Make everything better

As the year unfolds, we make commitments to change our lives for the better. We set goals, chart out plans, and embark on the new year with a profound sense of purpose. Yet, how often do those well-intentioned goals lose momentum or are forgotten within the first month or even weeks of the new year?

If the above strikes a chord with you, no worries as you’re not alone. According to a US survey, 80% of New Year Resolutions tend to fall through1. With such high statistics, it’s probably not worth putting all your improvement goals in the New Year basket.

Instead, you can start improving your life by making a few simple tweaks, any time of the year. As the saying goes, there is no time better than the present, especially when starting to invest in all aspects of your wellbeing.

Here are three areas you can consider focusing on:

1. Eating Better

Your nutrition largely determines whether you’ll achieve your health-related goals. When it comes to general wellbeing, health is a major part of it.

Firstly, it’s important to be clear about your health goals. Are you looking to lose weight, get physically stronger, or are you planning to run a marathon next year? Or perhaps you are managing a chronic health condition like high blood pressure?

Either way, you can tailor your nutrition needs to support these goals. For instance, If you're aiming to run a marathon, timing and choosing your carbohydrate intake is crucial. Whereas if your focus is on losing weight, you may want to consider consuming and adding more protein-rich foods such as eggs, beans, or tofu into your diet.

Whatever goal you have in mind, consider monitoring your calorie intake. Start by reading nutrition labels on the food items when you’re in the supermarket. Next, measure and weigh your food portions. Finally, keep track of your calorie intake via a journal or app to monitor your progress in achieving your goal.

Keeping your calorie intake in check isn’t the only solution to improve the way you eat. The aptly named superfoods2 can also help in improving your nutrition level. Essentially, superfoods are (mostly plant-based) foods packed with various ranges of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – the things you need for a healthy diet.

Here are 10 delicious superfoods that are easy to add to your diet.

Superfood Why it’s good for you
Greek yoghurt Filled with probiotics that help with digestion.
Green tea Contains the antioxidant, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), that can protect cells by slowing irregular growth.
Kale High in calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Pretty impressive for a leaf.
Salmon Plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. These are good fatty acids that studies suggest can reduce heart disease.
Eggs Lots of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Ginger Helps with nausea and lowering blood sugar levels.
Lentils Full of iron and protein, plus fibre so they’ll fill you up.
Cacao Unprocessed cocoa has powerful antioxidants, magnesium to boost sleep and dietary fibre to promote healthy digestion.
Garlic It can lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation all while keeping vampires away.
Avocado Loaded with fibre, potassium, and monounsaturated oleic acid.

While it’s true that a balanced diet, even with the help of superfoods, is nutritional enough, sometimes there are certain key vitamins and minerals that can still be missed out.

Deficiencies in vitamin D, B6, B12 are the most common, while iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium tend to be the most common mineral deficiencies. You can also look into probiotics or omega-3 fish oils for more coverage and how it would benefit your health.

2. Living Better

We all have everyday routines that we stick to. However, how often do we review and ensure these activities still suit us well? Reviewing our routines can help with our general wellbeing.

Take sleep for example. Have you ever had one of those nights where you wake up for no reason and are unable to go back to sleep? Tracking your sleep is the first step in improving regular insomnia. A sleep diary can help you keep a record your sleep and understand your sleep pattern better. It could be a simple entry where you write down the number of hours you slept, followed by a personal rating of how restful your sleep was. If you prefer, take advantage of modern technology and download sleep apps onto your phone or use a smartwatch for easy tracking of sleep patterns.

Improving your sleep may also be as easy as changing the environment around you. A sleep checklist that covers room temperature, outside noise and darkness levels can provide a quick fix to sleeping issues. Do ensure your bed is not too messy to rest in.

Other than sleep, you can also keep an eye out on health trends. Not necessarily the latest fitness trends, but more so on therapies and techniques that can help with long term wellbeing.

For example, direct-to-consumer DNA tests4 can let you know if you have a predisposition to diseases such as various types of cancers. You could also try adding adaptogens5 in your diet. These are active ingredients in plants and mushrooms that may improve how your body deals with stress, anxiety and fatigue. A more adventurous technique would include cold water therapy, which is specifically known for exercise recovery, injury rehabilitation, and supporting your immune system6.

3. Feeling Better

Stress can have a huge impact on your mental health, especially when it’s not easy to avoid, with huge commitments like work, family and everything in between.

Understanding stress and how it affects one’s mental health has become more prominent in today’s society and there are various management techniques available. While it can be hard to keep track of these trends. One time-tested way for dealing with stress is journaling. It’s something you can easily do on your own, and you can reread your entries every now and then to keep track of how you’re coping with your life experiences and progress.

Sometimes to overcome stress, you might just need to take some time off and get away from it all. Yoga or Pilates are some great way to relax for at least an hour or two every day. Learning a new skill or language in your downtime is also another great option to relax while developing some fresh abilities.

In the end, no matter what you decide to do with your time, always remember that maintaining your well-being leads to how you exercise self-care. There is no one else that knows you better than you do, so do remember to always look after yourself in order to better yourself.

Whether it’s to eat better, be more productive, or simply take better care of yourself, setting realistic goals and taking even the smallest steps means you are closer to the end goal than you were before.