The New Year is here, and with it comes an inclination to make resolutions to do things like lose weight or eat healthy. More often than not, these goals start off strong in the early few weeks of the month, and by Valentine’s Day they have fallen by the wayside.
Spend less money? Oops.
Eat all organic? Nope.
Try to be gluten-free? Succumbed to the first piece of cake in the office.
Having said that, staying with your resolutions can be done. Here are three manageable goals you can set for yourself in 2016 that should not take too much money or inconvenience.
1) Get seven hours of sleep most days of the week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that single parents with children under 18 years old at home were less likely to get seven hours of sleep every night. Seems like a no-brainer to many single parents out there, however the lack of sleep is wreaking havoc on your health, mood and memory.
To help this, get off social media before bed. Everyone likes to scroll through their phone before they hit the hay, but really put that phone or electronic device away and go to sleep. That right there could gain you an extra hour.
2) Switch and drink eight glasses of water per day instead of coffee, juice, or soda.
The human body is roughly 70 percent (more or less, depending on the area) water, which makes water crucial to not only our general survival but to our day-to-day functioning such as flushing toxins and lubricating joints.
Many are quick to drink a cup of designer coffee with whipped cream, a sugar-filled soda or a glass of wine, but forget to hydrate with basic water on a daily basis. Try switching those empty-calorie high-sugar drinks that are doing little for your health in the big picture with these tricks.
Set the daily alarm on your phone at two different points in the day reminding you to drink water (or that you should have had X number of cups of water by then).
For example, you could set an alarm for 11 a.m. that says you should have had three cups by then, and again at 4 p.m. that states you should have had an additional three cups by then. That only leaves you two more cups of water to drink before bed, to reach your goal of eight cups per day.
The other trick is to have a water container that holds multiple cups of water, then add up how many of those containers you have to drink daily to reach your goal.
Finally, try an even trade and do one cup of water for each cup of juice, soda or sweetened drink you are craving. Remember that herbal tea counts, and this time of year the warm drink may help hit the spot.
3) Give yourself permission to say no.
While this should be easy and should come naturally to those who are parents — how many times do you say no during a day?? — it can be difficult to say no for ourselves.
No, I do not want to sign up for that volunteer committee. No, I do not want to host that event. No, I do not want to go to that candle party.
It’s okay to say no. You can even be nice and say "No, thank you."
Saying no might help you sleep more hours at night and give you room in your day to drink more water. See how that works?
This year just work on being the best you, and making choices FOR your health and well-being instead of against it. Not a single person in this world is perfect, and everybody falls off the wagon, but you do not need to wait until January, 2017, to get back on. Just hit the "do over" button anytime you need, and keep going.
1) Nugent, C., Black, L. via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Sleep Duration, Quality of Sleep, and Use of sleep Medication by Sex and Family Type in 2013-2014.
2) USGS. (2015). The Water in You.
Reviewed January 8, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith