New year, new you. That’s the mantra we’re told every January, and about half of us actually resolve to improve our lives in the New Year. But sticking with our New Year’s resolutions isn’t easy.
Research by John C. Norcross of the University of Scranton found that 71 percent of resolvers were able to keep their commitments for one to two weeks. In other words, more than a quarter of us will break our resolutions by mid-month.
Want to ensure you’re not one of the resolution-breakers? Recharge, rethink and reinvent your resolutions.
If your resolution was to be happier, smile more
In addition to improving happiness, smiling may even extend your life! A 2010 study of professional baseball players showed those who smiled genuinely in their baseball pictures lived an average of 5 years longer than players who didn’t smile.
Be proud to show off your smile; take care of your teeth. Brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist at least twice this year. Dental visits can make you feel better too! Americans who visit their dentist regularly are 22% more likely to report their overall well-being as good or better than those who don’t visit the dentist.
If your resolution was to lose weight, get moving
If you have a gym membership, you know how crowded the gym can get after the holidays. Not surprisingly, “staying fit,” is one of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, according to a recent survey.
Lacking motivation? You don’t have to be on treadmill to workout. Simple household chores like washing the car, gardening or vacuuming can count as moderate exercise.
If your resolution was to be healthier, eat well.
Maintaining a healthy diet is easier than you think! In fact, eating nutrient-rich food benefits your physique, mood and grin. Munch meals and snacks based on the USDA’s healthy eating guidelines. Dietary staples include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy.
Here’s a simple way to start healthy eating habits: Take an extra 5 minutes each night to plan the next day’s meals. Once you get the hang of it, start scheduling each week’s meals. Cooking at home is healthy and cost-efficient. All it takes is a little preparation.
Plan and practice to perfect your new healthy habits. Set realistic expectations, take baby steps and celebrate each tiny victory. Here’s to your healthiest and happiest year yet!