3 Realistic Habits to Form in the New Year

Another year is coming to an end – another decade, even. This major turning point in the calendar seems to call for a major turning point in your life, right? Well, not necessarily. If you are thinking to make a New Year’s resolution, think again: they have been proven not to work in the majority of cases. So, forget about making grandiose promises on New Year’s Eve and breaking them a few weeks later – focus on forming new habits that will improve your life instead. You can start with these.

Change Your Diet the Right Way

The media – including social media – is filled with a variety of wonder diets and superfoods that promise instant, effortless, and easy change in your life for just $19.99… that are way too restrictive or extreme to be sustainable in the long run. There is, in turn, a dietary change that you can adopt that has been proven to be effective: don’t change what you eat but how much of it you eat.

If you need tips on where you can start, you should check out The Fitness Chef aka Graeme Tomlinson, a personal trainer and nutritionist from the UK. His social media updates are as useful as they are entertaining: aside from pointing and laughing at all the myths, misinformation, and blatant lies invented by the “industry” while painting a much more realistic picture about dieting, fat loss, and the nutrient content of the food we eat. And he says eating pizza and sweets is OK every once in a while.

Move More

One of the problems with New Year’s resolutions is that they are often unrealistic. You can resolve to start running five miles a day, lift weights for at least one hour, go to Zumba classes or pick up yoga starting January 2nd… and see your resolutions go up in smoke in a day or two. This will make you feel guilty and bad about yourself, and nobody wants that, right?

Instead of trying to complete a marathon within a month, commit to simpler things, like walking to work instead of calling an Uber, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a walk in the park instead of crashing in front of the TV each day. While these seem small things, they add up – and in time, you can move on to more serious forms of exercise. And sooner or later, you may even start thinking seriously about that marathon.

Sleep enough

Not everyone needs at least eight hours of sleep every night. Some of us can function normally with six, for others, not even twelve hours are enough. Whatever your need for sleep may be, it’s important to keep it in mind when setting your daily schedule. Make sure you have enough sleep each day – it is literally vital for your body and mind to function properly.

And don’t shrug it off with “making up for the lost sleep over the weekend” – it doesn’t work, according to a study published by a group of researchers this February. “Sleep debt”, as they call the accumulation of lost sleep, has negative effects on your overall physical and mental health that adds up in time.

So, make sure you get enough shuteye every single day in the new year – or you can start today.

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