If losing weight, getting fit, breaking a bad habit, or living a healthier lifestyle are your goals for the new year, we have some ideas to help you out. We have compiled 52 small changes you can make to your lifestyle that can give you big results.
The idea is to incorporate a new change each week. Or each month. So that by the end of the year you have developed healthy habits that you can carry on for the rest of your life. Don't try to make too many changes too soon or you will burn out and give up within a week. The list is just to give you an idea of some small changes you can make, not a list of things that you should do or the order in which you should do them. Each person should tailor the lifestyle changes they make to their current health and fitness level, their unique struggles, and to their goals.
52 Small Changes for Living a Healthy Life
So often we make a huge goal for the new year without a plan for how to make it happen. I have found that I can make a bigger impact on my lifestyle if I make small changes to my daily life and then slowly add more small changes as the last changes start to become habits. As you feel yourself settling into a new healthy habit, then look to see if there is another small change you can make to your lifestyle.
Read on for 52 healthy living ideas you can make to live a healthier life in the new year. They include ideas for healthy eating, exercise, and actions you can take to reduce stress. You can download a printable list of the health and fitness ideas below as a reminder.
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- Formulate a healthy eating plan. If you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to succeed. Do some research into different diet plans if you need to lose weight or have a health condition that can be helped by a change in your diet. Here are some tips for choosing a weight loss plan.
- Find an accountability partner. Someone who will be honest with you and keep you accountable. Check in weekly to stay on track! Here are tips for finding an accountability partner.
- Start a food journal. Log what you eat, as well as how you feel each day. You will start to see correlations! Here are tips for keeping a food journal.
- Clean out the pantry. Rid your kitchen of junk foods and other processed items. Here are tips for building a healthier pantry.
- Get a checkup. Your doctor can look for any issues, catch health problems in the early stages, and make recommendations to keep you healthy. In case you need a reminder, here are some of the reasons it is important to get an annual medical exam.
- Quit a bad habit. Maybe it’s smoking, drinking soda pop, biting your nails, or eating in front of the TV. Find one unhealthy habit and make a commitment to quit! Here are tips for quitting a bad habit.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. Having a baggie of nuts or granola in your purse or briefcase eliminates the need for a vending machine run. Here are some healthy snack ideas.
- Make substitutions. You can still have snacks; just find a healthier alternative to chips, buttered popcorn, and candy! Here are some ways to make healthy food substitutions.
- Portion your meals. Measure your food or use special portion plates to help guide you to eating less at each meal. How to portion your meals for weight loss.
- Drink more water. Keep a reusable water bottle by your side at all times! Here are ways to drink more water throughout the day.
- Eat smaller meals. Eating 4-5 times a day is better for your metabolism than 3 large meals. Plus, you stay full longer to avoid mindless snacking. Here are easy tips for portion control.
- Eat breakfast every day. It’s the most important meal! Here are 5 healthy breakfast ideas.
- Get outside more. The sun gives you Vitamin D to promote energy and a more focused mind. Here are some ways you can make time to get outside.
- Wake up earlier. This gives you more time to exercise or just get your day started. It will likely help you sleep better too since you will want to go to bed earlier. Here are ways to make brushing your teeth easy on-the-go
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day. This prevents cavities and other dental issues that can arise if you don’t take good care of your teeth. Also brushing your meals after each meal can reduce cravings. Here are ways to make brushing your teeth easy on-the-go.
- Put down the devices. Constantly being on your phone or tablet leads to being more sedentary. Here are 5 ways to free yourself of electronic devices.
- Get off the couch. Rather than lounging all evening, go for a walk or to visit a friend. Anything to get up and moving. Here are creative ways to get exercise at home.
- Stop eating out. Even the best plans for a restaurant can easily be foiled by a dessert or appetizer. Cooking at home lets you control the ingredients! Here are ways to make it easier to stop eating out.
- Find a new cookbook. Experimenting in the kitchen will make it fun to eat healthy meals at home. Here are more ways to get out of a food rut.
- Chew sugar-free gum. This can replace food cravings while your body adjusts to not eating the bad stuff. Here are more ways to curb cravings.
