Hi all, in this post I’m going to suggest some new year’s resolution for 2020 which could help benefit your health, fitness and most importantly of all, your wellbeing! Not all of these suggestions will be health and fitness related and I would like to be able to give all of you the opportunity to make resolutions which will make your 2020 even better than the year before! And since it’s going to be 2020, I thought I’d come up with 20 new year’s resolutions for you to pick from and alter according to your lifestyle.
2020 New Year’s Resolutions
These resolutions are linked more to healthy eating rather than weight loss. I feel like weight loss is emphasised in everything we see so I thought I’d try and steer clear of it. If you want to lose weight, know that these dietary resolutions will help you along your journey. For a lot of you, reaching a weight where you are fit and able to do many activities on your own should be the goal when it comes to weight loss. Being at a healthy weight comes with many benefits and is certainly something that will improve your wellbeing if you can sustain it without too much effort!
Here are 4 diet resolutions you can apply to try and get yourself eating healthier:
1) Consume Less Sugar
Many of us know that in western countries, we consume far too much sugar than we should as a population and that is down to lack of self-control and constant marketing of sugary treats all around us. Whilst I think it would be very hard for many to suddenly limit their sugar intake, I think the best course of action would be to figure out the amount of sugar you eat on a ‘normal’ day and reduce that amount of sugar consumed by 5g every two days or so. High levels of sugar spike blood sugar and insulin and are also more likely to make you feel lethargic and prone to sugar crashes in the afternoon. If you can get through your day without all the sugar know your hormones will be more in control and you will feel better!
2) Eat Mindfully
When eating, sometimes we need to stop distracting ourselves with food i.e. by watching TV and eating since then our brain doesn’t actually process the food we are eating because it is distracted and this can often lead to eating more than necessary. I believe that if we focus on the food we are eating (as an added bonus, eat as a family or with friends) and chew our food properly, you can feel a lot more satiated from one single meal, even if it contains less food than you’d normally eat. Additionally, you will appreciate the food and flavours much more.
3) Reduce Intake of Processed Foods
Similarly to sugar, this is something that as a population, western countries tend to eat too much of. They are there, easily accessible, eye-poppingly visible and cheekily cheap. Unfortunately, they are also devoid of many nutrients and full of refined sugar. You may feel better when you eat them due to the dopamine response triggered in the brain, but ultimately, you’re not doing your health any favours. It may be hard, but show your body some love and try to slowly wean yourself off these processed foods. Instead of grabbing these snacks from the supermarket, pre-pack your own snacks such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs and maybe even the leftover roast chicken from last night in a lunch pot. You could even use whole foods to make your own ‘processed snacks’ if you wanted, such as these cashew lemon coconut energy bites? Yum!
4) Eat and Experience A Range of Foods
If we limit ourselves to just a few different foods each day, sometimes it can be hard to obtain all the nutrients our body needs. Try vegetables or fruit you haven’t tried before or eaten for a long time. Maybe chicken liver doesn’t seem appealing to you, but it happens to be full of nutrients such as iron. Hopefully, you’ll find a new food that you enjoy and perhaps you could even create your own signature dish to cook for special occasions (or all the time if it’s really good)!
These fitness resolutions are here to try and improve your physical ability. Ultimately, you decide the challenge or stressor you decide to place on your body which stimulates the fitness adaptations. Just remember, the key to these fitness resolutions is to try and get into a routine, just like I do for my running!
5) Exercise Moderately for 150 minutes Weekly
150 minutes of moderate exercise a week will vastly improve your cardiovascular health. If you haven’t been active for a while, try not to jump into it straight away and start with a lower volume and lower intensity, to begin with. You may end up feeling more energised and happy as a result of exercising vigorously. Aim for around 65% – 70% of your maximum heart rate to reap the benefits. If you run, try keeping track of this by using a heart rate monitor.
6) Try and be Active for 60 minutes a Day
Each day, aim to be physically active for 60 minutes whether that’s taking the dog for a walk, going with the kids to the local park, cleaning the house, washing the car or preparing meals. It doesn’t have to be intensive, just as long as you are active is key. If you don’t use what you’ve got, you’ll eventually lose it so try and be active every day!
7) Take 5,000 – 10,000 Steps Daily
For those of us who don’t run or take part in sports, walking is a simple way to maintain cardiovascular health and improve it. A brisk walk can really get the blood pumping and is very good for regulating blood glucose after a meal. I feel that 5,000 steps is a good amount for many people to improve their fitness, especially if done at a brisk pace. If you want to challenge yourself, increase that goal – up to 10,000 steps and maybe even more!
8) Train for an Event
What sporting activity interests or inspires you the most? Is it the 100m sprint? Covering the distance of the marathon? Doing 10 mile obstacle course races such as Tough Mudder or Spartan Race? Weightlifting? Triathlon? Martial arts? Find an event you want to participate in and train for it! The difference between exercising and training is that when you are training, your exercise has a purpose!
