13 Tips to a Healthier You in 2021
13 Tips to a Healthier You in 2021
As we (finally) leave 2020 behind, many of us are trying to determine what we want to accomplish in the next twelve months. While New Year’s Resolutions get a bad reputation for being tough to stick to, we still recommend that you spend some time thinking about how to push yourself to grow this year and then find ways to hold yourself accountable for those goals.
If you are not sure where to start, or simply want some inspiration, check out the list of goals that we think are worthwhile for 2021.
1. Follow the 80/20 Rule
Expecting yourself to follow a healthy lifestyle 100% of the time is unrealistic. That is why we recommend following the 80/20 rule: Follow a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time so you can make up for the 20% you do not. By taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle overall, when you want to skip a few days of working out or enjoy a few extra calories, you can do so without guilt.
2. Cut Yourself A Break
The holiday season is often filled with a lot of unhealthy eating and less time working out than we would like. In 2021, we challenge you to cut yourself some slack and remember why you chose to take a break. Oftentimes we prioritize relationships over the holidays because they are important to us – and that is a good thing. Now that it is the new year, we encourage you to stop thinking about what took you off track. Instead, refocus on why you made your healthy habits in the first place.
3. Make Working Out A Habit
The easiest way to stick to a consistent schedule of working out is to make it a habit, not an active decision. Rather than relying on feeling motivated to get you moving (because, realistically, your motivation will ebb and flow – that is human nature), make it something that you do not have to think about. That way, instead of spending energy on convincing yourself to workout, you can rely on your routine to set you up for success.
4. Track Your Workouts Monthly, Not Weekly
If you are generally pretty good about staying on track for your workout goals, but are occasionally missing a workout or two, consider tracking your workouts monthly, not weekly. That way, if you miss a workout one week, you can avoid the guilt and just make it up later. This will ultimately lead to you feeling more successful and you will likely get more workouts in than if you had just given up.
5. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
It is easy to say that we should get eight hours of sleep per night, but making it happen is not always so simple. However, studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information show that being sleep deprived can affect your decision-making processes, which results in impulsive behaviors that can be dangerous on the job. It can lead to depression, lower testosterone, weight gain, forgetfulness, and heart disease. This year start your practice of good sleep hygiene by going to sleep at the same time every night.
6. Always Take the Stairs
One simple step towards improving your health is to commit to always taking the stairs. It will only add a few minutes to your day, but over time, that adds up to be a lot. But taking the stairs is more than just being physically healthier, it is about becoming a more driven, disciplined person by seeking out challenges. Every time you pick the stairs over an easier route, you are choosing self-improvement.
7. Prioritize Continued Education
Whether you have been in your job for a few months or a few decades, staying up-to-date on the newest industry training is essential. Whether it is attending a webinar or online training or attending an in-person conference when it is safe to do so, you can find opportunities for continued education in 2021 in each edition of the Nlets newsletter.
8. Combat the Stigma of Mental Health
When you are experiencing stress beyond ordinary levels or you feel like you need an additional support system, take the first step and speak to a professional. It can be scary to get started, but there is no shame in caring for your mental health. In fact, data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that nearly one in five US adults deal with some form of mental health issue, so it is quite normal. This year, if you notice your mental health is impacting your daily life, we encourage you to support yourself by finding someone who can help. Do not wait until it becomes a crisis – seek help early and often.
9. Help Others Connect with Mental Health Treatment
Whether it is your significant other, a coworker, or someone at home, take note of high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and other signs that help is needed. Then, do everything you can to connect that person to treatment services that can help. Taking the first step is often scary, so we encourage you to act when you see someone in need.
10. Get or Become a Mentor
This year we challenge you to consider who are the current role models in your life and to consider becoming one for someone else. If you are new to your job, find someone who can teach you what they have learned from the job. If you have knowledge to share, make a point of teaching someone else – it could make a big difference to someone.
11. Start Listening to Understand
We all love to be heard by others, but how often do we take the time to listen to someone else without thinking of what we will say next? In 2021, start practicing active listening, where you devote your undivided attention to truly hearing the person talking to you. When you listen to understand instead of listening to speak, your relationships will improve as people learn you truly care about what they have to say.
12. Learn the Benefits of Gratitude
Take time every day to think about the things you are grateful for. A study from Harvard Medical School shows that gratitude lowers our stress levels, enhances our relationships, and improves sleep. It is important to practice it daily: like a muscle, it needs to be worked out regularly. The benefit? The more aware you are of the positive things in your life, the more likely it is that additional good will return to you because you are already looking for it.
13. Keep Your Goals Small
You are more likely to stick to any of these goals if you only select a few that speak to you. It is easy to get caught up in feeling ambitious at the beginning of each year about wanting to change your life, but we recommend choosing a few goals that you care about so you can stay more focused. In 2021, there is no need to make a sweeping life change – spend time on the things that matter most to you.
Do you have some other ideas? Share them with us in the comments below.