Written by: McCall Minnor
Every year it becomes increasingly easier to fall into a resolution rut (“Go to the gym,” “Eat healthier,” “Get more sleep!”). With tasks that are far too broad and, well, basic, it’s no wonder that plenty of us have trouble completing them. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but sometimes we want a task that’s foolproof and easy to accomplish. If you’re in search of small resolutions that can still make a big impact; We’ve got plenty. Read on for 15 fitness, nutrition, and wellness resolutions that you can tackle any time.
Try a different machine at the gym. Your dedication to the treadmill knows no bounds, but it’s worth a shot to try a new machine at the gym. Of the many available—elliptical, stair climber, stationary bike, rowing machine—you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
Increase your 30-minute workout to 45. While 30 minute workouts are pretty much ideal, if you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, increase endurance, or simply take it up a notch, try extending your sweat sesh to 45 minutes for the day. While this won’t magically put you at the finish line, you’ll be one step (or several, if you’re a runner) closer to your fitness goals. Like the way you feel post-workout? Try lengthening more of your sessions throughout the week.
Take a ten-minute walk. Whether you go strolling first thing in the morning, during your lunch break or in the evening, it doesn’t matter. Just get up, get outside, and take a ten-minute walk. Doing so will clear your mind, stretch your legs, and can even aid in weight loss.
Hold a plank. If you can find five minutes every morning to make your coffee, you can find one minute to hold a plank. Pick a morning and, first thing, hold a plank. It’ll wake you up, work your entire body, and remind you to stay active throughout the day. Can’t do an entire minute? Try 30 seconds.
Treat this week’s workouts like an appointment. Physically write them down or put them in your calendar. Then don’t cancel on yourself.
Try a new healthy superfood. Never cooked quinoa? Still wondering about chia seeds? Haven’t had an excuse to buy avocados en masse? Here’s your chance. Try a new superfood in any way you like, be it alone or in a meal. If you’re anxious about the unknown, don’t worry. Blueberries, oatmeal, almonds, lentils—all superfoods. Just go for something nutritionally dense.
Cook three dinners at home this week. We know that few of us are MasterChef material, but that doesn’t mean we should skip over cooking dinners entirely. Truth is, we don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay’s prodigy to create delicious stews, pastas and salads. Put the delivery on hold until the weekend and make three dinners at home this week; your stomach and wallet will thank you.
Drink a glass of water upon waking up. It’s much easier than we think to fall into the habit of not hydrating enough, or as often as we should. To stay ahead of the game and get a fresh start, drink a glass of water when you wake up—aim for 16 ounces. It’ll kick start your metabolism, aid in flushing toxins, keep you hydrated, and it’s good for your skin.
Food journal for a day. Keeping yourself accountable is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. While a midday snack binge might not feel too bad in the moment (especially if you forget about it soon after), it’s probably not doing you any favors. Keep a food journal for a day and look back at the choices you made. Seeing it on paper might motivate you to make (or keep making) healthier choices in the future.
Floss. No, really. You’ve switched over to an electric toothbrush this year and are never looking back. Great! Now, take the next step and purchase some floss. Dental floss or floss picks, the choice is yours. We’re not asking you to create a perfect habit ASAP. Floss once, then try to keep your streak going. Your dentist—and teeth—will love you for it.
Meditate for 15 minutes today. Meditation boasts benefits like improved concentration, increased self-awareness, more effective exercise, and reduced stress (“No More Sunday Blues,” anyone)? Resolve to try it out for just one day. Make time for fifteen minutes—set aside all distractions and go. Not into it? No problem. You can revisit meditation whenever you like.
Wake up earlier this weekend. Natural early birds, ignore this tip. If you’re one for sleeping in on the weekends (guilty), take this opportunity to hijack your habit. Waking up earlier promotes less stress (as you’ll no longer be rushing around), better sleep and more time for a real, delicious breakfast (bye, out-the-door-nutrition-bars!). Set your alarm a little bit ahead this Saturday and Sunday (or at least stop hitting snooze). Maybe even greet the day with some yoga or a run.
Turn off all electronics an hour before bed. We’re all guilty of staying up too late scrolling through our social feeds. Test drive putting your pre-bed habits in check by turning off all electronics an hour before lights out. Swap Instagram and Facebook for a relaxing meditation or gentle yoga flow. You’ll be ready to shut your eyes in no time.
Get some sun. Easy enough, right? Take a few minutes out of your day and go outside. While you’re at it, leave your phone inside. Studies show that just a small amount of time out in the daylight can improve brain function, ease mild depression, and improve your quality of sleep. Go on, get some fresh air. Maybe take that ten minute walk while you’re at it.
Write down what you’re grateful for at the end of the day. From sunny skies and loved ones to not hitting traffic, writing down what you’re grateful for can really put things into perspective. At the end of your day, pick up a pen and piece of paper (or, okay, your laptop) and make a gratitude list. You may like it enough to start doing it daily or weekly.