It’s officially the first Monday of the new year and now that all the excitement from the holidays has subsided it’s time for everyone to get back into the groove of their normal routine. But before you completely return to your old ways, here are a few new good habits you can work into your daily schedule to make 2016 your healthiest year yet.
- Ditch the soda. It’s well known at this point that soda is bad for you, but there’s something so tempting about its sugary sweetness that still has everyone reaching for another can. But while you think the caffeine is helping you get through the morning madness, it actually just leads to a really bad crash later. Not to mention the ingredients in it are anything but healthy, which can attribute to weight gain problems too. To maintain energy longer and keep off the pounds, try to limit your soda intake or skip it altogether. It may seem hard at first, but after 2 years without, I can’t drink it anymore as the taste is off-putting now.
- Drink more water. With soda out of your diet you’ll have plenty of room to start drinking more water every day. If you do, the health benefits on your skin and body will be immeasurable! It’s recommended you drink at least 64 oz. daily, which seems like a lot when you actually start, but it’s definitely manageable. To help make it easier for you, pick up a 1 liter water bottle at the store (Aquafina and Smartwater both have bottles this size) and once you’ve drank the whole bottle twice then you’ve met your goal!
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep. Coming from a college student, I know how difficult this task can be. But that’s why the target is slightly smaller than the 8 hour recommendation, because I know how hard it can be to make that happen. But if you manage your time well during the day then getting to bed earlier is definitely possible, and when you get more sleep you’ll have more energy the next day to manage your time better, and so forth. You get the point ;).
- Floss. Nobody likes doing this. We all lie to our dentists. And I’m one of the biggest perpetrator of this rule. But as my dentist likes to remind me, even if you’re cavity free and not seeing the consequences now, it will come back and haunt you later. So try to fit it into your nighttime routine at least a few times a week to help keep your mouth clean and your gums healthier now and for the future.
- Put away your phone during mealtime. Despite all the benefits technology brings us, it’s good to take a break from it from time to time and opt for real interaction instead. Make an effort to keep your phone on silent and out of reach during meals so that you can focus more on the presence of the people around you.
- Read more often. Studies have actually shown that people who read often are 122% more likely to become millionaires than people who don’t. So if that isn’t motivation to pick up a book from time to time I don’t know what is ;).
- Eat breakfast. Sure, mornings can be busy, but if you skip breakfast you’re setting yourself up for a day of problems. You’ll have less energy, feel more tired, and be more likely to eat unhealthy for the rest of the day, which is horrible for all those New Years weight loss resolutions. So do yourself a favor and schedule in a few minutes to eat breakfast before you leave each morning.
- Schedule in “me time”. Nothing is more important for your mental health than given yourself time to unwind each day. Even on the busiest of days, make sure to specifically schedule in at least 15 minutes of “me time” to do something that helps you relax. Whether that be going on a walk, taking a bath, or doing some yoga in your living room, just remember to make time for yourself daily.
If you incorporate even just a few of these good habits into your daily routine, you’re sure to have a healthier year!