9) Set Yourself a Fitness Goal
What targets can you set yourself that will reflect an improvement in fitness? Maybe it’s how quickly you can run 5km or even a mile. Perhaps it’s how long you can swim or cycle for without getting tired. You could even decide you want to get strong and try and deadlift 100kg before slowly progressing up from that. Find a goal which is measurable and see how you improve on that goal throughout the year. For running a 5km you could always do a parkrun! They are measured accurately to 5km and if you do the same parkrun, it will always be done on the same course!
General Wellbeing Resolutions
Instead of focusing on diet or fitness, why not focus on something different with a similar focus? Your wellbeing. These suggestions should help to improve your quality of life throughout 2019 should you be able to stick to them (which I hope you can). Just remember to practise habit, and the habit becomes routine and part of your lifestyle.
10) Get Some Good Quality Sleep
We all need good quality sleep to rest and recover. It allows our brains to process everything that has gone on throughout the day, helps our brain to store information into our short and long term memory and for those exercising, especially frequently or at high intensities, this good quality sleep will help you to recover. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and awake at the same time each morning to manufacture the best quality of sleep. Avoid blue light an hour or so before bed and try to limit the use of screens as blue light will reduce the secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone), lowering your sleep quality.
11) Practise Meditation
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and a cleansing way to start your morning. It can help to give you inner peace and help you to focus on what you want to do throughout the day as well as allowing you to space out from the stress life may bring upon you. Use it as a tool to help keep yourself sane when you might be losing control of yourself and stay calm.
12) Give Yourself Some Me Time
So many times we think of what we can do for other people. We think about treating people out, paying the bill, making the effort to meet up with friends and this can all become quite stressful when others are reluctant. Why not consider how you actually feel and be honest with yourself. Maybe you should treat yourself in these moments where you’re stressed out and go over for a massage or a spa. Enjoy yourself!
13) Pursue a Passion or Hobby
The new year is a perfect time of year to find a passion or hobby you want to pursue, whether it be learning a new language, advancing your culinary skills or something as adventurous as survival in the wild, now is a good time to try and learn that skill throughout the whole year so you have something unique that you can teach other people. Don’t forget that this new skill can also enrich the qualities and traits that you have to offer!
14) Spend Time in Nature
Since we came to earth, nature has been around us. Forest, grass, flowers – even the pollen in the air counts. It’s only in the last century, perhaps less than that, that we’ve managed to seclude ourselves from nature so much. Being out in nature, amongst wildlife has been shown to improve your health. We feel better, more relaxed and happier, so why don’t we try and disconnect ourselves from the plug socket once a week and ground ourselves in nature for an hour or so weekly.
15) Limit Unproductive Time on Electronic Devices
The average child spends 6 hours a day on screens, for adults, I imagine it is at least 4 hours which is still a lot. That’s a sixth of our day looking at a screen. Let’s try to spend less time on screens and social media unless you are being productive or working and utilise more time doing real life activities, by which I mean socialising and interacting with people on a face to face basis.
16) Have Positive Outlook on Life
When feeling down, look at the situation and try and flip it. Think about the positive rather than the negative. When sad, think about what you’re happy about. Life is short, so we need to make the most of it and live optimistically. Even a forced smile can make you feel better and reduce stress. Don’t dwell on what’s happened if you’re sad about it, move onwards and upwards… with a smile!
17) Make Time For Friends
In our hectic everyday lives filled with family, children, sporting activities, work and other stressors it can be easy to forget about friends and the connections we made long ago. Try not to forget about these and see if you can make an effort to catch up with friends, old and new every week, fortnight or month if that’s the best you can do. Social interactions are a great way to relieve stress in life and will make you feel at ease when you’re with the right people. Bonus points if you’re able to catch up whilst doing a physical activity such as going for a jog, bike ride or gym session.
Resolutions can be hard to stick to on your own, so as well as supporting each other with the resolutions you choose to try to make, I thought I’d suggest some more resolutions based around family bonding.
18) Spend Time Cooking and Eating Together
Eating is a great time when family members can catch up on what’s been going on in their daily lives and provides great bonding time for the family. In addition, everyone gets to eat a great meal! What’s not to love? Savour the food, take your time and talk amongst each other or even get the family to help out whilst cooking and hone their culinary skills.
19) Do a Family Activity at Least Once a Month
As children get older and have their own agendas, it can be hard to get the family together. Once a week could be a bit too hard, but once a month should definitely be possible. Try and arrange for family bonding experiences whether it’s a theme park, camping or something adventurous like rafting. Get everyone involved!
20) Support Each Other With Resolutions!
New year’s resolutions are far too easy to break. That’s why I recommend trying to ease into them. It’s a lot easier though to stick to resolutions when other people are supporting you, so even if you break your resolution, try to get back on the rails and stick to it and help your family stick to theirs.
If you’re interested in reading further, check out this article from Harvard on how to choose, make and keep new years resolutions!
Let’s make 2020 an amazing year! May your resolutions improve your health, wellbeing and quality of life!
What resolutions have you made for 2020? Let me know down below!