10 Priority New Year Health Resolutions and Common Pitfalls to avoid

10 Priority New Year Health Resolutions and Common Pitfalls to avoid

A new year brings in new hopes and aspirations. It is time to look back and take account of successes and failures in the past year, and also a time to look into the future with fresh optimism. This practice is not a new invention, it has been in existence.

 Historically, New Year celebrations can be traced to the ancient Babylonians, some 4000 years ago. The Babylonians were the first to have organized celebrations for the New Year. But, unlike today, the Babylonians celebrated their New Year festivities in Mid-March when they crowned a new king and made loyalty affirmation to obey and pay off their debts. They believed that if they kept their promises, the gods would reward them with favors. This is the forerunner of New Year Resolutions.

Similarly, the ancient Romans following in the steps of their reform-minded Emperor, Julius Caesar, established January 1 as the beginning of a new year. January was a critical time for the Romans, they offered sacrifices to their deity and promised to behave well in the coming year.

Today, people still look at New Year’s Day as a point in time when they can make new changes to guide their actions in the New Year. Financial commitment, getting better grades, working hard, and acquiring more resources are just a few. But, unlike the ancient time when New Year resolutions carried religious connotations, today, New Year resolutions are self-serving and focus on self-improvement activities in different aspects of one’s life.

As we start our New Year, join me as I look at priority New Year health resolutions to optimize your health goals, tips on how to remain focused, look at some qualitative measures of your health progress, and some pitfalls that can mime your effort.


Priority New Year Resolutions for Better Health

You do not need a new year to make health resolutions because your health is your best asset. Many aspects of our lives influence how we come out. Behavior change is an important aspect of our daily life that help determine how we turn out to be. Below are some health resolutions that can help optimize your health and keep it fit;

  1. Consider your eating habits

Diet plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy body. Depending on your health goal, your diet is an important ingredient. For example, if you wish to build a strong immune system, manage a chronic disease, or maintain your weight within a healthy range, your diet is key. Thus one of your resolutions may be to increase the number of healthy food choices and stick to them. Eating more vegetables is a great way to build a strong immune system. Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and are low in fat and calories. This is important for those wishing to lose weight, fight illness, or build their immune system.

Science recommends including a wide variety of vegetables to get the maximum benefits of phytochemicals. Aim for two and a half cups of vegetables per day or 9 servings. A serving of vegetables is equal to 1 cup of cooked vegetables, or 2 cups of raw vegetables.

2. Mind  your fluid intake

Adequate body fluid balance is important for your health. Body fluids help regulate the body temperature, support brain functions, aid weight loss, support nutrient absorption, and remove toxic waste from the body. As well, fluids help caution tissues and are a lubricant for the spinal column and joints.

About 20% of body fluids come from food and beverages, while the rest from water intake. It is recommended that men drink 15.5 cups or 125 ounces and female drink 11.5 cups or 91 ounces of water each day. These figures may look daunting, but the point is to prioritize your water intake throughout the day.

3. Prioritize  physical activity

Physical activity has multiple health benefits. It helps increase body movement and expend energy. Any form of physical activity that increases heart rate helps strengthens the heart muscles, improves blood circulation, and increases insulin sensitivity, factors associated with less risk of cardiovascular disease, and chronic diseases like diabetes. Regular exercises help keep the bones and muscles strong, prevent muscle loss, increase brain functions, steady gait and balance, and reduce the risk of falls and fractures. In addition, physical activity moderates weight gain, which is an underlying factor in many chronic diseases and cancers.

To ripe the benefits of physical activity, studies recommend adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or at least 75 minutes of high-intensity workouts every week. Effective workouts with health benefits include brisk walking, jogging, dancing, climbing stairs, and hills, swimming, and yard work like raking, mowing, and cycling. 

4. Get an adequate night’s sleep

Sleep is often a neglected component of overall health and plays a significant role in brain functions and physiological processes. 

During sleep, the body repairs, rejuvenate, and improves itself in preparation for another day. Adequate sleep helps the body improve memory for better performance, regulate calories for better weight control, build strong immunity, and increase emotional and social intelligence.  

Lack of quality sleep increases the risk of mental health issues and difficulty managing weight. Some factors that interfere with sleep quality include an irregular sleep schedule, sleeping environment, and blue light from electronics.

Evaluating sleep quality is difficult because you are the only one who can do it. Hits assess your sleep quality including taking note of the time spent before falling asleep. You have a poor quality of sleep if you take more than 30 minutes before falling asleep, you keep on waking at night, are sleepy during the day, or experience difficulties waking up.  


5. Revitalize your  self-care routine

Self-care is a combination of activities that draw attention to oneself in a non-selfish manner and promotes physical, emotional, and mental well-being. In exchange, self-care fosters positive health outcomes, builds resilience for longer life, and you are better able to manage psychological stressors.  

Self-care means creating time to tend to physical and emotional well-being. It includes all activities that are critical for remaining healthy. It includes prioritizing your diet to keep nourished, undertaking exercises to keep your body fit, personal etiquette, and activities to boost your mental health like reading books and socializing with family and friends, and knowing when to seek external support. 

Self-care has been in the management of chronic diseases like diabetes with successful results. Though self-care may be different for everyone, it should aim to promote overall health and well-being.

6. Cut back on added sugar 

Excessive consumption of added sugar is the foundation of most chronic diseases including obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.  

Sugar, a crystalline carbohydrate makes food taste sweet. There are different forms of sugars, natural sugars occur form of glucose, fructose, and lactose and are found in most fruits, vegetables, and other foods. On the other hand, sucrose is the normal sugar and is the most common form of added sugar in most foods and beverages. Sugar is added to products to enhance flavors like soft drinks, cakes, pies, chocolates, fruit drinks, and desserts.

