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Kickstart Your 2021 With New Healthy Habits

It’s the end of another year, and what a year it’s been! With 2021 approaching you may already be writing down your intentions for the year, and given everything that has happened this year it could be quite an overwhelming list, or you simply may not know where to start. To give you some inspiration we’d love to share some healthy habits to kickstart the year.

To close off the crazy year of 2020 we have put together some of our favorite wellness-driven New Year’s intentions to share with you. From the UpMeals team to you, these are the resolutions that have brought value to us, and we hope that you’ll find them valuable as well. 

Creating healthy habits

Starting a new diet or high-intensity exercise plan are probably some of the most common new year’s resolutions. They are also the quickest ones to be dropped. Maybe this year, instead of trying a new uber-restrictive diet or a militant workout regime to lose weight, you can simply aim to make healthier choices on a daily basis. Small habits add up quickly and can be of great benefit!

Small goals like eating more whole, unprocessed foods, having most of your meals home-cooked, drinking more water, or reducing sugar intake, can have a more sustainable, long term benefit than going full keto for a few weeks and then giving up until the next year. 

Here are a few of our team’s small but powerful healthy eating resolutions: 

Drink more water:

You’ve definitely heard this one before, and you may be thinking “Yeah, I know!” but most of us could use more H2O on a daily basis. Staying well hydrated will help keep your body functioning properly. Proper water intake can boost your metabolism and help your body get rid of toxins that accumulate over time. Carry a bottle you can refill once or twice a day so that you never accidentally go without hydrating.  

Eat mindfully and without distractions:

We rarely stop to enjoy or even properly chew our food these days. Eating in a rush, distracted, or on the go is one of the most detrimental eating habits. By not properly chewing our food we actually hinder our ability to absorb nutrients, and eating with excessive distractions (while working, watching tv, or scrolling through Instagram) can cause us to ignore our hunger and fullness cues and end up eating far more than we need (or than we even enjoy). This excess eating can wreak havoc on your digestion, blood sugar behavior, and even on your mood and brain health. 

If you are usually eating on the go and hardly ever relaxing to enjoy a nourishing meal, this may be a great resolution to start off your 2021. 

Limit processed foods and refined sugar:

By far one of the best things you can do for your health. Overly processed foods are packed with chemical additives, flavor enhancers, and preservatives that can be incredibly irritant. Consuming these on a regular basis can harm your immune system, metabolism, hormone function, and overall health. Limiting these foods is a great way to boost your health this coming year! 

Remember that moderation and balance are key to sustaining your health habits throughout the year.

Because there is much more to healthy living than just healthy eating, we also put together some non-food-related goals and intentions for the upcoming year: 

Mindful Breathing:

It is no secret to anyone now that healthy coping tools are vital to wellbeing, and if we’re being honest to survival in general. One of the best, yet most overlooked ways to regulate the nervous system in times of high stress is through the breath. 

2021 might as well be the best year to add mindfulness practices to your list of healthy habits. In a year full of stress and uncertainty we all probably have a little more awareness of how the things we can’t control can affect us deeply. You may already know that breathwork and mindfulness practices are some of the best ways to reduce stress, cope with anxiety, and ground yourself during uncertain times.

“I always find myself holding my breath when I’m feeling a bit anxious, or during stressful times. Breathing slowly and deeply helps keep us calm, think better, and make better choices.”

Jean Galvani 

Jean’s resolution is one we should all take into the next year. If we can do one thing to increase well being I’d say mindful breathing is pretty high up on the list. 

Breathing slowly and deeply can balance your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, which can bring your body and mind back to a neutral state. If you’re feeling agitated try a few rounds of the following breathing pattern: 

Breathe in for a count of 4 

Hold your breath for a count of 4 

Breathe out for a count of 4

Hold for a count of 4 

Repeat this pattern several times. 

If you are thinking of making mindfulness and meditation a part of your wellness goals for this year check out our post on the benefits of meditation.

Continued Learning

Continued learning is one of the pillars of mental health, and in the spirit of growing and learning a little more each day, some of our goals include a fair amount of reading. If you are a book worm (or an aspiring book worm) here are a few resolutions that might get you excited for 2021:

Starting a new reading list: 

“I want to gain more insight into how my career could progress and how to become better at what I do. I’d also like to explore different approaches people took to tackle projects similar to the ones I want to take on.”

Sam Kraiwong

Sam’s goals include a lot of healthy eating and great workouts, but he is also always looking for ways to grow in his career and be better at his job. He’s starting the year with a new reading list with titles that inspire him and can guide him on his journey. 

If you are on the hunt for awesome books to add to your reading list for this year check out CBC’s list of noteworthy reads for 2021.

A Book A Month Challenge

“I have made this a staple in my New Year’s resolutions for a few years now and I’m bringing it back for 2021. With this yearly little challenge I’ve been able to gain some valuable insight into all sorts of topics from personal development to history, and I’ve enjoyed some awesome page-turning novels.”

Natalia Sarmiento

If you are more of a challenge-driven person, you might want to stick to a fun, measurable goal. Committing to reading challenges like one book a month, or reading for 10 minutes every day can be a great way to keep your continued learning goals on track! 

New Year’s intentions are not about turning your life upside down, but rather creating small, healthy habits that can boost your wellbeing and that can add up and improve your life on a daily basis.

We’d love to hear from you. Check out other healthy lifestyle tips! 

Wishing you a happy New Year, 

The UpMeals Team 

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