6 Healthy Habits to Make in 2022
“This year, I am going to have the willpower to stick to my resolutions.”
Here’s Why Resolution Fail
Since you are reading this blog, you probably have experienced years of failing to follow through with your new year’s resolutions.
First off, give yourself some grace. The vast majority of people abandon their goals within the first few weeks of the new year. However, the problem is not willpower; far from it.
According to Psychology Today, the reason why most resolutions fail is that you are starting them on January 1st ¹.
Waiting to start your goal on the first of the year is no different than waiting till Monday to start eating healthier. Achieving your goal is a crawl-to-walk approach rather than an all-out shotgun sprint.
To put another way, it’s a slow process and, frankly, not a very sexy one. It’s a slow, steady, and at times an arduous process that is a culmination of small adjustments compounded over time. Be patient and consistent with your goals.
You can hit them – just as long as you refrain from making major changes in a short amount of time because that is a surefire way to ensure you derail yourself in record time.
Additionally, it’s important to write out your goals using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym:
Here are six goals that I strongly believe are essential to living a healthy and happy life. As the co-founder of Tangelo, these are more than just goals to me, these are tenets that have elevated my physical, emotional, and mental health, and I hope they bring value to you.
1. Set T.V. and Media Time Limits
On average, American adults spend 7 hours and 11 minutes in front of a screen. Think it’s mostly due to work? Not so fast! Teenagers spend even more time in front of a screen than their adult counterparts at an average of 7 hours and 22 minutes. 2
Again, I am not here to ask you to make drastic changes. That said, 7+ hours is frankly unhealthy, and any reduction in screen time is progress. I recommend treating screen-time (Netflix, HBO Max, TikTok, etc.) as a reward.
Treat yourself to 1-2 hours of guilt-free consumption only after your goals and tasks are accomplished for the day.
And for the love of goodness, even though you can binge shows – it doesn’t mean you should.
Furthermore, take the next few days to write down how much time you spend on your phone, working on the computer and in front of the T.V.
Write it down and figure out your daily average.
From there, eliminate only an average of 30 minutes per week.
Trust me, you’re not going to shock your system, and you’re going to hit your goals faster than you think.
2. Sleep More, Grind Less
According to the C.D.C., the average adult needs 7 or more hours of sleep per night and teenagers need 8-10.3
Our pressure to grind and to sacrifice sleep has become a major health crisis in America. It appears that we are now tying in our self-worth with being busy.
Think about it.
Think about the last time you asked someone how they were doing. I’m pretty sure they replied back with, “I’ve been busy.” This is now social currency, and to be frank, it scares me.
As a society, we have become ashamed of sleep, like it’s some kind of evolutionary flaw. Nothing is further from the truth. Sleep is as essential to our health as eating good food, drinking water, building relationships, and exercising (more on relationships and exercise later).
From a work standpoint, we need to be brave enough to set limits for ourselves. I’m not going to be naive to ignore the fact that we live in a global economy that revolves around a 24-hour clock.
But that doesn’t mean you have to bend until you break. Your health clock is not the same as an economic clock, and you need to recognize that once your energy tank is spent – it’s not time to refill it.
Put your sleep first, and you will notice your productivity skyrocket.
3. Find Your Fitness Routine.
Here’s an unpopular fact – even if you follow the same meal and exercise plan as your fitness favorite influencer, you will still have a different body.
This is a good thing!
This is because you are unique and special. Stop trying to have Becky or Ben’s body. Instead, focus on being your best and healthiest self.
Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and can stay consistent. If you are inexperienced in fitness altogether, try a bunch of different methods and disciplines and enjoy the process, but please, don’t let someone else influence this decision.
Your fitness method is yours, and yours alone, to find and pursue.
4. Build a Deeper Relationship
Did you know that studies have suggested that a lack of social relationships can have the same effect on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? 4
Strong social relationships reduce stress, boost immunity and help lower your blood pressure. In a time where we are encouraged to stay apart in the interest of health – finding ways to safely stay connected with your friends and loved ones in the new year is one of the best things you can do for your mental, emotional and physical health.
Go ahead, call a friend right now (I’ll wait).
5. Turn off the News
While all News is not negative, the News that dominates the media headlines largely is… Why is this?
It’s simple, really – it has to do with marketing around the three cognitive biases we share negative, availability, and confirmation bias.5
Dr. Austin Perlmutter of Psychology Today goes into detail about why we seek these sources of information but basically, we need to recognize that while we are wired to fall for negative headlines, we still have the power to get the News without being sucked into the negative loop of anxiety and despair.
The problem now is that it’s hard to separate opinions from journalism, and it’s virtually impossible to participate in a “news fast.”
Therefore, like your screen-time, you need to limit your news intake and when you decide to consume the News, make sure you are not getting your information from a single source.
Instead of just choosing sources that confirm your biases – consume sources that challenge them.
6. Eliminate Soda from Your Diet
Soda is so pervasive in American culture that we have an entire aisle dedicated to it in nearly all major grocery stores. It breaks my heart that no one is talking about how terrible sugary drinks are to our health.
We seem to be all too excited to promote exercise and diets/ meal plans to the general public while completely ignoring that just one diet soda a day was linked to a 70% greater risk of diabetes, according to an American Diabetes Association study. 6
Want to improve your health in 2022? Maybe the solution is addition by subtraction.
Thank you so much for reading! Happy New Year!