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As 2022 draws to a close, many of us are starting to make plans for 2023. A big part of that includes making new year’s resolutions. Nearly 30% of Canadians make resolutions and a lot of these focus on improving health and wellbeing. The most common wellness-related resolutions are to exercise more (51%), to eat healthier (48%), to lose weight (42%), to reduce stress (35%), and to get more sleep (29%).
These are admirable ambitions, but unfortunately, they often don’t come to fruition. According to Ipsos, 78% of Canadians have failed to keep resolutions in the past. So, why do we often fail at our resolutions? And how can we make sure that we’re successful in the upcoming new year.
Continue reading for advice on how to make new year’s resolutions that you can actually keep!
Why do our new year’s resolutions fail?
A big reason our new year’s resolutions fail is because they’re often overly ambitious and unrealistic. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, where do you start? By doing more exercise? If so, what type? Or by cutting out certain foods? But which ones? When you think about it, losing weight starts to seem like a mammoth task – it’s no wonder people give up.
An alternative resolution could be to cut out refined sugars for one month, for example. This is achievable and easily measured. Of course, it may lead to weight loss, but that’s not the main focus. After a month, you’ll have achieved your goal even if the number on the scale hasn’t changed. And this small victory will encourage you to keep going. It’s building small habits like this into your routine over time that can help you make big changes to your health, rather than focusing on one intimidating end goal right from the outset.
Want some more resolution inspiration? Find our top picks below!
Go for a 20-minute walk each day
Staying physically active is an essential part of healthy aging. However, for those of us who are not in the habit, starting an exercise regime can be daunting. If this is you, try to commit to a 20-minute walk every day. Once you get into this habit, you may start to notice an uplift in your mood and increased stamina, which may encourage you to go for longer walks or start exploring other types of activity.
Eat more vegetables
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before, you’ll probably know that most diets focus on what you can’t eat, rather than what you can. This can lead to people craving the so-called “forbidden foods”. If you want to start eating more healthily without restricting your diet, try challenging yourself to eating more fruits and veggies for a month. This could mean swapping your afternoon chocolate bar for a banana, or making sure that half of your plate is packed with greens at dinner time. You may find that once you’ve filled up on fruits and veggies, you won’t be as hungry for less healthy foods.
Go to bed and get up at a regular time
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is key for good health. It can help improve mood and mental health, as well as protect against conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, if you’re someone who struggles to nod off, you’ll know that getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. One simple habit that can help is going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. It’s believed this works by maintaining the body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm. This January, why not try it for a month and see if your sleep quality improves.
Cut down on screen time
A lot of us feel that we spend too much time looking at screens. And it’s hard not to – they’re everywhere. So, this January, why not challenge yourself to reduce screen time. You might try leaving your phone at home when you go out. Or you could set a time in the evening to put down your phone and not look at it again until the morning. Whichever tactic you choose, less screen tim can bring multiple benefits, such as allowing you to connect more with friends and family, or freeing up time to do exercise or an activity you enjoy.
The start of a new year often brings with it the drive to make big changes in our lives. However, it’s sometimes the smaller changes – that are easier to stick with – that have the biggest effect in the long run. We hope these tips inspire you to think about your new year's resolutions in a new way, so you can feel more confident about meeting your health and wellness goals in 2023.
The information presented in this blog post is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information in this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.