Small changes that can have a big impact this year
New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be insurmountable. Keep them small and achievable, and you’ll enjoy big benefits as the year rolls on.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that by the time the middle of January rolls around, many have already been broken.
Before we know it, some of the stresses we dragged through to Christmas are rearing their ugly head again before the silly season has even ended.
But just making some small tweaks can have a big impact on your health and happiness all year long.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Eat for energy
If you feel tired all the time, try shaking up your diet. Dietitian and exercise physiologist Joanne Turner recommends eating fresh food, starting with a nourishing breakfast.
Include high-protein foods at mealtimes, load up on foods with B-group vitamins (green vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs and wholegrain breads and cereals) and eat iron-rich foods. And eat small, regular meals to keep your blood levels stable.
- Nutrition tips: How to eat for lasting energy
Change up your exercise
Instead of setting an ambitious goal like running a marathon (especially if your idea of a marathon up to now has been binge-watching a TV series), a simple change to your exercise routine can make a marked difference.
Incorporating some weight-bearing exercises into your week will not only help you build lean muscle and feel fitter, but also help with bone density.
- Health kick: How to quit smoking – for good
Face the truth
Our faces are the first thing people notice about us, so adopting a few good skincare habits is vital.
Our No.1 tip for protecting your skin – and preventing premature ageing and a host of health risks – is to wear sunscreen daily (and make sure you’re using it correctly).
If you want to break some other bad skin habits, try cutting down on sugar, only using your heating and aircon when you really need it, and making an effort to move a little more each day.
- Fountain of youth: How to look after your skin as you age
Try something new
If you’re looking to add to your beauty regimen in 2019, why not jump on to an up-and-coming skincare trend?
- Complexion perfection: How to banish dull, uneven skin
Make some space
It might not exactly be time for a spring clean, but the new year is a great time to declutter.
Having less physical clutter can help us feel less mentally cluttered, too. If you have kids, get them involved.
- Healthy home: 5 ways to keep your home clean and toxin-free
Volunteering has been proven to help us feel better, sleep better and lower blood pressure.
So look for ways in your weekly planner you can donate your time this year, as the benefits are worth it.
Plan a break
If you can’t take a holiday in the new year, at least start planning one.
Research also shows holidays make us happier so if the budget and calendar allow for it – get out there and see the world.
- Children on board: Top tips to travel with kids
Is your job working for you?
Even if you love your job, no doubt there are things you could be doing to add more wellness into your work life – plan to take more regular breaks, bring healthy lunches and increasing your movement.
- Change it up: 4 ways to incorporate more wellness into your work day
Reignite your spark
If you’ve lost that spark with your partner, you’re not alone. Use a fresh new year as a good excuse to bring intimacy back into your relationship, starting with resolving to communicate better.
Changing social media habits might also free up more time for romance.
Walk it out
Stepping up your steps will help look after both your physical and mental health.
A half-hour walk on top of your usual daily activities should be all it takes to get to the ideal goal for most adults of 10,000 steps.
Walking is easy, doesn’t require any special fitness gear or gym memberships, and is suitable for all fitness levels. Take a friend for an added wellness boost.
Written by Sally Heppleston.