10 Resolutions For A Healthier, Happier You
Different cultures eat certain foods on New Year's Day to encourage success in the coming 12 months. Depending upon your background and family tradition, the first meal of the new year might include fish, noodles, black-eyed peas, lentils, pomegranates or cabbage. While their menus might be different, almost everyone seeks to improve their lives by making New Year's resolutions. Altering your habits to improve your health and fitness is a great idea.
Consider making any one (or more!) of these 10 resolutions:
1. Stop smoking. Besides improving your health, you'll help others by not exhaling second-hand smoke. Moreover, you'll save money on every pack of cigarettes you don't smoke.
2. Drink in moderation. Or stop altogether. Research has found some benefit to a daily glass of red wine. But heavy drinking takes its toll on your weight, your vital organs and relationships with family and friends.
3. Reduce clutter. Make this the year you empty closets and donate unneeded clothing to those less fortunate. See this Better Business Bureau article for tips. Destroy documents (like bank statements or credit card receipts) that are cluttering your desk. Some local governments or offices sponsor a free "document destruction day."
4. Exercise daily. Sound difficult? Not if you own a dog. A 30-minute walk can be sufficient to improve your health. No dog? Recruit a friend and make a date for a daily walk together. If you can handle more strenuous workouts, then run, swim, bike, lift weights. Tai chi, yoga and Pilates are other exercises that strengthen your core and do not require expensive equipment.
5. Re-establish old acquaintances. Have you fallen into the trap of interacting with friends only through Facebook? Pick up the phone, call a friend and meet for coffee. Or, make it a goal to write a letter to a long-lost friend or relative.
6. Perform random acts of kindness. Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you. Compliment a co-worker on how happy he or she looks. Slip a quarter into a parking meter to give that person extra time. Giving of yourself can make you feel great.
7. Get out of debt. Resolve to set aside a certain amount of each paycheck to pay off credit card bills. At the same time, resolve to stop buying new things and enjoy what you already own.
8. Learn a new skill. Can you change a bicycle tire? How about converse in Spanish? Take a class at a community college or online and learn to do something new. It could help you in your job or help you meet someone new.
9. Volunteer. Museums, schools, hospitals and other organizations cannot function without volunteers. Call around your community and find an institution you can support. VolunteerMatch is a website that has opportunities you may be interested in.
10. Watch less television. And spend less time with social media. With the hours you save, you can exercise, learn a new skill, read a book, write a letter and just have time for yourself.
Find other resolutions at the USA.gov website.