2017 is in full swing, and we are now in the fight to keep our resolutions alive. It can be hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti and put away your sequined outfits (well, not totally away), but it’s not impossible. It’s so important to stick with worthy, meaningful and realistic resolutions. So, if you have already suffered an #EpicFail or are headed that way on your resolutions, here are some that you can plug in as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. If you can effectively adopt them, who knows, you may be able to aim for new experiences next year, rather than contemplating resolutions.
The fact that this is one of the most popular resolutions on the planet suggests just how hard it is to achieve. But, there is hope: you can make progress if you don’t expect overnight success. When I commit to a workout plan, I pretty much want results yesterday. It is important to realize that healthy living is a long-term commitment, and patience and consistency are key. Also, plan for bumps in the road. Use a food journal to keep track of what you eat, and have a support system in place. A workout and accountability partner is your saving grace!
Reconnect with Friends
Relationships are easy to push aside with the daily hustle of school, work, kids, kids and did I mention kids? It’s good for your health to reconnect with your friends and family. In the age of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, there is no excuse not to stay in touch. Research suggests that people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t. In fact, studies show that a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol, drugs or obesity! So there, I have just given you the perfect excuse to take that girls trip to Vegas or rekindle your bromances at a weekly poker game with the buddies. You’re welcome.
Fun fact: When you donate to charity, your brain responds in the same way it does when eating chocolate. Researchers have found that when people place the interests of others before their own, it activates a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to cravings and pleasure. I will just let you think about that for a second. The bottom line is that besides the very important reality that contributing to your community is important, it also makes you happy. And happiness is the core of a healthy lifestyle.
Take Your Time Back
The benefits of a vacation can have long-lasting positive effects on you personally and professionally, but it’s so easy to allow our daily workloads to take priority. Many of us have vacation time just piling up, and we never bother to use it. We get bogged down with the day-to-day stuff — worrying about falling behind in our work life and household responsibilities rather than taking the time to hit the reset button. But, I am here to tell you that it is essential to hit that reset button, my friends. Chronic stress puts a strain on your body and puts you at risk of poor health. Although we should all expect some periods of stress in our lives, it’s also important to know when to take a timeout. This time is essential to relax, recuperate and repair. But, don’t you dare think that your vacation involves work. I’ll be the first to say, I’ve been there. I’ve checked the occasional email and answered my work cell, so yes, guilty. But again, this is something that can negate many of the good effects of a vacation and its primary purpose. If you spend a lot of time worrying about work while on vacation, you may come back with higher levels of exhaustion and disengagement when you return. Studies have shown that people who “unplug” believe their vacations were more relaxing and come back much happier and more satisfied with their lives, even with a heavy workload on their return. So, do not feel guilty about taking your important time off. You owe it to yourself!