12 Healthy Habits for the New Year

As we kick off a new year, countless people will struggle to stick to their resolutions. We know big New Year’s resolutions can be hard to stick to so we’ve put together a list of healthy habits to adopt instead. Consider the following 12 healthy habits to help boost your physical and mental well-being through this year and beyond. 

  1. Alter your dietary portions: By cutting your portions by 20 percent, you can reduce your caloric intake enough to maintain a healthier weight.
  2. Get moving: Even 20 minutes of daily physical activity can drastically improve your health and reduce your risk of deadly health problems.
  3. Meditate: According to research appearing in Springer’s Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, meditation has the power to reduce cognitive decline and keep our brains young.
  4. Get a professional tooth cleaning: Reduce your risk of tooth decay and teeth stains by getting your teeth cleaned by a professional hygienist. This is also a great way to catch minor dental issues before they evolve into painful problems requiring costly treatment.
  5. Prioritize sleep: Researchers have linked poor sleep to depression, anxiety and a myriad of serious health problems. Commit to getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
  6. Stay in the moment: Mindfulness, or staying focused on the moment, has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, while making positive physical changes to gray matter in the brain.
  7. Forgive: When we harbor resentment toward another person, we are the ones who pay. Avoid stress and anxiety by letting go of your anger about a past event.
  8. Volunteer: Studies have shown that people experience a range of physical and mental benefits when they actively participate in programs designed to help others.
  9. Laugh: A growing body of evidence suggests that laughter can help alleviate common mental health issues, while improving our physical health and strengthening social bonds.
  10. Try something new: Whether it’s a new hobby, new job or new city, consider embracing a fresh challenge or experience to keep your brain sharp and invigorate your spirit.
  11. Be grateful: Research has shown that people experience greater overall well-being when they practice gratitude.
  12. Address addictions: Take an honest look at whether you rely on any addictive substances (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, etc.) to get through a day and take steps to address any potential addictive behaviors.