It’s January, the month to take inventory of our lives – what’s working, what’s not, and where can improvements be made. From that inventory comes endless New Year’s resolutions – and hoping for a happier and healthier 2021. While some people love resolutions, others despise them. Either way, we all need to challenge ourselves. One way to tackle a lot of ideas for a healthier year is to create one resolution for each month – that’s 12 new habits to create. As you move through the months and 12 resolutions, the ones you love can be carried forward and the ones that don’t resonate, can be left behind knowing you gave it a good try!
For each monthly resolution – get specific. If a daily tasks feels like too much, then break it down. For the month of meditation, instead of an hour a day which might feel overwhelming, what about 15 minutes, 5 days a week?
Here are some ideas to get started… make it your own, have fun with it. Know that you only have to explore each topic for 30 days, so challenge yourself!
January – Eliminate Alcohol.
This one is high on many people’s list, Dry January. If you start today, you only have 18 days. Create some tasty mocktails to get you through.
February – No Sugar.
Our health is #1 priority this year and eliminating sugar is an obvious place to start, with so many benefits you get in return – weight loss, better sleep, less anxiety, and so much more.
March – Get to Bed Earlier.
Sleep is essential for a strong immune system. Ideally shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep – how far off are you?
April – Low Carb Diet.
It’s definitely worth exploring a low carb diet to see how your body responds. Want a bigger challenge, experiment with eliminating grains this month.
May – More Exercise.
Movement is so important to our overall health and even helps to slow aging. Do you need to add more exercise to your week or if you already exercise often, try something new.
June – Get Outside.
Working from home can keep a person inside too much! Plan a weekly walk in a park or hike in the mountains, the benefits of nature are healing.
July – Grow Gratitude.
It’s one thing to say you are grateful, but really digging into gratitude can positively impact your mental and physical health, and your relationships. A daily journal is a great place to start.
August – Meditation Practice.
Meditation can help manage the stress, pressure and non-stop challenges of modern life, but it takes practice. Build a meditation practice by commiting to daily sessions (or whatever your personal goal is!).
September – Digital Detox.
Unplugging from our phones, computers, and TVs can allow us to reclaim the real life experiences all those gadgets steal from us daily. Take a day off each week or shut down by a certain time each night.
October – Home Cooking
Maybe you became a pro during quarantine or maybe you supported local restaurants? Either way it’s time to become a home chef, no matter your skill, or increase your repertoire by cooking a new recipe weekly.
November – Volunteer.
Give some aspect of yourself to a cause or movement that’s meaningful to you and you’ll receive in return health-supportive feelings of increased connectedness to your community and humankind in general. Make a weekly effort this month.
December – Read a Health Book.
Explore a health topic that is interesting to you. Sleep (Dr. Lipman has a new book coming out in a few months!), aging-well (The New Rules of Aging Well), gut health, meditation, fasting – you can find a book on everything! Commit to finishing the book this month and exploring some of your new findings.