How to set up a healthy monthly routine for the New Year?

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Start the New Year off right with a healthy monthly routine. Common resolutions like improving physical health, developing healthy habits, and prioritizing self-care can be achieved with consistent effort and a well-planned routine.

A healthy routine has numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Exercise and a balanced diet can aid in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of diseases. Adhering to a sleep schedule and practicing stress management techniques can enhance sleep quality and decrease stress levels.

In this blog, we’ll guide you in setting achievable goals and including essential practices in your new healthy routine. Get ready to prioritize your health and start the year off strong.

How to set effective goals?

New Year brings excitement and the opportunity to set ambitious goals for personal growth. However, to ensure success, it’s crucial to set specific and achievable objectives. The SMART method can help.

Want to know more about the SMART method? Click here and watch this video 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound and is widely used by companies and individuals alike. To use the method: 

Be specific:

Clearly define the goal and make it specific. e.g. “Lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months” instead of “Lose weight.”

Make it Measurable:

Ensure the goal can be quantified or measured, e.g. “Run a 5k in under 30 minutes” instead of “Improve fitness.”

Ensure Achievability:

Set challenging but achievable goals.

Make it Relevant:

Align the goal with your values and priorities and ensure relevance to your current situation.

Set a Time-limit:

Set a deadline to give yourself a sense of urgency and track progress.

By following these guidelines, goal-setting becomes more effective and attainable. Remember to adjust your goals as needed and celebrate progress and accomplishments along the way.

How to set up a monthly routine?

Now that you know the importance of setting effective goals, it’s time to create a healthy monthly routine. While changes can be difficult to implement, taking small steps will make it easier to maintain the routine over time.

Follow these six steps to establish your new routine:

  1. Set specific and measurable goals
  2. Prioritize self-care
  3. Stay active
  4. Eat a balanced diet
  5. Manage stress levels
  6. Be consistent 

Here’s what each one is about and how you can start applying them.

1. Set specific and measurable goals:

Use the SMART method to determine what you want to achieve each month and how to measure progress. Utilize time management tools such as a calendar and reminders to help you stay on track. Planning activities and tasks ahead of time, such as meal preparation, can also help. Don’t forget to keep track of appointments and habits.

2. Prioritize self-care: 

According to the Global Self-care Federation, self-care is the practice of taking care of one’s own health with available knowledge and resources. It’s just as crucial as visiting a doctor for a check-up and can help prevent issues like burnout and stress. There are various types of self-care, each with its own set of activities that can be incorporated into daily life:

  • Physical self-care: Involves taking care of the body through exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep habits.
  • Emotional self-care: Focuses on emotional well-being by managing emotions through self-reflection activities such as journaling, meditation, and therapy.
  • Mental self-care: Aims to maintain a healthy mind through activities like reading, learning new skills, and engaging in hobbies.
  • Social self-care: Involves keeping positive relationships through activities like spending time with friends and family, volunteering, and participating in clubs or groups.
  • Spiritual self-care: Focuses on connecting with a higher power or purpose through activities such as prayer, mindfulness, and spending time in nature.

3. Stay active:

It may seem like a cliché, but the positive changes of staying active for both physical and mental health are endless. According to The American Heart Organization physical activity  helps you relieve stress, gives you energy, improves your sleep and helps with prevention of chronic disease. Among the many remarkable benefits of being active are:

Improve cardiovascular health

Regular physical activity lowers your blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Increase muscle and bone strength

Physical activity can help build and maintain muscle and bone mass, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and falls in older adults.

Weight management

Combined with a healthy diet,  physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity.

Improve mental health

Physical activity can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve overall mood and well-being.

Increase longevity

Exercise can help prolong life and reduce the risk of premature death.

Fitting regular physical activity into your schedule can be challenging. But remember to be flexible, especially when starting out. Try to keep it fun and include physical activities that you enjoy. You can also incorporate it into everyday things, like climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator or walking or biking to work or school.

4. Eat a balanced diet:

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for our well-being, but do we know the components of a balanced diet? There are six main food groups to consider: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body, while proteins support growth and repair of body tissues. Fats provide energy and aid in vitamin and mineral absorption. Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in maintaining good health by regulating metabolism. Water is necessary for body functions, temperature regulation, and nutrient digestion.

Want to know more? Visit the Nutrition Basics chapter by The American Heart Association. 

Here are some tips for incorporating all food groups into your diet:

  • Plan your weekly meals and make a grocery list with the necessary ingredients.
  • Read nutrition labels and ingredient lists to look for low-sugar, low-sodium, and low-saturated fat options.
  • Stock up on healthy staple foods, such as whole grains, legumes, and frozen vegetables, for quick and easy meal preparation.
  • Make meal prep easier by cooking large batches of brown rice or quinoa in advance.

5. Manage your stress levels:

Unicef states that stress is a common feeling we get when we’re under pressure, overwhelmed or unable to cope. It’s the body’s response to any physical or psychological threat, known as a stressor. When encountering a stressor, the body triggers a “fight or flight” response, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to cope with the situation.

According to stress can make us feel Irritable, angry, overwhelmed, anxious, afraid or depressed. The good news is there are many ways to manage your stress levels in your daily routine. Some of the practices you can try  include:

  • Meditation or deep breathing exercises
  • Prioritizing tasks and scheduling time to be more effective
  • Spending time with friends and family or joining a support group
  • Taking short breaks throughout the day to refresh your mind and stretch your body

Remember, there’s a stress-management technique for everyone. It’s important to find what works best for you and make time to apply it in your routine.

6. Be consistent:

To maintain a healthy monthly routine, consistency is key. Stick to your established habits, but don’t be afraid to reflect and make adjustments along the way. At the end of each month, evaluate your progress and make any necessary changes for the next month.

Adopting healthy habits into your daily routine can bring numerous benefits to both your mental and physical well-being. By following these steps and regularly visiting your primary care physician, you can ensure your routine is comprehensive and addresses all your health needs. Don’t wait, start taking care of yourself today!