Two months of working toward the same goal can get a little, well… boring. “Once the novelty of a change wears off, it is tempting to slip back into old patterns,” says Sharon Richter, RD., a dietitian in New York City. Maintain your good habits by making a few tweaks to your routine, which, over time, will add up to significant results.
Resolution: Get More Sleep
Unplug in the evening. According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey, 95% of people use an electronic device, such as a computer, just before bedtime. But that can cause you to toss and turn, says Russel Rosenberg, Ph.D., NSF Chairman and director of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine. The bright light from the screen delays the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone. To snooze more soundly, switch off technology and try dimming the lights an hour before you aim to sleep.
Resolution: Eat More Mindfully
Savor your food without distraction. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate their lunch in peace felt fuller – and snacked on roughly 100 fewer calories afterward – than those who munched in front of a computer. “You feel more satisfied when you slow down and pay attention to every bite,” says Richter. Over the course of a year, this simple change can tally up to more than a 10-pound drop. Moving a little more each day can garner the same weight loss: try tacking on 17 min to your walk or 12 min to a jog.
Resolution: Snack Smarter
Keep wholesome treats on hand. When you are running around hungry and ill-prepared, it is easy to reach for packaged foods from the vending machine or newsstand. “Stock your kitchen and office with fruits, veggies, nuts, and yogurt,” recommends Jessica Crandal, R.D., a Denver-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “These healthy staples contain ingredients and nutrients like fiber, which helps sustain your energy to power you through the afternoon.”
Resolution: Stress Less
Write a gratitude list. If your average day feels like a triathlon, saying a quick thanks can help you stay calm. According to a study in the journal Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, people who were coached to be more appreciative experienced a 23% drop in their levels of stress hormone cortisol after a month. Before you tackle your to-do list, take a moment to jot down one thing you are grateful for today.