With another holiday season coming to a close, many girls will be looking to set some healthy New Year’s resolution ideas to get back on track after months of family dinners, holiday parties, and baked goods…
Personally, the start of a new year is always a kick-start for my motivation and just generally helps me to get my ass back in gear with my new goals.
If your goals are health and fitness related, the “new year, new you” message can be a blessing and a curse. Unlike other things if life, when it comes to health, doing more is NOT better.
Pushing as hard as you can right away will actually hinder your progress, not help it. When it comes to your physical health, the best approach is always working your way up. Starting with small, doable resolutions (or goals) and getting consistent with that until you feel like you’re ready for more.
23 Healthy New Year’s Resolution Ideas (that are actually doable!)
So, before you jump head-first into a 1200 calorie diet and an hour of cardio a day, let’s just take a pause…
Instead of going all out with restrictive dieting and burning out by February, try one of these 23 healthy new year’s resolution ideas.
These are all doable, sustainable, and ACTIONABLE resolutions you can set to make this your healthiest year yet.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
#1 – Only eat one processed carbohydrate per day
While it may sound nice to say, “I’m going to focus on eating more whole foods”, that resolution is way too vague. You need to create an actionable and measurable goal to make the resolution stick.
If not, every time you’re tempted to eat something that doesn’t align with this goal, your brain will come up with all the justification for why you should eat it anyway.
For most people limiting your intake of processed carbs (like bread, pasta, crackers, baked goods, etc.) to just one serving a day will be a huge improvement! Plus, it’ll be easy to measure your success each day.
#2 – Only purchase products with 5g of sugar (or less) per serving
Sugar is addictive and highly inflammatory for our bodies and brains. It’s present in almost all food products today. Even naturally occurring sugar (from fruit, maple syrup, honey, etc.) can also have the same negative impact in excess.
One way to ensure you keep your sugar intake in a healthy place is to only purchase products with 5 grams or less of sugar per serving. That way, you never have to stress about whether the snack you grab out of the pantry is going to negatively impact your cravings or your blood sugar.
#3 – Drink 32oz of water first thing every morning
When you first wake up, your body is at it’s most dehydrated level. That severe lack of H2O can play tricks on your stomach and your mind making you feel extremely hungry or sleepy.
That’s why drinking water in first thing in the morning (yes, that means before your caffeine!) is one of the most important habits you can create for your health.
When you start each day fully hydrated, you’ll feel more alert, experience less cravings and make better choices throughout the day.
#4 – Slowly reduce the sugar in your coffee
If you’re morning coffee is full of artificially sweetened creamer or sugar you might want to consider making this the year you train your taste buds to enjoy a healthier cup of joe!
When I was weaning myself off of sugary coffee, I started slowly. Little by little, I reduced my cream and sugar until I no longer needed any at all.
Now I can enjoy my coffee without consuming tons of extra calories and sugar. If you want to make the switch this year, I highly recommend it. This is another easy, doable way to reduce the excess calories you consume daily.
#5 – Eat at least 25g of protein each morning
In my coaching practice, I find that most women are severely under eating protein. If you’ve never tracked your protein intake, you might be surprised to realize how little you consume as well.
Breakfast is usually the lowest-protein meal of the day. By setting a protein goal in the morning, you’ll be much more likely to reach your optimal protein intake throughout the day…
Plus, you’ll likely experience less craving and hunger and have better focus through the day.
#6 – Wait until you feel hungry to eat your breakfast
Another eating habit to work on this year is waiting until you get hungry to eat, especially in the mornings.
A lot of women are in the habit if eating according to the clock. If you can interrupt that pattern by intentionally waiting until you feel the first signs of hunger in the morning, you may be surprised at how much longer you will extend your nightly “fast”.
I don’t recommend avoiding food when you DO get hungry, however, eating according to your bodies natural hunger/fullness cues is a healthy habit everyone should adopt.
#7 – Go for a 30 minute walk each day
Walking in one of the most underrated forms of exercise. There is tons of research supporting the benefits of walking for longevity, brain health, weight maintenance, digestion, sleep, immunity and more.
You could go for a 30 minute walk each morning or break it up and do a 10 minute walk after breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This is an awesome healthy new years resolution for anyone who is sedentary at their job.
