Instead of vowing to turn your whole life around starting at the stroke of midnight, what if your goals for 2023 were simpler: to be healthy-er. Not healthier. It’s a fine nuance, but picture starting from whatever level of health you have now, and adding a little more. This is how to plan for a healthier 2023:
Research shows that your physical and emotional wellbeing are the pillars of healthy self development. Start with these first two goals, then add one more from our suggestions below.
1. Start journaling regularly.
The University of Rochester reports that journaling can help with mental health by prioritizing problems, fears, and concerns. Writing in a journal each day often reveals patterns and triggers, plus offers an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts. Stuck on what to write? Simply jot down something simple: what you did today, who you saw, the best (or worst) part of the day, or something you’re grateful for right now.
2. Sign up for a gym membership.
No matter how active you’ve been, or out of shape you feel, there’s just no substitute for working out at a gym on a regular basis. Building muscle is one of the best ways to help your body become healthier. Increasing muscle mass gives you strength and energy, plus speeds up your metabolism. And building muscle is easier at an actual gym with plenty of tools to make that happen, from free weights to machines to group classes and sessions with a private trainer. Going to the gym isn’t the only way to get in shape! But, it’s like the difference between trying to teach yourself to play the piano and getting help from a teacher – it’s just more practical!
Choose one more goal below.
Not all the goals. Each suggestion below has been clinically proven to improve your physical or mental health. Save yourself some stress and choose only three areas you’d like to improve in. Then, commit to making positive improvements in each:
Get more sleep.
Why? While you sleep, your body works to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Think of it as a reset.
Take a weekly media break.
Why? Studies show a positive change in mood, reduced anxiety, and improved sleep during and immediately after a break from social media.
Why? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and overall health. You can also [meditation] to relax and cope with stress by refocusing your attention on something calming.”
Make your diet more nourishing (and here’s the simplest way to start).
Fill half your plate with vegetables at every meal. Why? Researchers at Harvard say, “A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check.”
Clear some clutter.
Why? A study by the University of Connecticut found that by removing or controlling clutter, we can directly reduce the stress that stems from the mess which can help us to feel happier, less anxious, and more confident in ourselves.
Stretch your body.
Why? Researchers from the University of Ohio write, “Stretching increases blood flow, boosts oxygen levels and helps deliver nutrients to your muscles. It also removes metabolic waste like carbon dioxide.”
You don’t even have to exercise while you’re there to0health results. Why? Studies show that being outside in nature is relaxing, reduces our stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rates – all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease (the number one cause of death in America).
And lastly, how to plan for a healthier 2023 – succesfully? Establish a realistic new routine.
Once you’ve identified your areas of concentration, consider how they’ll fit into your days. What time will you need to go to bed, and get up, in order to get enough rest to meet your goal? If you’re meditating, what time will you do it? Set an appointment on your phone as a reminder and don’t schedule anything else at that time. If you’re eating more nourishing foods, what does that look like? Choose a day to meal plan, shop, prep, and cook. What days will you eat out? How will your leftovers be used? Making a plan for budgeting your time isn’t just important. It’s the only way your new routine will happen.
Here’s to your best year yet!