The start of a new year is always a brilliant opportunity to sit down and think about what, if any, changes you could make to your lifestyle to make you healthier, happier and enjoying life that little bit more… and given the last 12 months we’ve all just shared together, it seems that 2021 could be a great chance to think about what we want to achieve in the future and where we want to be.
You may not be the type to make new year’s resolutions but you could consider setting yourself some goals, whether you achieve them this year or next. Having something to work towards can really help keep you on track and give you a sense of purpose – and it can also open all sorts of other doors for you, as well! Who knows where you’ll find yourself in 2022!
But if you do like to have specific new year’s resolutions listed somewhere, here are just a couple of ideas that you might like to jot down if you do want to focus on your health and happiness this year, helping you to build the kind of future you’d like to have.
If possible, aim to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to help keep your body in good working condition. At the moment, with gyms closed for the next month or so at least, you may have to be more motivated and determined than usual, and really make yourself get out and about.
Why not see if there are any good walking or hiking opportunities to be had in your local area? This is great exercise and ensures you get lots of fresh air, as well.
Stay away from diets
Yes, it can be tempting to jump on a diet right after Christmas and the new year period, thanks to all that over-indulgence, but the problem with diets is that they are unsustainable and you invariably find yourself putting the weight back on – and more.
Instead, focus on eating well-balanced, varied meals with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and wholegrains, as well as fish, meat and dairy. A Mediterranean diet is often lauded as being the healthiest one you can follow, so why not do a bit of research to see if there are any recipes that take your fancy.
Don’t watch the scales
If weight loss is a particular goal for you over the coming year, watching the number on the scales can be very demoralising and it could see you quitting this particular resolution sooner rather than later. Instead of waiting for the number to drop, pay more attention to how your body feels.
Check in with it every now and again, and see if you feel stronger or more lithe, or if pain you were feeling in some parts of your body has lessened or even gone completely. Once you start noticing these things, you’ll notice them more and more – and that’s what will keep you on the right track.
Prioritise your mental health
2020 wasn’t an easy year for any of us and the nation’s mental health has certainly been affected by the pandemic and ensuing lockdown restrictions. Why not make 2021 the year you spend really focusing on your own mental health?
Have a think about what makes you feel anxious or stressed or depressed and take steps to address it, whether it’s by reducing your screen time, deleting social media apps, not over-exposing yourself to the news, drinking less alcohol… all of this could really help give you a mental boost, helping you to feel more resilient and better able to cope with what the future holds.
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