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  • Writer's pictureMaya Hickman MS, RDN

Tips For a Healthier New Year

Updated: May 13, 2020

This is the time of year when most of us make a New Year’s resolution – eat healthier, exercise more, better sleep, save money, more charity, work harder, spend more time with family… you get the point. We live busy lives and must balance many competing responsibilities. Making changes that will improve our health are important but putting too many tasks on already busy agenda will add stress and anxiety and leave us with feelings of inadequacy and disappointment if our goals are not achieved. Remember, your goal is to be healthier next year, and feeling happy and at ease are the most important ingredients in a healthy lifestyle.

So, how do we make long-lasting changes to improve our health that are not stress inducing? The trick is to pick a specific, realistic goal, that is attainable within a time frame that works for you and your lifestyle. Most importantly, prioritize and chose one or two goals to focus on and find intrinsic motivation for change. For example, exercising more is a good goal, but digging deeper to find what motivates you will really help you stick to it. Do you want to be able to play with your kids/grandkids without back pain or running out of energy? Or, may complete a 5k next spring or rock a bathing suit on spring break? Maybe you just want to improve your mobility and flexibility and live with less pain? Find what truly motivates you, pick a specific goal, and make an action plan – what, when and how will this goal be achieved? Break it into small steps, write it all down, and GO!

Here are a few examples of small changes for a healthier and happier you in the year to come:

1. Add fruits and/or vegetables to each meal: berries with breakfast, smoothies for a snack, salad for lunch, sautéed veggies for dinner, baby carrots for snack.

2. Eat probiotics daily: Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha.

3. Eat healthy fats every day: avocados, seeds and nuts, olive oil.

4. See a registered dietitian nutritionist: find the best way to eat for YOUR body.

5. Find the time to move and relax: walk the dog, swim, yoga, Pilates, meditate, pray, gratitude journal.

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