New Year, New You: Doable Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Your Best Year Ever
We’ve rounded up some doable healthy lifestyle tips to set you up for success.
If your new year’s resolutions sound awfully familiar, it may be because they’re the same ones you’ve made year after year. But there’s no need to feel bad about it—a study by the University of Scranton in the U.S. suggests that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually see them through. Instead of wallowing in guilt or abandoning your resolutions altogether, it’s time to take action. We’ve rounded up some doable healthy lifestyle tips to set you up for success and help you join the ranks of the 8%.
1. Eat right—most of the time.
You can have your cake and eat it, too! After all, a healthy diet is about moderation, not deprivation. Experts recommend the 80/20 principle: Make healthy choices 80% of the time, then allow yourself to indulge for the remaining 20%. Whatever diet you choose, just remember that the most effective ones are those that you can commit to long-term. Think of it as a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix.
2. Pick a workout that works for you.
“Physical activity” looks different from person to person. You don’t have to force yourself to run or go cycling or do yoga if you hate it. The key is to find something—or a mix of things—that you can do consistently.
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Having trouble getting motivated? Invest in a cute workout wardrobe to inspire you, put on some deodorant like Dove’s Intensive Renew Deo Dry Serum Collagen + Vitamin B3 to boost your confidence, then turn Zumba into Zoom-ba with a group of friends. Not in the mood for a half-hour sesh? Just do two minutes! James Clear, author of the bestselling book Atomic Habits, says this keeps you from taking an all-or-nothing approach to working out and trains you to simply show up each day.
3. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Getting enough restorative sleep doesn’t just make you feel more alert, but it also puts you in a better mood. Commit to a sleep schedule and come up with a pre-bedtime routine that’s conducive to getting some good shuteye: no more caffeine seven hours before bed and no gadgets at least half an hour before lights out. Change your beddings regularly, too—according to the U.S. Sleep Foundation, the smell of freshly laundered sheets may help improve sleep quality. And, as much as possible, don’t WFH in bed—you want your brain to associate that sacred space with sleep, not work!
4. Take time for self-care.
Just as working out comes in different forms, so does self-care. It can be a hobby like painting or putting together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, or it can be simply taking the time to pamper yourself. A long, luxurious bubble bath or a warm, relaxing shower with an indulgent body wash (try Dove Body Wash Go Fresh Cool Moisture) can leave you feeling like new.
5. Spend less time on social media.
Do you get a nagging sense of FOMO while looking at Stories on Instagram? Get anxious while doomscrolling through Twitter? You’re not alone: A study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking suggests that prolonged use of social media isn’t great for mental health, leading to depressive symptoms, feelings of inadequacy, and Internet addiction.
Do your mind a favor and take a break from social networking. Some things you can do to limit screen time: Delete the apps from your phone or, at the very least, turn off notifications to reduce the urge to open them; use an app to restrict access to sites during certain times of the day; and leave your phone outside the bedroom at night. You’ll be surprised to find how much free time you have when you’re not endlessly scrolling through your phone.
6. Wear sunscreen.
If all these changes seem pretty daunting, then start with something simple: slather on sunscreen every day. Studies have shown that sunscreen not only protects you from sunburn and skin cancer but also from wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of photoaging. Your future self will thank you!
The key to sticking to these healthy lifestyle tips is to be very specific about them and to come up with a clear plan. And if you somehow fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. Each day is a new opportunity to restart—you don’t have to wait for another new year to try again.