Added sugars are quickly digested and absorbed into the blood system causing high blood sugar spikes. After a spike is the crashes that follow. This leads to hunger pangs and more cravings. These crashes and raises are the beginning of most chronic metabolic diseases like pre-diabetes, diabetes, and obesity.

Cutting back added sugar from your diet has multiple benefits. One of the first benefits of reducing the amount of sugar in your diet is minimizing the number of calories consumed leading to a deficit that is necessary for weight loss. It also helps regulate blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity.

Take steps to minimize the amount of added sugar from your diet by choosing plain water, fruits, and vegetables instead of sweetened beverages. 

7. Avoid or take alcohol in moderation

Ethanol the active ingredient in alcohol is very toxic to the human body. To caution the body against toxicity, the liver prioritizes the metabolism of ethanol to less harmful waste materials; carbon dioxide and water. During this time, the metabolism of other macronutrients; carbohydrates, protein, and fat are neglected leading to a build-up of excess fat in the liver, a condition that leads to liver disease. As well, the metabolism of ethanol leads to the blurring of cognitive functions and the ability to make intelligent decisions increasing the risk of poor judgment and violent behaviors.

Whether to drink or not is a personal decision, but both affect your health goal.

8. Practice Mediation 

Meditation is an old practice meant to deepen the understanding of the mystery of life. It is used to refocus attention on the self by taking a few minutes each day to reflect and seek inner peace. It gives a sense of peace, calm, and balance, factors vital to emotional and overall well-being.  

Meditation relaxes the body and helps cope with stress by redirecting your thoughts away from the pressing challenge and refocusing on other calming activities. Meditation reduces information overload, the genesis of stress. During meditation, you refocus your mind on the current situation, look from a different perspective, and gain new insight to solve the problem.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that increases the sense of being present at the moment. It helps broaden your conscious mind, and increase your understanding of your environment.

Yoga is another form of meditation. Yoga is an ancient practice that involves different poses, concentration, and deep breathing. Practiced well, Yoga promotes mental and physical well-being by relieving stress, supporting good habits, promoting good sleep, and enhancing mental and emotional well-being.

9. Engage  in a positive mindset  

A positive mindset means that you look at the bright side of things even in the worst case. It is not an imposition of good things but a way of life that embrace positivity. Always focusing on the positive side and disregarding negative intonations.

A positive mindset is a continuous approach to life that look at all the better part of life even when the situation is challenging. A positive mindset has some characteristics. It means being optimistic even in dire situations that things will be okay. And when things go very bad, a positive mindset is quick to accept that things may not always turn out to be what you expect.


A positive mindset does not mean you will be cheerful all the time. It is a better way to proactively deal with positive and negative situations. It is about controlling your moods and attitude. Being present in the situation and dealing with it positively even when the situation demands otherwise. Many thoughts cross your mind every single second, this is not within your control, but you can choose what to acknowledge and what to ignore. Acknowledging negative thoughts will diminish your mood, set the stage for permissiveness, and doom, and you are welcoming a loss of control and wallowing into unhappiness.

10. Stop smoking

Smoking is recognized as a major cause of preventable deaths worldwide. According to American Lung Association, cigarettes contain about 6000 active ingredients and when these ingredients are burned, they produce over 700 toxic chemicals. About 69 of these toxic chemicals are associated with the etiology of most cancers.

To meet your health goals, quitting smoking improves your overall health and can even reverse some of those risks.  

Tips to refocus your New Year Health Resolutions

  • Establish specific health goals

To remain focused on your health goals, you must start by identifying the top healthy goals you intend to achieve. Do not make too many New Year Resolutions because it is a sure way to fail in all of them.

  • Be realistic

Do not be over-ambitious or very pessimistic about your resolutions. Try and have balance. Assess yourself if you can create the time required and if you have the resources, and assess your commitment to execute the health goal.

  • Track your successes 

You cannot know whether you are achieving your goals unless you have some form of measurement. Adopt some easily implementable measures to monitor your progress.

  • Embrace your failures and learn from them

Setting a goal does not translate to achieving it. History has evidence of great men who did one thing several times before they succeeded. It is the same with your health goals. The most important take-home message is to embrace every failure and learn from it.

  • Celebrate your milestone

Finally, celebrate every small success. If your goal was to limit added sugar in your breakfast cereals and you have done it over a duration and you feel better about yourself, be happy about it because it is not a mean achievement. 

Some Qualitative Measures of Your New Year Health Resolutions

  1. Assess your energy levels. You may realize that your energy levels have improved, and you are more vibrant, enthusiastic, and happy.
  2. Your immune system is strong. You are not falling ill more often and you are able to withstand some level of stress without caving in.
  3. Your sleep quality is improved, and you wake up refreshed and prepared for a new day.
  4. You have fewer digestive health problems.
  5. Your skin looks vibrant
  6. Your clothes fit less tightly
  7. You can carry heavier loads
  8. You walk up the stairs with less effort
  9. You can breathe in and out with no stress
  10. Your joints can carry your weight with less strain

Some Pitfalls to avoid in Your New Year Health Resolutions

  • Setting over-ambitious resolutions
  • Not breaking your goals into micro-resolutions
  • When the resolutions are vague and not well elaborated
  • Lack of self-belief in your resolutions
  • Time intensive resolutions

Well, with these in mind, let’s roll up our sleeves and get working on our New Year Health Resolutions for better health!


7 thoughts on “10 Priority New Year Health Resolutions and Common Pitfalls to avoid

  1. These tips of good healthy if all fallowed, will increase by 99% of the health challenges we have especially in our country.
    You are a blessing to many generations of the earth.


  2. Just what I needed to start my day! Thank you. I break down my resolutions into micro-resolutions and work out exactly how to achieve them. Small steps are so much simpler than that giant leap.


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