With the new year, many people will try to lose weight. Gym memberships will rise, but many will warp back to their old habits. When you want to make a change in your lifestyle, take simple steps that you know you can commit to. Creating new healthy habits can be difficult. On average, it takes about two months for new behaviors to become automatic. This means, jumping full-blown to your New Year’s resolution will be slow progress. We at HiDow International suggest taking it one step at a time and aim to start new healthy habits every month.
A Year Full of Healthy Habits
1. January – 10 Minutes of Meditation
You’ve probably heard that meditation is good for you. This life-altering activity is true especially when you want to combat negative emotions. Many studies have proven that meditation can decrease anxiety and depression. The reason behind this phenomenon is mindfulness as people accept what they have as they clear their mind to bliss.
2. February – Catch More Zzzz’s
One hour of extra sleep can make all the difference in your day. Studies have proven that the gap between plenty of sleep and sleep deprivation can affect your weight, sex life, your mood, and overall health. While more hours of sleep won’t immune you from diseases, there is a link between insufficient sleep and issues like obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, and heart disease.
3. March – Give Yourself Some Time to Relax
It can be difficult to find some time for relaxation when you’re constantly busy. When you can’t commit to one hour per day, try setting aside some time on Sundays (when it is traditionally the day of rest). Try listening to soothing music while in the bath, reading a good novel, watching a movie, or even relaxing with a TENS unit. Whatever you do, set some time for yourself to enjoy the things you love the most.
4. April – Go Meatless
If you don’t think you can give up meat altogether, try skipping two meals without animal products at least once a week. Studies have shown that eating less red meat can cut down your risk of heart disease and cancer.
5. May – No Phone Before Bed Time
Many people have a hard time letting go of their technology before bedtime which makes it so hard to sleep. Besides our need to stay updated on social media, your gadgets are actually keeping you awake. We’re talking about your computer, tablet and cell phone because they suppress melatonin. The blue light emitted by your technology restrain the production of melatonin which is the hormone responsible for your circadian rhythm.
6. June – Drink More Water
Did you know that about 30-59% of adults who try to lose weight increased their water intake? Many studies have proven that drinking more water is linked to weight loss. And it can actually increase your metabolism especially when you drink cold water because your body needs more energy to bring cooler temperatures down to its normal condition. To support this case, one study of obese and overweight children found about 25% increase metabolism after drinking cold water.
7. July – Create a Skin Care Regimen
You shed dead skin cells every day which is why it is important to pay attention to it on a daily basis. If you don’t have a skincare routine, now is the best time to do it. Understand your skin and only use products that you can benefit from. If your skin is too dry especially after taking a bath, one thing to add is a moisturizer. If you easily burn under the sun, you can also implement sunscreen. All skin types are different so it’s best to test products before adding them to your regimen.
8. August – Keep a Journal
Many people think that weight loss is as easy as eating healthy and exercising. But when the scale is not budging, it’s time to keep a weight-loss journal. Often, we overeat not because we don’t keep track of our food intake. With lack of sleep, powerful emotions, and stress, it’s easy to dip your hand in the cookie jar without realizing that you have consumed 10 already. With a journal, you’ll be able to understand how much you’ve eaten and when to say, “enough”.
9. September – Consolidate Your Debt
Having debt depletes your emotions, and it is a burden. The best way to address your financial issues is to take a hard look at your spending habits as well as your finances. Is it time to consolidate your debt? If so, speak to a financial officer who can help. Not only will you feel relieved about freeing yourself from the financial headache, but you’ll also start to have a positive outlook in your everyday life.
10. October – Stop Smoking
There are many reasons why you should stop smoking: it is one of the leading causes of premature death, it weakens your immune system, and it stinks. For the month of October, give yourself the stepping stones to quit smoking once and for all. Seek counseling, wear a nicotine patch, talk to a cessation group, or talk to your doctor.
11. November – Downsize Your Plates
Sometimes, your eyes can be too large for your stomach. Skip large plates and stock up on smaller ones to prevent yourself from overeating. This way, you’re tricking your body to eat fewer calories while filling up on a small plate. It’s actually a win-win if you think about it.
12. December – Grab a Workout Buddy
Even though it is at the end of the month, it’s never too late to have a workout buddy. Workout with a friend who is just as determined and motivated to exercise. This way, you’ll have fun working out while adding a social element to your routine. Also, it’s the best way to hold each other accountable for staying consistent.