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New Year, New You? Setting Realistic Resolutions

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It’s somehow already that time of year. 2023 is upon us, and along with it comes the popular desire to kickstart our habits and lifestyles. Although many of us participate in New Years Resolutions, they aren’t always inherently healthy or created for ourselves in ways that set us up for success for the coming year.

Here are three tips to make sure you and your family set healthy and realistic goals that you’ll actually want to stick to, that can improve your overall wellbeing:

  1. Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T. – Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time Bound. By sticking to making Smart New Year’s Resolutions, you can work towards goals in smaller, more manageable steps. Say you want to walk for 10mins per day in January instead of wanting to “exercise more this year.” Or maybe you want to try one new healthy food per week this year instead of “eating healthier.” This way you are more likely to stick to your goals and can better track (and be proud of!) the progress you’re making.
  2. Don’t Forget Your Mental Health – Many New Year’s Resolutions focus on things you think you should be working towards, rather than things you want to do that would be good for you. Setting Resolutions to Improve your Mental Health could take a wide variety of forms, such as trying to get a certain amount of hours of sleep per night, practicing mindfulness or signing up for counselling sessions, starting a gratitude journal, scheduling family time each week or setting a limit on your screen time (either in general, on social media or trying to watch less news that may cause you stress).

  3. Keep Physical Goals Positive – A lot of people tend to set fitness goals in the new year, again, because they think they should. Whether that is weight loss, cutting unhealthier foods or quitting drinking/smoking, it can feel more like trying to make dramatic changes out of guilt rather than for self-improvement or excitement. Try to make these goals smaller and more attainable, but also something that you look forward to rather than a form of punishment. Get your family more involved in meal planning and add a new healthy dish to your menu every week. Decide to make eating out an occasion once per month that you all look forward to rather than a last resort from poor meal planning. You could even schedule weekly family walks or fun activities like bowling or paintball to get more active together, bond and have fun at the same time.

    Whatever your resolutions look like in 2023, remember to make your goals S.M.A.R.T., keep them exciting, and don’t forget to practice self-care on your own and as a family.

    Additional Resources:
    Good Housekeeping -65 Rewarding New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy, Happy Life
    Psycom - You Might Be Doing Your New Year’s Resolutions All Wrong
    National Council for Mental Wellbeing - Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health
    Every Day Health - ‘Why Last Year’s Wins Are Helping Me Write This New Year’s Resolutions’
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