An older woman exercises at the gym doing curl-ups.

9 Ways to Set (and Keep) Health Intentions for the New Year

Lots of people have a hard time sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, research shows only about 9% of individuals really commit to them long term. With 2024 just around the corner, let’s take a different approach this year, forego the extremes, and set attainable but impactful goals!

Here’s a quick guide to help you set health intentions for the year ahead and stay active, healthy, and happy.

  1. Stay Hydrated:
    • Intention: Drink at least 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water daily.
    • Action: Carry a reusable water bottle and set reminders to drink water throughout the day.
  2. Prioritize Sleep:
    • Intention: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
    • Action: Establish a consistent bedtime routine, limit screen time before bed, and create a comfortable sleep environment.
  3. Incorporate Regular Physical Activity:
    • Intention: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
    • Action: Find activities you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or dancing. Block off your calendar or set a reminder on your phone to ensure you make the time for it. You can even make it a social activity by exercising with friends or family.
  4. Balanced Nutrition:
    • Intention: Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
    • Action: Plan meals ahead, including colorful vegetables, and be mindful of portion sizes. Consider trying new, healthy recipes.
  5. Reduce Stress:
    • Intention: Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine.
    • Action: Try mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or activities you find relaxing, such as reading or spending time in nature.
  6. Social Connection:
    • Intention: Foster positive social connections for mental wellbeing.
    • Action: Schedule regular social activities, reach out to friends and family, and participate in group activities or clubs.
  7. Screen Time Management:
    • Intention: Limit screen time and prioritize real-world interactions.
    • Action: Set daily screen time limits, take breaks from electronic devices, and engage in activities that don’t involve screens.
  8. Regular Health Checkups:
    • Intention: Schedule and attend regular health checkups and screenings.
    • Action: Mark important health appointments on your calendar and prioritize preventive care.
  9. Gratitude Practice:
    • Intention: Cultivate a positive mindset through daily expressions of gratitude.
    • Action: Keep a gratitude journal, noting three things you’re thankful for each day, or express gratitude to someone in your life.

Remember, start with small, manageable steps and gradually build on them. Consistency is key to making these health intentions a lasting part of your lifestyle.

To keep you inspired in the New Year, try writing your health intentions in a place where you can easily see them, such as on the bathroom mirror.

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