#8 – Put your phone away by 9pm each night
Getting better sleep is a great way to improve your health and reach your goal weight more easily, however, you still need an actionable plan to achieve that.
One way to do so it to make sure you get to bed earlier and sleep better by putting your phone away in the evenings.
Being on your phone late at night is one of the biggest deterrents to getting adequate rest. The blue light disrupt your natural melatonin production. Additionally, social media algorithms are designed to keep you scrolling, so if you’re on TikTok before bed every night, it’s more than likely cutting into your sleep time and quality.
Set a reminder each night to put your phone aways at a specific time, preferably at least an hour before you need to go to sleep.
#9 – Create a night time routine
Another way to improve your sleep is to create a night time routine and stick to it. Our brains love habits. By doing the same things each night in the same order, your brain will come to view those tasks as a precursor to sleep.
For anyone who struggles to fall asleep at night, creating a “wind down” routine that you do each night will help you tremendously. For the best results, you can also set a specific bedtime.
Doing your night time routine and getting in bed at the same time each night will help your brain know when to begin relaxing so you get the most sleep possible each night.
#10 – Find a strength training program to do 2X per week
If you haven’t been working out or you’ve been doing mostly cardio-based workouts, one of the best things you could do to improve your body and your overall health is strength training.
Even just 1-2 hours a week will be enough to begin seeing more muscle definition and improve strength.
I know from experience how intimidating it feels to start lifting if you’ve never done it before. That’s why I recommend investing in a training program created by a professional (I started with the PWR program on the Sweat app). Most programs you can purchase will have lots of exercise demos and tips to help you find the right weights to help you get started.
#11 – Start creating a daily or weekly meal plan
Planning your meals in advance is crucial if you’re trying to reach a specific goal weight or body composition. Without a plan you’ll be stuck using will-power to make the best choice in the moment…which we know is not a good strategy for success.
When you plan in advance, you don’t have to make all your food choices in the moment. This eliminates a lot of the internal bargaining and justifications that we often make when faced with cravings.
I recommend making a plan for what you’ll eat at least 24 hours out. This will help you reach your health goals and reduce food waste (which helps the budget too!).
#12 – Cook dinner at home 5 nights a week
Sure, you can always make healthy choices when eating out, but it’s usually much easier at home. If you’re an UberEat or Postmates kinda gal, consider making a resolution to cook more meals at home this year.
You’ll get more skilled in the kitchen and you’ll probably wind up finding some new healthy recipes you’ll love.
No matter what kind of food you’re craving, you can always find a recipe online for a healthier, homemade version.
#13 – Journal about your progress for 10 minutes a day
When you’re working on a health goal it’s easy to get in your own head with thoughts like, “It’s going too slow”, “It’s not working”, and “This is too hard”. By setting aside a few minutes each day to acknowledge your progress, you’re much more likely to stay consistent.
Our brains are automatically on the lookout for what’s wrong in every situation. Making a resolution to spend time celebrating all your little wins is a great way to counteract your brain’s negativity bias.
#14 – Listen/read 2 educational or inspirational books per month
Keep your brain filled with positivity and growth this year by setting a reading goal for personal development books. Audio books count too!
Personally, filling my spare time with educational or inspirational books is one of the best ways I know of to stay inspired and engaged with my goals.
If your goals are health and wellness related, be sure to check out my Favorite Things page for some great book recommendations to help you grow and learn.
#15 – Stop buying foods that you don’t understand the ingredients of
This is an easy first step for anyone who wants to get started eating healthier but doesn’t know where to begin. It was the first change I made to my diet that actually stuck.
This resolution will help you get into the habit of reading food labels and creating more awareness about what is actually in your food.
By avoiding unnatural, artificial ingredients you will naturally gravitate towards more whole foods. This will do wonders for your gut microbiome, immune system, and your overall health.
#16 – Eat at least 1 cup of leafy greens per day
Leafy green veggies like spinach, arugula, and kale are extremely high in vitamins and minerals. Increasing your intake of these veggies will improve your immunity, skin healthy, digestion and more.
It doesn’t take much to get 1 cup of 2 of leafy greens in your diet each day. You can have them mixed into a smoothie, in a salad, scrambled in with some eggs, or thrown in a cup of soup.
