Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Achieving Your New Year's Resolutions

Are you already struggling with keeping your resolutions? Are you discouraged because you didn't do so well in keeping them last year? Or are you just looking for some ideas to keep you motivated? Well you have come to the right place! Here I've listed several tips and tricks for keeping your New Years resolutions. Hopefully you will find something that can help you achieve your goals.

Good luck, and Happy New Year!
~Ithilwen :)

Chapter 2

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Being Healthier

by: Ithilwen
Whether your resolution is to lose or gain weight, or to adjust your sleeping schedule, the tips included below will help you to live a healthier life. At the end of the chapter, you will find links to online resources that can help you beyond the little tips found here.

- Set reasonable and healthy goals for yourself. Don't ever expect to lose more than 2 pounds a week, or drop below your recommended daily caloric intake. The best resources to use if you're looking to lose (or even gain) weight are a BMI calculator, calorie calculator, and the food pyramid (now known as MyPlate.)

- Establish a "cheat option" for yourself if you're giving up some foods (this can work for breaking other types of habits as well.) Your "cheat option" could be a certain day of the week or month where you are allowed to indulge, or a proviso for special occasions (ex: no more sweets, except on Sundays or my birthday.) It is easier to give up on an abstinence goal if you think you will never have that thing ever again. After a while, you will find yourself not wanting to indulge as much, until soon the habit is kicked for good.

- Most nutritional experts agree that eating several, small courses throughout the day is healthier than having three bigger ones. See if you can't try to incorporate this into your own schedule.

- Fruits and vegetables are best when eaten "in season." Some are offered year round despite not being in season, so be sure to educate yourself on when are the best times. You can find a link to a seasonal chart below.

- Be wary of portion sizes. Research in advance how much to eat of a certain food based on calorie content and relativity to other foods that you've eaten that day. Also, know that the percentages on nutritional labels are only accurate for a 2500 calorie diet. Most people are well below this, so don't rely too heavily on those labels.

- For healthy eating on the go, try using Mason jars to store and prepare food ahead of time. You can fill them with salad ingredients, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, or whatever you can think of. Make them at the beginning of every week so that you still have a healthy option even when you're pressed for time.

- One of the best ways to be healthy is to drink water. It maintains body fluids, helps control calories, energizes muscles, regulates the kidneys and bowel function, and keeps your skin looking great. Experts recommend 6 - 8 cups of water daily. If you're not used to drinking this much water, start small and work your way up. Try switching out any soda or juice for water whenever you're thirsty. And be sure to hydrate up before, during, and after any physical exercise.

- Try not to stay sedentary (physically inactive) for too long. If you find that you're sitting for long periods of time, try taking a quick walk ("take 5" method?), stretching, or switching on and off between sitting and standing. This will get the blood flowing through your body as well as exercising your muscles.

- The best way to tell that you're getting the right amount of exercise is by talking. If you find your speech a bit breathy, then you're doing great. If you're not, then you aren't getting enough exercise. Likewise, if you're completely out of breath, then you're getting too much.

- Go outside as often as possible. And I'm not talking about just walking from your house to your car. Fresh air will do your whole body good... from your eyes, to your lungs, to your heart, to your brain! Also, spending time in natural light is deeply beneficial to your skin, so long as you don't stay too long.

- Cut down on electronics. Not only will you have more time to exercise or spend time on your other resolutions, but you'll also be doing your eyes and brain a favor. Too much electronic use can send these vital organs into overdrive, which can interfere with sleep. Try staying away from the computer or TV at least a few hours before you plan to fall asleep.

- It is easier to control when you wake up than when you fall asleep. So stay up as late as you wish and allow your body to fall asleep when it's ready, while waking up at your desired time (via alarm.) You may be groggy at first, but over time your body will adjust and start feeling sleepy earlier.

- To avoid grogginess, use a sleep calculator (link below) to determine when are the best times to fall asleep by when you wish to wake up. The sleep calculator is based on sleep cycles--it is easier to wake up between cycles than during one.

- Finally, if you are trying to clear up acne, putting a freshly washed towel over your pillowcase every night is sworn by many as a more effective method than using creams or medication.

I hope that you found some of these tips beneficial toward your resolution(s). Please let me know if you have any questions regarding these ideas, would like more information, or have any corrections to report/ideas of your own to submit!

Helpful Online Resources:
Calorie Calculator:
BMI Calculator:
Sleep Calculator:
Food Pyramid:
Salad Recipes:
Seasonal Chart:
Portion Sizes:
More portion Sizes:

If you need a good diet planner (whether losing, gaining, or maintaining), check this out:

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