10 New Year’s Resolutions For a Healthier Lifestyle In 2024

Outdoor hot tub installation with a waterfall.

Starting the new year is the perfect time to do some self-evaluation and make improvements to your health, both inside and out.

If you’re looking to take your health and fitness to the next level, then these 10 New Year’s resolutions will help you improve your overall well-being and set yourself up for success in the new year.

1. Make Time For Exercise

Just five days of exercise per week could lead to more weight loss than dieting alone. But let’s be honest- making time to go to the gym can be tricky. So make your life easier by fitting some activity into your daily routine.

Pack a pair of walking shoes or hop on a stationary bike while answering emails during lunch. If possible, get off public transportation a few stops early and walk from your home or office for extra steps in your day. Even small changes like these can add up over time!

Easy exercises at home include squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks. Aim for about 150 minutes (or 2 1⁄2 hours) of moderate-intensity exercise each week. And as always, never forget to warm up before and cool down after exercising.

2. Get Some Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of those things that we all say we want but can never seem to get enough of. As such, it should be high on your list of new year’s resolutions.

Studies have shown that people who sleep seven to 7 hours a night live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t get enough rest. Though there are myriad health benefits associated with more sleep, improving memory is probably number one on most people’s lists.

When you aren’t getting enough sleep, cortisol levels rise (the stress hormone), and insulin sensitivity drops—not exactly good news when considering how much sugar most of us eat on any given day.

If getting enough sleep helps you improve your memory, mood, energy level, and focus throughout each day, then maybe it will be easier to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine.

There are two kinds of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM. Non-REM is where deep sleep occurs; our bodies produce growth hormones during these cycles and cells called orexin, which helps keep us awake during extended periods without food or water.

3. Soak in a Hot Tub

According to research, soaking in hot water helps relieve tension headaches and migraines, loosen stiff joints and muscles, lower heart rate and blood pressure, ease menstrual cramps, and stimulate immunity.

Plus, it can help reduce stress (thanks to all those endorphins), soothe skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, boost energy levels (improves circulation) and even fight to age. If that doesn’t make you want to soak in some hot water immediately, we don’t know what will!

The reason: Hydrotherapy.

The combination of heat, massage and buoyancy creates a comfortable environment for your body that is geared toward long-term healing and rejuvenation.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Individuals who consume alcohol regularly tend to weigh more than those who don’t. Alcohol stimulates appetite and thirst, causing you to crave other high-calorie foods.

Moreover, alcohol has seven calories per gram. So, if you drink too much alcohol in one sitting (or find yourself drinking on an empty stomach), you may unwittingly consume enough calories to tip your weight scale in favor of excess pounds.

Instead of drowning your sorrows with a glass of wine or beer, try some sugar-free hard candies instead. Sugar-free candies contain virtually no calories, so they won’t upset your waistline but will still satisfy your sweet tooth.

Remember: Moderation is key! Eat healthy snacks before drinking and minimize alcohol consumption altogether to lose weight safely and successfully.

5. Drink More Water

If your life seems chaotic, chances are you may be drinking less water than you should. We often mistake thirst for hunger and eat when we don’t need to, but that extra food isn’t doing us any good—it just adds more weight.

For optimal health, drink 8-12 glasses of water per day. And remember: H2O is calorie-free!  You can add other beverages as desired or needed. For example, sweet tea has about 120 calories per glass; coffee (drip or latte) contains about 55 calories in an eight-ounce cup, and chocolate milk can have about 60 calories in each cup.

6. Eat Fewer Processed Foods

Next time you grocery shop, don’t buy any prepackaged foods, including ones with healthy labels. The chemicals and additives in these products have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

A study by Harvard University found that people who ate three or more servings of processed red meat per week had a 13% higher chance of dying from heart disease than those who avoided it.

Processed meats are considered worse than unprocessed meats because they often contain sodium nitrates (which may contribute to cancer) and other preservatives that accelerate aging.

7. Take an Omega-3 Supplement

Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), help lower triglycerides and raise good HDL cholesterol.

Studies show that people who consume more omega-3 fatty acids have lower body mass indexes, smaller waist circumferences, and better overall blood lipid profiles than those who eat less healthy fats.

Omega-3 supplements are readily available in pill form at any health food store or pharmacy.

If you don’t like fishy burps, try taking them as capsules rather than eating oily fish. Look for sources such as fish oil capsules, flaxseed oil capsules, and algal oil capsules; they all offer EPA and DHA from algae.

8. Cut Down on Sugar

Sugar is one of the least nutritious foods out there. It delivers no vitamins, minerals, or fiber. These are the three things your body needs most to be healthy. A single 12-ounce can of soda has nine teaspoons of sugar, equal to 10 packets of sugar in one serving.

Cutting back on sugary drinks and sweets is an easy way to lose weight, increase energy and reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. And if you think drinking diet soda will help you stay healthy—think again. 

People who drink at least two glasses per day of artificially sweetened soft drinks are twice as likely to suffer from strokes and dementia than their peers who didn’t drink any sodas at all.

If you have a daily sweet tooth but want to avoid illness, consider swapping some real food for dessert instead of processed junk foods that harm your health.

9. Spending Time Outside in Your Backyard Oasis.

Studies have shown that spending time in nature, especially in lush, green outdoor spaces like parks and wooded areas, can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, decrease depression and anxiety, strengthen your immune system, and more.

That said, spending time in the oasis in your backyard can also improve sleep quality. So if you want to experience all of these benefits in just one hour (or less), find your nearest public park or green space and go for a brisk walk around its perimeter.

Feel free to bring your dog along. It doesn’t hurt if they run around too. The experience is sure to boost your mood, leaving you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready to take on the new year head-on.

10. Reduce Screen Time

If you want to lose weight, reduce your screen time. Instead of gluing your phone or computer, get outside and run around. Studies have shown that people who spend less time in front of their computers are more active and add more weight than those who don’t.

Start reducing your screen time right away to kickstart your weight loss. It doesn’t take much. Just take a little walk every hour while you work on some other task or project. But keep doing it consistently every day. Don’t give up!

You might be surprised at how quickly your weight drops off when you quit staring at screens all day long. So we need to change our lifestyle from smartphones, laptops, TV, etc., to outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging, and walking with dogs or friends.

Bonus Tip: Stay Positive

Happy people are healthier. A University of Minnesota study found that people who expressed more positive emotions had longer telomeres—regions of DNA associated with aging and cell death than their less upbeat peers.

The good news: Other research has shown that optimism may be contagious, so if you hang out with happy people, you can catch their spirit.

Remind Yourself That You’re Enough

Practicing self-care is an essential factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to make better choices conducive to your overall well-being.

Remember that it doesn’t matter what other people think because if you don’t love and respect yourself, no one else will help fill that void. If you struggle with body image issues or self-worth, professional help can make all of the difference.

Ask your physician or search online to find someone who can give you some guidance on how to begin loving yourself again (yes, starting with simple things like taking five minutes out of each day to write down three things that went well). You deserve it!