How many years have you set your New Year’s resolutions, only to abandon them a month (or week!) later? The annual process of setting resolutions often leads to committing to unrealistic goals, which leads to disappointment when we can’t achieve them. This year, why not try setting New Year’s intentions?
Intentions are smaller but regular practices (daily, weekly, monthly) that will improve your quality of life but don’t require monumental effort or lifestyle changes to get right.
Inspiration for New Year’s Intentions:
Here are a few ideas:
1. Drink More Water
You’ve heard it before, but this simple step can work wonders – not just for hydration but checking this easy one off the list sets you up for a success mindset. The result? You’re more likely to follow through on other healthy practices.
Why drink more water? Our body relies heavily on water and hydration to function at its best. Beyond the classic 8 glasses per day recommendation, there are many varying opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day.
A starter suggestion for water intake is:
- 5 cups (3.7L) fluid a day for men
- 5 cups (2.7L) fluid a day for women
If you find it difficult to stay on top of your hydration, try these tips:
- Flavour your water with fruits and veggies (lemon, cucumber, raspberries, etc.) or water enhancer
- Get your water through food as well, such as fruits
- Invest in a fun, reusable water bottle that you want to use.
- There are also bottles that have measurements on them with motivational words like “almost there” and “keep it up” to motivate your intake
2. Add At Least One Colourful Food to Each Meal
New year’s intentions can also address food without involving diets or restriction.
Brightly hued fruits and vegetables contain plant pigments that signify they’re packed with dense nutrients. It’s an incredibly simple daily practice that’ll help you instantly boost your nutrition regularly.
Plus, no one can argue that a vibrant plate is more appealing to eat!
Aim for a wide variety across the colour wheel. Some examples are:
- Red – Strawberry
- Deep red – Pomegranate
- Bright pink – Radish
- Orange – Squash, oranges
- Yellow – Lemons
- Green – Broccoli, kale, lettuce
- Blue – Blueberry
- Purple – Eggplant, grapes
- White – Cauliflower
3. Curate the Perfect Bedtime Routine
Sleep—especially Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle sleep—is as important to wellness as breathing air and drinking water.
Creating a bedtime routine can be very beneficial for our overall health. When you perform a certain set of activities that in the same order and at the same time most evenings, your brain will begin to recognize that this routine means sleep is coming – and it will start to prepare your body to do just that.
Examples of calming activities to your bedtime routine include:
- Warm shower or bath
- Reading (not on a screen)
- Gratitude practice
- Deep breathing
- Skincare routine
Tip: ditch the electronics from your bedtime routine to optimize sleep quality!
4. Add One New Form of Exercise to Your Day
Instead of just telling yourself to “exercise more and lose weight” in the new year, you may find it more beneficial to set specific fitness goals that don’t seem as daunting.
Plus, all bodies have value, and aiming for a smaller one is not necessarily a marker of good health like we have been conditioned to believe in our society.
Try adding one of these exercise goals to your daily routine (or weekly if you need to start slowly), and attempt to reach those 30 minutes of recommended moderate exercise!
- Walk once per day. Start to increase the distance each time
- Dance to your favourite music
- Find a fitness channel to exercise with on YouTube
- Swim some lengths at the local pool, if possible
- Get up and move around between periods of prolonged sitting
- Jump rope
- Do 30 minutes of yoga
- Try light hand weights with simple exercises like lunges, squats, overhead presses and more (look online for free workout videos)
5. Substitute the Snacks
Many have a nighttime snacking habit. But typically it’s more about comfort and routine than actual hunger.
Try these alternatives the next time you feel the cravings kicking in. And remember, incremental changes are the goal (not a complete overhaul overnight):
- Hot drink – decaffeinated herbal tea
- Water with lemon
- Fresh fruit – bowl of berries with yogurt
- Trail mix – satisfies cravings for salt
- Dark chocolate
For more tips, check out our post on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet.
It’s not about deprivation, but rather shifting your mindset for the long term.
6. Create and Simplify a Supplement Routine
Is there an area of your health that is lacking? Are you struggling with joint pain and want to improve mobility? Are you finding it hard to focus and want to improve your mental abilities? Do you want to simply focus on overall health?
Supplementation can be a simple and easy way to address these. Similar to water intake (as mentioned earlier), the act of taking a daily supplement doesn’t just change your body from the inside out – the routine helps you be mindful of your health every day.
The nice thing about these supplements is that they specifically target a part of your body that could need assistance, making your routine that much easier!
A few to check out – available from Amazon.com and .ca:
- Joint health supplements – Genuwell (buy on Amazon.ca in Canada or Amazon.com in the U.S.)
- Brain health supplements – Strowell (buy on Amazon.ca in Canada or Amazon.com in the U.S.)
- Memory supplements – Memowell (buy on Amazon.ca in Canada or Amazon.com in the U.S.)
Ready to embrace New Year’s intentions? Set yours today and get to work. Wishing you a happy year ahead!