While studies show about one in three Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution, only about half of those people are still on target six months later.
Health.com, a healthy living website, suggests picking at least one of these health-worthy resolutions and sticking to it.
1. Lose Weight. This is one of the top resolutions but health.com suggests the key to success is not to expect overnight success. The website suggests keeping a food journal, putting a support system in place to keep you motivated, and to expecting a bump or two in the road.
2. Stay In Touch. Health.com states studies suggest people with strong social ties live longer.
3. Quit Smoking. The website suggests trying different methods until you find one that works and not to be discouraged because of past failed attempts.
4. Save Money. Make healthy lifestyle changes that put money in your pocket like walking or riding your bike to work or carpooling to cut down on air pollution. The website also suggests giving up the gym membership in favor of exercising at home and completing a grocery list before going to the market to avoid poor dietary choices.
5. Cut Stress. Health.com suggests while a little pressure can equal an energy boost, mounting stress can lead to health problems like insomnia, depression, obesity, or heart disease. Long work hours, little sleep, no exercise, poor diet, and not spending time with family and friends can contribute to stress the website suggests.
6. Volunteer. According to Health.com happiness increases when we help others, says Peter Kanaris, PhD, coordinator of public education for the New York State Psychological Association. A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions were about 20% less likely than their gloomy counterparts to have a heart attack or develop heart disease.
7. Go Back to School. The website states a 2007 study found that middle-age adults who went back to school had stronger memories and verbal skills than those who did not. Also, several studies have linked higher educational to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Cut Back on Alcohol. While much has been written about the benefits of drinking a small amount of alcohol, chronic heavy drinking boosts the risk of liver and heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and mental deterioration, and even cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and breast according to the website.
9. Get More Sleep. Health.com suggests a lack of sleep has been linked to a greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and strengthening memory.
10. Travel. Traveling brings rejuvenation and replenishment with a change of scenery, the website states. Travel also taps into a person’s sense of adventure and allows people to make a change in their lives without doing something too bold or dramatic.