There’s something about the calendar rolling over to a New Year that makes most of us want to set new goals or start fresh. I’m no different. This year’s goals regarding my own physical health included a commitment to having 8 – 10 servings of vegetables per day and more recovery in the form of yoga or foam rolling for a minimum of 10 minutes per day. I know these habits will keep my body and brain functioning well. So far, I’m happy to report I’m still on track!
Often new year’s resolutions fail because they’re not specific enough, are too big or are too numerous. Of course, there’s also the need to be at the correct stage of readiness to make a change.
If you’re ready to develop a new habit, you don’t have to wait until the start of a new year or the first of the week to begin. You can start taking charge of your health right now!
This year at SAS Institute, the Recreation and Fitness, Health Care and Work Life Centers teamed up to create a program called Healthy Habits. As we developed the program, our goal was to help SAS employees and their family “reclaim their health and wellness one small step at a time by getting back to basics.” The program focused on 4 pillars of health: stress relief and relaxation, sleep, nutrition and movement. Under each pillar we’ve suggested three small actions you can take to get started. Check them out below!
Stress Relief and Relaxation
- Write down 3 -5 things for which you are grateful.
- Notice your stress triggers.
- Practice 1 minute of deep breathing.
- Create an environment for restorative sleep.
- Pay attention to how your diet affects sleep.
- Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Consume more colorful, non-starchy vegetables each day.
- Include protein or healthy fat at each meal.
- Increase your water intake by 1 cup each day
- Take regular movement breaks throughout the day.
- Perform postural breaks each day.
- Spend time in structured exercise.
You may decide to focus on just one pillar or choose just one habit from each pillar to begin. The idea is to start small and create sustainable changes that can become habits that will last a lifetime. Customize a plan and a pace that works for you. After all, you know YOU best!