“Lose weight” is one of the top New Year’s resolutions every year. You’ve probably made it once or twice yourself, and we commend you for accomplishing such an ambitious goal.
Oh, you didn’t?
Don’t worry, the majority of your fellow resolutioners didn’t either.
They tend to become empty promises to ourselves.
The good news is that losing weight isn’t the only path to well-being in 2014.
Good health happens when the physical, emotional and social or environmental parts of our lives are in balance, When people resolve to ‘lose weight,’ they are actually saying, ‘I want to feel and look better.’
So this year, we challenge you to make a new kind of New Year’s resolution. We asked a few of our favorite experts for recommendations, and their answers may surprise you.
Pick one, or several, from the list below. Then make a deal with yourself: This year, “lose weight” isn’t going to be your main goal, just a nice side benefit to being happy and healthy.
Get some fresh air
Simply being in nature can have a big effect on an overloaded mind,
When the body’s sympathetic nervous system mobilizes our fight-or-flight response, it can’t tell the difference between stress caused by a bear attack and stress caused by a meeting with the boss.
In other words, it’s always on. Though we might not feel it directly, our bodies do,
Find a place in nature that speaks to you, whether it’s a spot in your backyard or a bench at a local park. Visit there regularly, even if it’s only for a short time.
Then make an effort to get some fresh air every day. Park your car a little farther from the door in parking lots, take a quick walk around your office building at lunch, or wake up 15 minutes earlier and jog around your neighborhood.
You’ll be surprised by how much you missed the great outdoors.
If you want a major life overhaul without much effort, getting more shut-eye is the way to go. Sleeping helps you burn fat, decreases stress, improves your immune system and boosts your mood and mental clarity.
“Slowly change your routine to add 15 minutes a night until you get to eight hours,” she said.
Instead of subtracting soda, sugar or fat from your diet, make a resolution to add something. Add a serving of vegetables to every meal. Add protein to your snacks. Add two glasses of water to your daily routine. You’ll find over time that these additions will leave no room for unhealthy habits.
The same resolution can be used for other areas of your life, too. Add 15 minutes of meditation to your bedtime routine or 15 minutes of classical music to your commute to help you destress. Add some organization time to your daily schedule. Add a book on financial planning to your reading list.
Get the point? Good, add this one to your New Year’s resolutions.
Take time to breathe
When was the last time you inhaled deeply, feeling your ribcage lift and your chest expand?
Most people take only shallow breaths throughout the day. This limits the oxygen circulating throughout the body, leading to increased anxiety and higher blood pressure.