10 Health Goals to Turn into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness in the New Year

December 22, 2021

The New Year is fast approaching, which means it’s time for our 2022 resolutions. Unfortunately, 80 percent of resolutions fail within the first 30 days. Whether this is due to setting unrealistic goals or not genuinely wanting to put in the effort to make a change, we’ve come up with a better solution for success.

Interested in making positive changes in 2022? Here are 10 general health goals to pursue for overall improved wellness in the new year.

1. Stay Hydrated

Water is the foundation of life as we know it. And the Mayo Clinic recommends adult men and women drink 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water each day, respectively. A lack of water can lead to dehydration, which drains your energy and increases feelings of fatigue.

Each day, we naturally lose water through our breath, sweat, and bowels, so it is essential to replenish ourselves. Keep in mind that your environment, overall health, pregnancy, and exercise can affect your fluid levels and require additional water intake. Speak with your primary care physician (PCP) to discuss in further detail your specific needs.

2. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help improve your muscle strength and boost your levels of endurance. It also helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs and ensures our cardiovascular system operates at an optimal level. It boosts your mood and lets you blow off steam after a challenging day, and promotes better sleep at night. Additionally, movement increases metabolism, which contributes to a better overall physique. Finally, exercise can reduce your risk of developing certain chronic conditions such as diabetes, depression, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.

3. Reduce Screen Time

This might be tricky for some people, especially those whose job requires them to use a computer for eight or more hours a day. While technology allows us to stay connected, it also can bring consequences such as weight gain, worsened vision, and depression.

Consider reducing your screen time, especially in the evening. Instead, practice a hobby, socialize with friends and family, and get outdoors. This will contribute to an overall happier and healthier lifestyle. Also, it is worth noting that spending time on your phone or computer in the evening can worsen your sleeping habits. Switch to a blue-light blocking mode, or cease using technology for an hour before bed. This will ensure proper sleep.

4. Get Enough Sleep

In the United States, 68 percent of individuals reported experiencing trouble sleeping at least once each week. This is a cause of great concern. Sleep is a fundamentally important part of our everyday lives: It allows our bodies to rest, repair themselves, and heal. Sleep allows us to have a clearer, sharper mind during the daytime, have more control over our emotions, and store information to memory.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. Consider your current sleep schedule and set yourself up for success by ensuring that you have ample time to wind down before bed. Do some light stretching, read a book, journal, and practice breathing exercises to prepare your body for maximum rest and recovery during sleep.

If you struggle with a sleep-related disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), consider speaking to your dentist specializing in sleep and airway. They will be able to screen for and diagnose many root causes of poor sleep. Together, you can accomplish the quality and restorative sleep you deserve.

5. Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is not only high in calories, but when consumed in excess, it can lead to impaired memory, worsened sleep, and poor decision making. Additionally, alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, pancreatitis, and arrhythmias. Unlike other food and drink, alcohol is not helpful for your body, as it can’t store it for energy use later. Therefore, alcohol is prioritized metabolically and can hinder your body’s ability to complete certain normal functions, putting a strain on your liver as it attempts to reduce the alcohol levels in your blood.

For optimal health, consider reducing or eliminating your alcohol intake. For those who wish to partake, the US Department of Health and Human Services advises that men consume two or fewer alcoholic drinks per day and that women consume one or fewer.

6. Manage Your Emotions

Emotional intelligence is the key to becoming a well-rounded individual. It’s all in your perspective and understanding of psychology. HelpGuide shares this: “As you develop the capacity to better recognize and understand your own emotions, you’ll find it easier to appreciate how others are feeling, improving how you communicate and helping your personal and professional relationships to flourish.” Once you learn to manage your emotions, you’ll notice you experience a more joyous, happier life daily.

7. Take Vitamins

To ensure adequate nutrition, a daily vitamin is an excellent option to consider. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, around half of all Americans currently take a multivitamin or mineral supplement. While getting vitamins and minerals from food is preferred, sometimes it is not possible. For example, most individuals have a vitamin D deficiency during the winter months due to reduced sunlight exposure. This can easily be avoided by taking a multivitamin. For best results, take your supplements in the morning with food.

8. Limit Sugar

Another goal to pursue in 2022 is to reduce your intake of sugar. This reduces your risk of developing certain cancers and diabetes as well as your risk of being overweight or obese.

As adults, each person is responsible for their individual health, and it’s essential to take it seriously. After all, you only get one body and mind. Cherish it while you’re young so it treats you well in the long run. This does not mean you need to spend time and money on expensive food plans or fads—simply watch your intake and ensure a balanced diet.

9. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is absolutely essential to your overall wellness. Excess fat can lead to sluggishness, fatigue, poor health, and depression. It can also increase your risk for developing certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The bottom line is that the quantity and quality of your diet is the most significant factor in maintaining an optimal weight. Also, consider going on walks, using the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from stores, and taking short breaks during extended periods of work to stretch. These are all excellent ways to increase your overall activity during the day.

10. Be Socially Connected

Our final health goal to turn into a daily habit in 2022 is to be socially connected. This is often overlooked when considering ways to be a healthier and happier individual, but feeling a sense of community is key to having a purpose, staying motivated, and enjoying life. Research shows that social connections help you live longer, boost your mental health, and improve your overall quality of life. If you struggle to find friendships as an adult, you are not alone: Over 42 percent of adults in America share this feeling.

The first step to making new friends is to reconnect with old ones. This will prepare you for future conversations and make it easier to get back into the old groove of friendship. Next, participate in activities that interest you. Finding common interests with peers makes connection easier. Finally, try to be an upbeat and positive individual. No one enjoys criticism, negativity, and hateful comments. Show enthusiasm and kindness, and you’re bound to find others who gravitate towards you.

The New Year is the perfect time to implement new daily goals and healthy habits. By following our list above, starting small, and challenging yourself to stay committed and motivated, you will be on your way to a happier and healthier lifestyle.