Primary Care

7 Ideas For Healthy Goals This New Year

When deciding on a New Year’s resolution or setting a goal for the new year, it can be a challenge to choose one. We share some suggestions that can help you live a healthier life.

Dec. 19, 2023 4   min read

Middle-eastern female exercising in a park. About 25 years old, Arab woman

The end of one year and the transition into another year gives everyone a chance at setting some goals or resolutions to do things differently.

According to a recent poll, nearly all of the top five New Year’s resolutions are related to health – including improving fitness and mental health. If you are looking for a way to start off the new year just a little better than the year before, give one or more of these goals a try.

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1. Eating healthier

Making a change in the way you eat doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing change overnight. Small changes are often a good test to see how you and your body can adapt to a new type of eating.

Nutrition experts recommend a diet focused on more vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins because it gives your body the right kind of energy. Some people try out a plant-based diet that avoids eating animals or animal byproducts.

2. Moving more

Being physically active looks different for everyone. Choosing one activity that feels right for you is a good way to start; you don’t need to sign up to run a marathon (unless you really want to!).

A few ideas to start might include changing from a desk with a chair to a standing desk, getting a treadmill or stationary bike at home, or using the stairs instead of an elevator while out and about. Taking small steps, sometimes literally, goes a long way.

3. Maintaining a healthy weight

One of the most common goals for people to make related to their health is to lose weight. Whether the goal is attached to a specific number or not, this can be a challenge to maintain throughout the year.

Keep in mind that the tried-and-true combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise helps most people start to lose weight. Maintaining a new weight and a new lifestyle can be a challenge, so show yourself some grace if change doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like it to happen.

If you have tried incorporating a healthier diet and regular exercise into your life and are still not seeing the results you are hoping for, talk with one of our weight loss providers about different options that could work better for you and your life.

4. Stop smoking

Quitting smoking is often in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions – and for good reason! Research shows the moment you stop smoking, your body starts to benefit almost immediately. Overall heart health, improved blood pressure, better lung function, and reducing cancer risk are just a few of the positive side effects of stopping smoking.

You might have any number of reasons that lead to your decision to stop smoking, but what matters is that you are doing it. Providers at Rochester Regional Health offer a smoking cessation program that can help you along your journey.

5. Limiting alcoholic drinks

Drinking in moderation (1 drink per day for women, 2 drinks for men) or cutting out alcohol is fairly common as a goal for the start of a new year. As people search for drinks without alcohol, the number of searches for non-alcoholic beer has more than doubled over the last two years, according to Google.

If you drink alcohol heavily on a regular basis, the effects of alcohol can be linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, digestive distress, and depression.

Taking a step back for a few days or weeks is a good step into seeing how your mind and body are feeling without the effects of alcohol. If you want to talk with one of our trained chemical dependency providers about alcohol use disorders, they are available.

6. Sleeping better

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is recommended by many health professionals, but there is more to sleep than just how much you get. Good quality sleep is important to consider; better quality sleep is linked to better health.

Limiting caffeine intake, avoiding alcohol within 3 hours of your bedtime, and reducing the amount of time spent on screens before sleep are good ways to help improve your sleep.

7. Managing stress

We all have some amount of stress in our daily lives; limiting that stress is key to helping our minds and bodies remain healthy.

Physical activity (such as the methods mentioned above) can release endorphins – chemicals produced by the body’s nervous system that act as a natural pain and stress reliever. If you are working from home and work is stressful, do your best to create a structured separation between work and home to reduce that stress.

Combining specific stress reduction techniques into everyday life, such as mindfulness, meditation or prayer, or yoga, can make a noticeable difference too.

How To Make New Habits Stick

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Give yourself the right start you need to feel healthy this year.

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