Here we are, sitting with our bellies full from holiday dinners and desserts...as we rest and reflect on how much we’ve gorged ourselves over the past couple of days, a lot of us are wondering if we could maybe afford to lose a few pounds. Along with the thought of weight loss are other vices we’re considering launching the new year without, or perhaps new skills we’d love to incorporate 2021 with by learning.
Unfortunately, we’re our own worse critics, so it can be difficult trying to kick a bad habit to the curb or push ourselves to expand our minds with new knowledge. To give you that confidence boost you may need, we’ve put together a New Year’s Resolution list for your consideration. We know, a lot of these on the list are easier said than done. But remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so what are you waiting for?!
Make Healthier Food Choices
You don’t need to have high cholesterol or be prediabetic to begin eating healthier. This is a choice everyone should try to instill in their day to day meals. One of the obvious reasons is weight loss, but did you also know that eating healthy can reduce the risk of cancer, evoke better moods and improve memory ? The old saying, ‘You are what you eat ’ couldn’t ring truer.
Remember, the next time you want to stop for fast food, what are you sacrificing for the convenience? Sure, eating your favorite foods here and there won’t hurt you. But try to dial back on your cravings; for example, have just a scoop of ice cream instead of a bowl.
Starting your healthy eating habits is the easy part, it’s maintaining those patterns throughout your life that’s the challenge, but we believe in you!
For more tips on how you can make healthier food choices, click here.
Almost 90% of cigarette smokers had started by the age of 18, sometimes even younger . If you’ve been smoking since you were a teen and are now much older, kicking this habit is only going to be harder, especially if you plan to quit cold turkey. Regardless of your age, replacing smoking with healthier activities will help your brain cope with the sudden change. You may even find that you’ll need to change major aspects of your life to coincide with your decision to quit smoking.
“According to studies conducted by Duke University Professor Wendy Wood, environmental cues play large role in controlling our behavior.” 
It doesn’t help either that tobacco companies are purposefully making cigarettes more addictive. According to the Truth Initiative, “ Bronchodilators [are] added so that tobacco smoke can more easily enter the lungs. Sugars, flavors and menthol [are] increased to dull the harshness of smoke and make it easier to inhale. Ammonia [is] added so that nicotine travels to the brain faster.”  All these added chemicals are foreign substances that could be lingering in your body after you quit. An efficient way to detox yourself would be through perspiration by either consistently working out or steady sessions in an infrared sauna. Ridding your body of the toxins you once inhaled will leave you feeling invigorated, pushing you to continue to curb your cravings with healthier habits.
Learn more on what types of healthy habits can help you quit smoking here!
Start a Workout Routine
Working out can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s one of the many reasons people don’t go to public gyms, thus avoiding physical activity all together. And with the current costs of hiring a personal trainer, fuh git about it!
“About a quarter of American adults say they devote none of their free time to active pursuits.” 
What a lot of people forget is that you don’t need to have a gym membership to be active. In fact, choosing what kind of workout you want to indulge in is of far less importance than choosing whether to be active at all. According to the Harvard Health Letter, you can satisfy your daily workout with just 30 minutes of moderate-intensive activity (brisk walking) a day, which can even be done in 10 to 15 minutes sessions .
Squeezing a workout into a busy schedule can be difficult, but you’d be surprised as to what could potentially be considered a workout if you just apply yourself a little more. For instance, when looking for a parking spot, pick the furthest location from the building. Use stairs instead of elevators. Instead of using the dishwasher, wash and dry by hand.
These examples may seem like trivial tasks, but for someone who hasn’t been active in a while, baby steps matter. If you’re starting a workout routine as part of your New Year’s Resolution, you don’t want to jump in the gym and try to keep up with others who have been working out for years. You’ll more than likely hurt yourself by doing so. Instead, try these tips provided by the Harvard Health Letter. Once you feel like you’ve conquered the beginning chapters of getting active, then consider something more intensive.
Get More Sleep
As human beings, there are certain essentials that we absolutely need in order to function; without them, we could face serious health consequences. Some of these include eating, drinking and breathing; however, most people don’t even consider sleep as one of these needs. In fact, it’s often swept under the rug. But sleeping is an integral part of living a healthy life and maintaining your overall well-being . Even dogs are well aware on the importance of deep slumber! For example, did you know dogs spend about 12-14 hours of a 24-hour day sleeping?
“Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your
mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” 
There’s nothing worse than going to work and/or class with a sleep deprived body. Not being sharp between the ears can affect your quality of work, thus causing a chain reaction of negative impacts in your life. It’s understandable if you’re up late working or taking care of a child or loved one, but quite frequently we are the cause of our own sleep deprivation. With entertainment right at our fingertips, a lot of people find themselves laying in bed at a reasonable time of the night but end up staying on their phones for hours. And before you know it, it’s past midnight and you have to be up by 6am.
The importance of sleep cannot be over-stressed, and it may seem like a silly New Year’s Resolution, but don’t knock it till you try it.
Here are 6 reasons why you should implement more sleep into your life: Click here to read.
Learn Something New
We are creatures of habit. Every day, most of us have a set routine to follow. Why? Because it’s comforting to know what the day is going to bring. Unexpectedness is something that is generally unwelcomed. But following the same mundane schedule day to day can leave us wanting more out of life.
So we ask you: When was the last you did something for yourself? We’re not talking about treating yourself to a dollar ice cream cone or a caramel frappe. What we mean is: When was the last time you put time aside to teach yourself something with true value. Something where you can confidently say to someone, “Yeah, I know how to (insert cool skill)!”
For your New Year’s Resolution, why don’t you try experimenting with one of these:
- Play an instrument
- Dance Classes
- Ride a surfboard/skateboard
- Do simple car repairs
- Find a Hobby
- How to cook
- DIY Courses
- Get outdoors: hiking/climbing/gardening
- Speak a new language
- Art Programs: Draw/Paint/Sculpt
Granted, any one of these suggested skills is going to take a large chunk of your time to learn. But put aside about 30-60 minutes a day and that dull blade will soon be as sharp as a samurai sword. Ask anyone who knows how to do any of the above listed and they’ll tell you they didn’t learn it overnight. If you apply yourself, not only will you know a valuable skill, but you’ll have unknowingly taught yourself patience and discipline too!
Click here to see 11 benefits of teaching yourself something new!
HERE'S TO A NEW AND IMPROVED 2021 VERSION OF YOU!
 Crichton-Stuart, Cathleen. (2018). “What Are The Benefits Of Eating Healthy?” MedicalNewsToday.com, Red Ventures Company, 26 June 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322268.php.
 (2019). “Why We Should Exercise – And Why We Don’t.” Health.Harvard.edu, Harvard University, 26 August 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-we-should-exercise-and-why-we-dont.
 (2019). “Youth And Tobacco Use.” CDC.gov, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 10 December 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/index.htm.
 (2018). “How Big Tobacco Made Cigarettes More Addictive.” TruthInitiative.org, Truth Initiative, 23 January 2018, https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/harmful-effects-tobacco/how-big-tobacco-made-cigarettes-more-addictive.
 (2016). “Build Healthy Habits: Replace Smoking With Healthier Activities.” HealthLine.com, Red Ventures Company, 27 May 2016, https://www.healthline.com/health/build-healthy-habits-replace-smoking-healthier-activities.
 “Sleep Deprivation And Deficiency.” Nhlbi.nih.gov, Nation Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency.