The time is nearly upon us where we need to think about our New Year’s Resolutions – and ones that we will actually keep this time and aren’t totally unrealistic. Here are some realistic, achievable yet beneficial New Year’s Resolution ideas.
1. Get yourself a workout plan
If you want to get fit next year, instead of promising yourself to hit the gym 7 days a week and run to and from work, be realistic with it. Think about how many times you can really get to the gym or go for a run – whether it be 3 times per week or 5, work with this. Then plan which kinds of workouts you want to do and make sure you enjoy them! Whether it be a workout class, a run or a weights session. This consistency will ensure 2019 is the year you really see results.
2. Incorporate weights into your workout regime
Everyone has a different preference of how to stay active. This isn’t to say you should stop running or boxing or swimming if that’s what you really love, but try and incorporate resistance training into your week, as it really does have countless benefits for your body and mind. As well as boosting your metabolism and your strength, increasing your muscle mass will prevent muscle wastage as you age, and will make daily movements so much easier.
3. Stretch daily
There are so many amazing stretch routines you can find online on YouTube, and you’ll soon feel the benefits of a daily stretch. As well as giving your mind some time out, it will ensure you don’t get too stiff or sore. It’s also a great idea to purchase a foam roller – this is a really affordable piece of equipment and helps target tight areas in the body, speeding up recovery.
4. Follow meat-free Mondays
It is no secret that veganism and vegetarianism is quickly becoming the way to go. If you’re not yet vegetarian, make an effort to make your Mondays meat-free! Then you can slowly build up – try one vegetarian meal a day, gradually reducing your meat intake. Incorporating vegetarian meals into your diet will also increase your vegetable intake, which your body will thank you for all the nutrients and minerals you’ll get! There are delicious vegetarian/vegan recipes out there, such as vegetarian chilli, veggie burger with sweet potato fries or a tasty salad with halloumi and chickpeas.
5. Start food prepping
You don’t need to go full throttle here and prep 3 meals a day for 5 days out of the week. Start just prepping one meal, whether that be your lunches for during the week, or breakfasts to make your mornings quicker. As well as helping keep you on track, you’ll find you spend less more as you won’t be buying meals out! Meal-prep can also be delicious, as you can choose exactly what you want to eat – think overnight oats, a nutrient-packed smoothie, a hearty salad or soup for lunch.
6. Instead of dry January, try a dry week
For many of us, dry January seems unattainable – it is such a dark and dull month, having a glass of red wine in the evening every now and again can make us feel warm just thinking about it! However, it is no secret that excessive drinking wreaks havoc on our bodies. Try out just a week of no drinking and see how amazing you feel! If this is too tricky, restrict your drinking to two nights a week.
7. Cut down on the sugar
We are constantly being told in the media how awful sugar is for us and, yes, tons of refined sugar isn’t the best for your health. However, it’s delicious and it’s unrealistic and quite restrictive to attempt to totally cut out every bit of sugar from your diet. Instead, just reduce it a little – instead of a donut in the afternoon, have an apple or some carrots with hummus, or even a protein shake! Making sweet treats yourself is also a great idea, as you can control the amount of sugar you add.
8. Cook one new meal every week
If you want to make 2019 the year you master cooking, try a new recipe every week. By the end of the year, you’ll have a solid repertoire of 52 delicious meals! This doesn’t have to be difficult and you can start with the basics – think roast chicken with grilled vegetables or a stir fry.
9. Take more time out for yourself
2018 has seemed to be the year of non-stop manic working. Next year, try and really take time for yourself, whether that be going for a walk listening to a podcast, staying in to read a book or watch a film instead of going out for drinks with friends for one evening, or going to the gym. However you like to do it, make sure you prioritise yourself and your wellbeing.
10. Cut down on your technology use
We are becoming increasingly dependent on technology nowadays. Our phones are now the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we look at before we go to sleep. Try to slowly change these habits and you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your mood and anxiety levels. Instead of charging your phone next to your bed, put it in another room and buy yourself an alarm clock. Also put it on airplane mode overnight so you aren’t woken up by a text or email. If you want to go the extra mile, try a completely technology-free day once a month.