How many people make ambitious and well-meaning New Year’s resolutions only to have them fizzle away within days or weeks of starting them? Plenty. A study from the University of Scranton found that only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolution goals. Those goals typically involve self-improvement, such as losing weight, eating healthier food, exercising more, or joining a gym.
These are all great goals, but perhaps they are a bit too ambitious. In fact, if self-improvement or getting healthy is your goal for 2017, you may be more likely to achieve it by taking baby steps. Here’s what I mean.
What if you were to focus on making a series of mini goals rather than one major one? You could integrate each of these mini achievements into your current lifestyle and experience the satisfaction of meeting them every day, which will motivate you to continue them. Their cumulative effect would be a healthier, more energetic, happier you!
For example, one mini goal might be to stretch several times a day. Stretching is especially important for anyone who is sedentary, such as office workers. You could challenge yourself to stretch for 60 seconds once every hour. Stretching improves circulation, relieves muscle tension, and perks you up mentally.
Here are nine more healthful mini goals to adopt during 2017 to help you experience a healthy year and lifetime!
Chew. When you thoroughly chew your food and slow down your eating habits, you assist your digestive process. Chew every bite until it has a liquid consistency.
Blink. People who stare at a computer screen for hours tend to not blink as much as they should, which can result in tired, dry eyes. Put a sticky note on your laptop, monitor, or tablet to remind yourself to blink!
Drink green tea. Research has shown time and time again that the antioxidants in green tea are beneficial for numerous aspects of human health, ranging from help with weight loss to promoting brain health, improving blood circulation, lowering cholesterol, managing stress, and fighting cancer. Add a cup or more of green tea (hot or cold) to your daily routine.
Breathe deep. Breathing in deeply through your nose until your belly expands is not how we naturally breathe. Instead, we tend to be shallow breathers, which contributes to tension and anxiety. Deep breathing, practiced for a few minutes a day several times a day, helps reduce tension, lower heart rate, and lower or stabilize blood pressure, all of which support better heart health.
Perform an act of kindness. Give a boost to your emotional and mental health by reaching out and assisting someone. It can be as simple as helping an elderly person in the grocery store reach an item on a shelf, letting someone get in front of you in line, or making a point of telling someone that they look nice today.
Ban the blues. I’m not talking about sadness; I’m talking about devices that emit a blue light. Laptops, tablets, cell phones, and TVs should be banned from your sleeping area if you want to get optimal sleep. Research shows that these devices emit enough light to disrupt the brain and your ability to sleep.
Go nude. Sleeping sans clothing, or at least without underwear or pajama bottoms, can reduce bacterial growth in the genital area and thus lower the risk of developing urinary tract or bladder infections.
Cook your sponges. The sponges you use in the kitchen and elsewhere in the home are perfect havens for germs. To help eliminate the offending organisms, it’s a good idea to “cook” or zap them. Here are two options: you can put your sponges in a container of water and place it in the microwave until the water reaches a boil; or you can put your sponges in a container that has one part bleach to nine parts water and let them soak for 30 seconds or longer.
Recycle. This health goal counts because it contributes to keeping your environment—your home planet—a cleaner, healthier place to live. If you already recycle, take it a step further and learn how to properly recycle items you have not done so before, such as e-waste, plastic grocery bags, Styrofoam, batteries, and light bulbs. Contact your local recycling services or Earth911 for more information about what to recycle and how in your area.
Written by Deborah Mitchell. Deborah Mitchell is passionate about personal health and the well-being of animals and the planet. She has authored, coauthored, and ghostwritten more than 40 books, contributes regularly to several websites, and shares information on physical, emotional, and spiritual health on her blog, deborahmitchellbooks.com.
Diamond D. Just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Forbes. Retrieved 2016 Nov. 27.
Harvard Medical School. Relaxation techniques. Retrieved 2016 Nov. 29.
Huffington Post. Your sponge is as revolting as it smells. Retrieved 2016 Nov. 29.
National Sleep Foundation. Electronics in the bedroom. Retrieved 2016 Nov. 29.
WebMD. Health benefits of green tea. Retrieved 2016 Nov. 29l.