9 ways to get back on track and have your BEST year ever!
If you’re like many Americans, you make New Year’s resolutions at the start of the year, a promise to yourself to be a better you. Good job! According to the Better Sleep Council’s Sleep Resolutions Survey, 88% of Americans made at least one resolution for 2018.
But…Uh oh. We’re not even through January and you’ve already broke at least one of your resolutions. Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. Only 17% of resolution-makers reported to the Better Sleep Council that they were successful in the past at keeping New Year’s resolutions.
Don’t be discouraged. All is not lost. In fact, there’s no time like the present to set yourself small goals that will have a big impact.
Resolutions you can actually keep for the whole year
- Move a bit more. If joining a gym and committing time and energy to a workout schedule is overwhelming, try standing at your desk, taking the stairs or parking at the far end of the lot. If the idea of getting 10,000 steps is intimidating, move a few more each week than you did the week before – and use a fitness tracker to help measure your progress.
- Cut the sweets. Most of us consume too much sugar in our daily diets, which affects our health in a multitude of negative ways. If going completely sugar-free scares you, try bite-sized changes instead. Put a little less cream and sugar in your coffee or tea. Switch out your afternoon candy bar for hummus and veggies. Read more labels and try choosing foods with less added sugar. You’ll be surprised how sweet life is when you consume less sugar.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. You might be getting 5-6 hours shuteye each night but you really need 7-8. Try going to bed and waking up at the same times every day, increasing your sleep time by 15 min each week. Sleep training will get you back on track so you can get more out of your awake times.
- Start on your bucket list. Life is busy, we know, and your free time is limited. So enjoy what little leisure time you do have by trying something new! Join a hiking club or yoga class, learn how to play an instrument or read a great book. Mental agility is as important as physical fitness.
- Manage your money better. Whether you’re saving for a big purchase or balancing your budget, making small changes to expenditures will help you move towards your goals. Make coffee at home. Bring lunch to work at least 3 days a week. Skip the drive-thru! Buy in bulk. Or go big and have a ‘no buying anything new’ month. You’ll love the feeling and your bank account will love the blossoming balance!
- Eat something green every day. Many of us don’t get enough fruits and vegetables – but small changes to your diet will help improve overall health. Throw a handful of greens into your chili. Snack on veggies instead of chips. Have a side salad instead of fries. Start your day with a delicious, healthy smoothie. If you’re concerned about cost, remember that frozen veggies have the same (or more) nutrients as fresh.
- Make sure you’ve got the right mattress. Did you know that mattresses have a life span and that your mattress needs to evolve as you move through different life stages? If you’re not sleeping well, you may need to look at whether it’s time to shop for a new mattress.
- Unplug. That harmless game of Candy Crush could be pushing out much-needed sleep time. Electronics hyper stimulate the eyes, making your precious sleep less effective AND shorter. Experts recommend turning off electronics at least 60 minutes for bedtime.
- Get social. One of the greatest predictors for a happy, healthy, long life is a feeling of belonging and community. So get out there! Go for coffee or dinner with a friend, expand your social circles with a club or activity or host a get-together. Life is meant to be shared, so go share it.
- Clear out the clutter. It might sound crazy, but your cluttered bedroom could be stealing your sleep. A cluttered bedroom can make for a mixed-up anxious mind that can’t relax naturally into sleep. If a good night’s sleep is the sacrificial lamb of a full and busy life, consider this your wake-up call to get organizing.