This is a simple way to get more antioxidants into your system and decrease your risk of diseases like cancer.
#17 – Wean yourself off of sodas for goof
I haven’t drank a soda in years. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I even wanted to drink a soda. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to be the kind of person who drank it. The negative impact of soda (even diet soda) on my health just isn’t worth it.
Because I made that choice and didn’t waver, I’ve pretty much forgotten what soda tastes like by now. If you also want to stop having cravings for soda, make it your resolution for the year to quit soda for good.
You might go through a brief withdrawal period where you experience cravings, but the longer you go without them, the easier it will be to not drink them. Your cravings will eventually dissipate for good.
#18 – Only drink alcohol on special occasions (when planned in advance)
I think it’s very helpful to have personal rules in place about alcohol. My own rule is that I never drink alone and I save alcohol for times when I’ve planned in advance to drink. This rule keeps me from going down the slippery slope of having a drink or two at the end of a long day…
That’s the rule that works for me and I highly recommend for others. Of course you can make up your own rules for your alcohol consumption. However, I do recommend saving it for special occasions if you have a specific health or weight goal this year.
#19 – Unfollow/mute anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself
So often, I speak to girls who feel intense pressure to be skinny because of the way everyone else (seems) to look in their news feed.
My advice is to unfollow or mute anyone who on social media that you’re comparing yourself to physically. It’s one thing to follow someone who inspires you to be healthier. But there is a line that can get crossed when you know longer feel inspired, and you start feeling jealous or self-conscious.
That feeling can lead you astray, especially when you try to follow someone else’s diet/workout protocol. Remember, just because that plan works for them, that doesn’t mean it will work for you.
#20 – Do a daily “brain dump” to start create awareness of self-limiting thoughts
A brain dump is when you write down on a piece of paper everything that is in your brain. I start by writing the first thing I think of and I don’t take my pen of the paper for 10 minutes. I let anything that’s in my head flow out onto the paper.
After that, I read through everything that I wrote and try to identify any thoughts I wrote that are potentially keeping me stuck.
What I often find is that there are a lot of crappy opinions I have about myself and my situation that aren’t serving me. When I get them out of my head and onto paper I can see my thought patterns and identify where my self-limiting thoughts are.
That awareness is often all it takes to break through mental blocks and find solutions to your own problems or questions.
#21 – Make one new healthy recipe per week
This is a good resolution for anyone who struggles to find healthy food they love. In order to create your personal arsenal of go-to recipes, you’re going to need to do some trial and error.
It might feel like a pain to find a recipe, buy the ingredients, and make it for yourself before you know if it’s good, but if you do this once a week you’ll quickly create a list of go-to healthy meals you can repeat for years to come.
This will help make your healthy lifestyle more enjoyable and sustainable for the long-term.
#22 – Stop eating meals in front of the TV/computer/phone
This is a simple way to tune into your body, eat more mindfully, and reduce your overeating. When you eat while distracted, it’s way harder to pay attention to what’s going on in your mind vs. your stomach.
Learning how to stop eating when you are satisfied (before you get full) is really important eating habit, especially for those with weight loss goals.
This subtle difference of stopping eating when you’re satisfied, before you get full, can make all the difference over the course of a week, a month, and a year! But to do this properly, at least in the beginning, you will need to be paying close attention to how your body feels as you eat. So turn off the screens!
#23 – Hire a coach to ensure you achieve the results you have planned
If you want to achieve a health goal this year that you’ve never achieved before, it’s going to require you do things this year that you’ve never done before.
The process of doing new things can be scary and overwhelming, but trusting the process is necessary to move forward.
The reason most people don’t follow through with their health resolutions is because they don’t fully believe in the process and the inevitability of their future results…so they quit long before they get there.
When I work with my health coaching clients, we work through all their fears, self-limiting beliefs and work in partnership to ensure they stay focused on the right things to make achieving their health goals inevitable.
If you’re ready to stop quitting on yourself and finally give your health the time and attention it deserves this year, schedule your free consultation call with me here.
On this call we will talk about what you want to achieve, what’s been holding you back, and what you need to do to finally move past your obstacles and live into the life, health and body that you deserve.
I would love to chat with you and show you exactly how the coaching process works to help you achieve your goal as soon as possible in a way that is sustainable for life.
December 30, 2021