10 (Unexpected!) Tips for a Happy and Healthy New Year

It’s that time of year—when everyone starts talking about their new year’s resolutions and how “Next year is going to be different!” But since new year’s resolutions only have about a 9% success rate, we’ve decided to focus on small changes that will help support an overall healthy lifestyle. And then we took it one step further by making sure these tips aren’t the same ones you’ve seen everywhere else—the last two might surprise you the most. Enjoy!

1. Set a timer!

Want to go for a run? Set a timer. You will be more motivated to keep going until you hear it go off. Trying to learn a new skill? Set a timer. You will be more focused and efficient with a timer ticking down. Want to scroll on TikTok? Set a timer! Now, you won’t lose valuable time stuck in an endless loop of uncontrollable scrolling. When the timer goes off, you’re done!

2. Treat your workouts like appointments.

When you have a meeting or dentist appointment, you add it to your calendar and give it your full attention. Why not treat your workouts the same way? Look ahead at the next day or week and block off specific times in your calendar to exercise. Then, prioritize that time just like you would a doctor’s appointment—it cannot be missed! Signing up for fitness classes and scheduling times to exercise with friends can support this mindset.

3. Eat a snack before grocery shopping.

It may seem obvious, and yet we all continue to make the mistake of grocery shopping while hungry. But studies show that people who shop while hungry end up purchasing higher calorie foods. Stay focused on your shopping list by having a snack rich in fiber and protein before you head to the store. An apple with peanut butter, some veggies with hummus, and baked chips with guacamole are all great options!

4. Start flirting–WITH YOURSELF!

Did you ever write a love note to your crush? It probably wasn’t eloquent or overly involved, but you were sure to let them know how amazing they were! Why not do that for yourself? Put alerts on your phone or computer, leave a Post-it in your car or on your dresser, you can even talk to yourself out loud! Positive affirmations have been proven to increase confidence, lower anxiety, and make a person more open to change. Need some ideas of what to say? We’ll get you started! “I am strong.” “I am funny!” “I am worthy of respect.” “I love my eyes, my hair, my smile.” “I am authentic.” “I have goals and I can reach them!” “I am creative.” “I am unstoppable!”

5. Eat without distractions.

It’s probably impossible to be completely distraction-free at every meal. So why not try for one meal per day? Studies show that when people are distracted or not paying attention during a meal, they tend to eat more. Distractions can also make it difficult to sense the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. By slowing down and focusing on your meal, you are more likely to eat the amount of food that your body needs and enjoy the food even more!

6. Put down your phone and pick up a book.

Approximately 60% of the world’s population uses social media and the average person spends more than 2.5 hours on social media platforms every day. Social media is a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, and help spread awareness about a cause, but there is an undeniable link between social media use and depression and anxiety. Instead of trying to relax by mindlessly scrolling, pick up a book instead. One study found that reading for 30 minutes has the same ability to decrease stress as 30 minutes of yoga! Diving into a book allows you to acquire knowledge, use your imagination, and gain insight into new experiences. And it gives you something to talk about! Also, you won’t be referring to a TikTok video the next time you say, “So, I was reading this book the other day and.…”

7. Declutter your mind and your surroundings.

Mess can cause stress! Multiple studies have shown a connection between clutter and mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and stress. A more organized and manageable space will allow you to be more positive and productive. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, go back to our first tip! Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can get done in one room. Then repeat the process the next day.

8. Stop trying to “do it all.”

There, we said it! We are giving you permission to start saying “NO!” Also, there’s a reason why we placed this tip after tip 7. Taking on too much can lead to a scattered environment and an even more scattered brain. When you’re overworked or stressed, your body releases cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The increase in cortisol can lead to brain fog and high blood pressure and over time it can increase your risk of heart disease and other medical conditions. We get it, you’re a superhero! You can do it all! But there’s a reason superheroes have powers to give them a leg up. Us mere mortals just have to learn to exist within our limits.

9. Have sex.

It’s true—sex is a form of exercise. Studies suggest that men who have sex 2 or more times per week and women who report having satisfying sex lives are less likely to have a heart attack. Sex can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, boost immunity and improve sleep quality. But benefits do not always outweigh risks! Always be sure to practice safe and consensual sex.

10. Make goals NOT resolutions.

If you’re comparing the two, they seem quite similar, but goals are more specific and action oriented. When there is a goal that you want to achieve, you can create a clear plan and make the necessary changes to yourself and your surroundings so that accomplishing it is possible. A resolution is an untethered change. It can often feel hollow and it’s easy to lose sight of why we decided on that resolution in the first place. Which is probably why approximately 80% of people leave their resolutions behind by February.

Take these tips and make 2024 the year of YOU. Have a happy and healthy new year!


Cleveland Clinic

5 Side Effects of Working Too Much


New Year’s Resolution Statistics 2024

Harvard Health Publishing

Distracted Eating May Add to Weight Gain


Mindful Eating 101–A Beginner’s Guide

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Is Sex Dangerous if You Have Heart Disease?

Journal of the American Medical Association

Fattening Fasting: Hungry Grocery Shoppers Buy More Calories, Not More Food

Psychology Today

The Many Mental Benefits of Decluttering


What are the benefits of reading books? A lot, actually

University of Minnesota

Reading for Stress Relief

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Social Media and Youth Mental Health

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