- Walk at least three days a week. A brisk walk will make you feel better, sleep better, and get healthier. Here are tips for how to turn a walk into a full workout.
- Buy new walking/jogging shoes. Break them in for a week or so by wearing them around the house. Tips for finding the perfect athletic shoes.
- Get a workout DVD. Exercise in the comfort of your home without distractions or spending the money on a gym membership. Here are more exercise tips for stay-at-home moms.
- Take the stairs. Avoid the elevator and sneak a little exercise into your day. Here are more ways to sneak exercise into your day.
- Park further away from the office. Just a few extra steps can make a difference. Here are more ways to stay active when you have a desk job.
- Walk during phone calls. It beats just sitting on the couch.
- Wear a pedometer. This will ensure you are getting the activity you need every day. Here are more frugal fitness tools.
- Do body weight exercises. Situps and pushups don’t require any equipment!
- Take a hike. The fresh air and activity will benefit your health.
- Get your family active. If everyone participates, exercise becomes more fun and easy to do.
- Learn to say “NO”. Turning down certain opportunities lets you reduce your busy schedule.
- Make a plan for everything. If you know how you are going to tackle everything you wish to do, you will feel less overwhelmed.
- Sleep at least 7 hours each night. Your body copes with stress much better if you are well rested and ready to take on anything.
- 15 minutes of relaxation every day. Find a small break in your day to just close your eyes and let your mind rest.
- Laugh more. Laughing is a great stress reliever, even when your day seems unbearable.
- Find a new hobby. The enjoyment you get from your new venture will help curb your stress levels.
- No TV or devices one hour before bedtime. Let your mind have a break! Avoid these 5 habits that sabotage your sleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Calm your brain before you fall into bed.
- Take a power nap. If you find it hard to make it through the day, a 20-minute nap can help.
- Control your spending. Financial stress is the worst, so watch how you spend your money.
- Avoid negative people. Sometimes, you have to let go of people who don’t promote a positive, healthy life.
- Choose to be happy. Your mindset is half the battle when it comes to living healthy!
- Develop breathing techniques. Just a few deep breaths can calm you down in a stressful situation.
- Manage your time wisely. Employ time management skills so you aren’t procrastinating or working on a tight deadline.
- Declutter your schedule. Remove any activities that don’t promote a better life for you and your family.
- Give yoga a try. It can be relaxing and help your body become more flexible. Here are 4 ways that Yoga can reduce stress.
- Meditate. This will help your mind be put at ease during stressful times.
- Have a confidant. Someone you can share your struggles with without fear.
- Create an emergency fund. Having money on hand for unexpected expenses cuts down on stress and worry.
- Take a “mental health” day. Sometimes, you just need to recharge!
- Declutter your bedroom. This creates a more relaxed environment for when you need to relax. Check out these 5 tips for decluttering your bedroom.
- Create white noise. A fan or white noise machine can give the sound needed to fall asleep easily and sleep more restfully throughout the night. Here are more ways to make your bedroom sleep-friendly.
These 52 ideas will help you find actionable changes you can make in your daily habits and make better choices in the new year and make permanent changes for a healthier lifestyle!
Don’t forget to Join the Facebook Group to keep yourself accountable and discover what others are doing as part of their fitness plan.
Sign up here to receive the Healthy Living Weekly Newsletter filled with more healthy living tips and encouragement to stick to your goals.
Printable List of Changes You Can Make To Save Money:
You can click on the image below or click here to download the printable list of healthy living ideas.
Instead of just making a goal to be healthier, we hope this list of ideas will help you make realistic, practical, and actionable goals. However, we don't want you to be overwhelmed by the list. This list of 52 small changes for a healthier lifestyle is simply a tool to help you identify changes you can make to live a healthy life. The intent is for you to find areas in your daily routine where you can form good habits and break bad ones to help reach your health and fitness goals! Again, don't feel that you need to make all of these changes. Just make the changes that make sense for you, your lifestyle, and your fitness goals.
Come share your goals, wins, and tips in the Small Changes for Health and Fitness Facebook Group.
You will also find fitness tips and encouragement in the Healthy Living Newsletter that is sent out each Monday morning.