Another new year is upon us, which brings with it the opportunity to start a fresh and set some resolutions for the year ahead. Although resolutions are set with the best of intentions, they often drop off the radar by the end of January. Over-enthusiasm is often our downfall when setting resolutions, which leaves us feeling like we have failed. So, rather than set you up for another year of failed resolutions, our Naturopath Sarah has come up with 5 simple resolutions that you can incorporate and build into daily practices.
#1 Ten thousand steps
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most significant risk factors for poor health and the development of chronic health conditions. Ensuring you hit 10,000 steps each day is an easy way to increase daily movement and reduce your risk of chronic health issues. Not quite getting over the line? This article has some great tips to help you get to 10,000 steps.
10,000 steps equates to about 8km of walking and takes on average 1 hour and 40 minutes.
#2 Nourish with good food
The idea of kick-starting the new year with a super healthy (and often strict) diet appeals to most of us when January rolls around. However, it is usually not at all practical. January in Australia is a very social month for most of us with many social engagements, catch-ups and summer barbecues — not all that compatible with a diet. So, instead of that restrictive diet, focus on nourishing your body with plenty of fresh whole foods as often as you can and leave a little space for those social indulgences.
#3 Drink more water
This is such a simple thing you can do and it has so many positive health benefits. Adequate water intake helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, keeps our skin plump and hydrated, improves energy levels and supports detoxification. Aim for 2 litres of water per day (herbal teas are included).
#4 Daily mindfulness
We exist in such a busy world where we are constantly engaging with social media and trying to squeeze 30 hours of activities into a 24 hour day. Often we are thinking 5 steps ahead, instead of giving our full attention to the task at hand. A daily mindfulness practice such as meditation brings us back into the present moment and can help to improve focus, reduce stress levels and anxiety, improve mental wellbeing and enhance productivity.
If mindfulness is on your new year resolutions list, you may want to check out this TEDtalk by mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe
#5 Prioritise self care
If there is only one resolution you can manage to take into the new year, then make it this one. Self care practices are so often neglected and yet can have a profound impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. The practice of self-care will be different for each of us — it is whatever nourishes your soul. For some it may be competitive sports, for others it will be reading a book with a cup of tea. Find something that nourishes and re-energises you, then schedule time and space for it on a daily or weekly basis.
Succeed in achieving your 2018 resolutions
When setting our resolutions, goals or intentions for the new year, we often set ourselves up for failure. Over-flowing with enthusiasm, we tend to set goals that in the long term are just not sustainable. So, start small and choose just one resolution to start working on. Make it one that you can incorporate into your daily life and gradually build into a habit. I also encourage you to really think about the ‘why’ or the motivation for each of your resolutions as this will help to clarify exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Finding the specific motivations behind a resolution enables you to create your action plan and keep you on track to achieving your goals.
One last note. Sometimes failing is all part of the process. It is how we grow. Embrace any failure as a learning opportunity and get back on that horse.
Author — Sarah Woolner, Naturopath and Clinical Nutritionist at Total Health Brookvale