are doing and are involved in. Divide your list into three categories: things you have to do, things you want to do and things you should do. Next, cut your list down. Keep the things that make you truly happy. Get rid of all the things that you feel like you have to do to please others. Stop overbooking yourself and begin to truly enjoy a less stressful life.

2. Get Regular Check-Ups

Make an appointment for a check-up or screening. Regular medical exams and tests can help find problems – even before they start! At Pensacola Wellness we care about your health and finding the root of any issues you may be experiencing. We offer everything from basic health screening to men’s and women’s health tests and even specialized tests such as micronutrient, thyroid, gut health and endocrinology. Learn more here!

3. Get More Sleep

Did you know that the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults? However, over a third of adults aren’t even getting seven hours of sleep on a regular basis.

Sleep – specifically, the lack of it – is often an underlying cause of many health issues including stress, anxiety, weight gain and low immunity. Skipping out on a good night’s shut eye can even cause cognitive impairment, mood swings and slowing motor functions. So, start small with your resolutions this year – get some sleep!

4. Stay Hydrated

You know the drill. Everyone always says that you should drink at least eight cups of water a day. However, that isn’t so true for everyone. The important thing is that you’re staying hydrated. Staying hydrated is essential because it helps keep all of your physical functions running smoothly, like digestion. It also makes you less likely to mistake thirst for hunger so that you don’t overeat.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the benchmark should really say “eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid,” not water, because drinking things like milk, tea and juice contribute to your total. Remember: you don’t only get water from drinking straight H20. Getting fluids from the foods you eat–like water-packed vegetables– will keep you from becoming dehydrated, which can make you feel headachey, sluggish, tired, dizzy or worse!

But you should definitely be cautious as to what fluids you are taking in. If you’re looking for some great hydration options without adding the extra calories, try waters with infused fruits or unsweetened tea.

5. Exercise Regularly

If you don’t exercise already, then let 2018 be the year that you start doing so! But be sure that you’re doing it in ways that feel good to you – whether it’s running with friends, going to a fitness class, riding your bike, walking your dog, lifting weights at the gym or even regular gardening, it’s important that it is something that you can enjoy doing!

Yes, exercise is good for your health. However, that isn’t always much of a “push” to make you want to get out there and get going because the payoff is too vague. So, start by focusing on the benefits that are happening right here and right now, like your morning workout giving you the energy to get through your day and right to happy hour!

You can also pair your exercise with a “treat.” If you work out today for an hour, then you can binge-watch your favorite tv show for an hour (or three) before bed. Or if you worked out three times each week this month, then you can treat yourself to that new outfit from your favorite boutique that you’ve been drooling over for weeks.

Keep your exercise goals reasonable and remember that a little bit each day is better than none. You can start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator!

6. Plan Ahead for Meals and Snacks

This year is your year to meal prep! It’s one of the best ways to watch what you eat to aid in weight loss, and it can save a lot of time in the kitchen and at the grocery store. Each weekend, set aside a few hours to plan your grocery list and get ready for the week ahead. When you get home from the grocery store, go ahead and slice or chop up your vegetables for snacking and cooking. Boil a carton of eggs. Batch cook meat, rice, beans, etc. Go ahead and wash your fruit. You’ll be ready to pack your lunch and make dinner in a jiffy!

7. Wear Sunscreen Every Time You’re Outside

Skincare is a fantastic resolution to help you look as good as you feel in 2018, and sunscreen is one of the most effective anti-aging solutions. Many include moisturizers, toners and various creams as part of their daily skincare regimen. However, most of these same people only regard sunscreen as a preventative solution to sunburns when at the beach. However, sunscreens have a far more noteworthy long-term impact on your skin quality than most other skincare products combined.

Sunscreens protect your skin from overexposure to UV light, the most common source of skin problems. Protecting your skin from long-term skin damage with sunscreen is said to be the most powerful anti-aging product. So, protect your skin when you leave the house every single day. Keep sunscreen in your purse or vehicle. If you know you’re going to be outside, whether you’re camping, at a family BBQ, the beach or the farmer’s market, coat your skin with sunscreen before you leave the house!
It’s not too late to make or alter your New Year’s resolutions. Make sure your resolutions are realistic and specific. Instead of saying “I’m going to work out more and lose weight,” your resolution can be to go to the gym three times a week. Don’t set your expectations too high because you will sabotage your success. Instead, start slowly and make changes and improvements over time. For example, don’t start by abruptly changing your diet to a strict regimen consisting entirely of kale and chicken breast. A more realistic change would be to start by replacing a “bad” food with a healthy food at each meal. Take a side salad instead of french fries. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

It’s important to be flexible with your goals as well. If you’re afraid to set yourself up for failure or you have a history of not sticking to your goals, then give yourself a break. Your commitment level doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It just has to be something.

And if you do fail and don’t meet your goal, brush it off and keep working!


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