This article was written in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
New Year’s Resolutions are in overwhelming supply at the turn of each year. Some are easily forgotten, others are just too lofty to obtain, but they each have aspiration in mind. With 2014 upon us, it is time to think about what is important for creating healthier lives within attainable means. The following are some gentle suggestions for leading happier, healthier lives as each Michigander strives to do:
1. Eat your greens. In Michigan, we are so lucky to be surrounded by nature’s bounty in each season. This year, make it a goal to know what’s in season and consume more of that. It’s good for the local economy and it’s even better for you!
2. Spend time outside. Especially in the winter, it is easy to spend too much of our time inside. As Michiganders, we need to revel in the seasonal differences. The sunshine and fresh air are good for us no matter what time of year it might be.
3. Visit somewhere new. Perhaps try making this a goal once a month. Visit a new town, visit a new restaurant, it doesn’t matter how you interpret this new place, the visit will teach you to get outside your comfort zone. Perhaps you’ll even discover something awesome.
4. Unplug. Just do it. Really. Not only will unplugging help you to slow down and take account of your mental health, but it will give you the opportunity to exercise something more than just your fingers.
5. Write a letter. There is something truly cathartic about writing an actual letter using a pen and paper. The sense of permanence causes the writer to think more about the task of communicating. It is an almost forgotten way to keep in touch that is probably more intimate and thoughtful than the quick Facebook post you might have made instead.
6. Ask for help. It doesn’t matter what you need help with, asking for assistance is a healthy way of admitting need. There is no reason we need to go through life all alone, instead delight in the strength it takes to admit you need someone else.
7. Cook. Not only is this an exercise in trusting yourself and escaping the daily grind, but this is an opportunity to know exactly what you’re putting in your body. So often the easy answer of take out or pre-packaged meals remove the element of ownership of what goes into your body.
8. Find exercise YOU like to do. We tend to take on the exercise that is in style or that inspires our friends. Although it is important to keep those elements in mind, this year you need to find exercise that YOU like to do because that is the only way you’ll stick with it, happily.
9. Set small goals and check them off. Perhaps this list of resolutions will inspire you to create a list of goals of your own, or perhaps you have projects you’d like to accomplish in 2014. No matter what, it is important that you set goals and work to attain them. The satisfaction of crossing an accomplished goal off of a list is unlike any other.
What are your resolutions for the new year? Visit A Healthier Michigan for more tips!