After a long and challenging year, 2021 is finally here!
Like many Americans, you may be eager for the start of a fresh new year. 2020 brought immense change and unrest to our lives. Many of us saw our priorities shift and new sources of stress come into play, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, there are things we can do to move on and improve our overall well-being as we move into 2021.
January is a great time to make some New Year resolutions and get back on track with health goals that may have been previously forgotten. Setting some goals for yourself can serve as a great distraction from stressful situations. They can help you focus on creating positive change instead of on things outside of your control.
So what are some things you can do to make 2021 the healthiest year ever? We have some easy goals for you to consider and potentially choose to implement in your own life. Practicing self-care is important in times of change and uncertainty, so we hope these tips can be helpful to you and your family.
Sticking to a New Goal
It can be hard to achieve new goals and stick to them in the long term. However, it is definitely possible! The key is to start small and not take on too much at one time. Pick one habit you want to establish and try to do it consistently without overwhelming yourself.
It’s likely that you won’t always stick to your new goal, but that is definitely normal and to be expected. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just get back on the horse and keep trying to establish that habit.
Establish a Morning Routine
Setting up a morning routine can help you establish new habits and easily flow into a productive state of mind. It’s a great way to automate healthy practices and give yourself direction at the start of each day.
Your morning routine should consist of things that you like to do and want to integrate into your life. That could look like meditation, exercising, or writing in a journal. Your routine can also include more practical things you need to accomplish before getting to work, such as taking a shower, eating breakfast, and brushing your teeth.
The best way to add to your morning routine is by starting small and including them into your existing processes. For example, if you want to start exercising in the morning, do so for ten minutes instead of trying to go for a full hour. Keep trying to achieve your morning goals and eventually, your routine will become easier to stick to.
Try Out a Plant-Based Diet
Another great way to have a healthy 2021 is to try a plant-based diet. Did you know that doing so can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure? You don’t even have to give up meat to gain these benefits. Simply incorporate more plant-based foods into your meals and your health will start to improve.
Here are some examples of plant-based foods you can try:
- Grilled and seasoned tofu instead of meat
- Oatmeal with fruit for breakfast
- Delicious salads with a variety of vegetables and healthy dressings
- Vegetarian chili
- Smoothies with both fruits and vegetables
Integrate NEAT Exercises Into Your Routine
Did you know that we burn a good amount of calories just by moving throughout the day? By moving more, we can start to make a big impact on our total calorie intake and also improve our overall health.
This type of spontaneous activity is known as Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, and includes movements outside of what we consider exercise. NEAT activities include things like shopping for groceries, cleaning up the kitchen, or organizing a closet.
You can burn more calories during the day by choosing to be more active whenever possible. For example, park your car further away from the entrance so you can walk a bit longer. If you see an escalator and a set of stairs, choose to walk up the staircase to increase your total movement for the day.
Starting 2021 off with some positive goals is a great way to start the year. The healthy habits mentioned above are just a few of the many different goals you could set for yourself to boost your well-being. Don’t be afraid to try something new and always pick yourself back up if you lose consistency along the way.