Skip to Content

NorthShore’s online source for timely health and wellness news, inspiring patient stories and tips to lead a healthy life.

Healthy You

Replace Your New Year’s Resolution with One of These 8 Goals:

Tuesday, January 03, 2023 5:09 AM


Not too keen on New Year’s resolutions? Instead, pick one of the following worthy goals, and do your best to stick with it. Here’s to becoming your best self in 2023!

New Years Goals

Reboot Your Diet: Reassess what you eat. Do you feel fatigued midday, bloated, or have digestive issues? This could be a result of what you are eating. Use a food journal to track what you are consuming and have a support system in place. Take a moment to think about your eating habits and patterns with a nonjudgmental mindset. What are your stumbling blocks? Try listing out several ways to improve your habits: eat more vegetables, consume fewer sugary foods, practice less snacking while watching late-night TV, try eating more mindfully.

Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is a year-round requirement for a healthy body. Plain water isn’t the only thing you can turn to though: 

  • Try starting your day with warm lemon water, which can help rehydrate and energize you after a long night’s sleep. It can also kickstart digestion first thing in the morning rather than having a cup of coffee
  • Numerous studies have shown a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease. Pour yourself a cup starting today
  • Another way to spice up your water intake is to infuse it with fruit. This low-calorie option promotes increased water consumption, makes water more appealing and rids toxins from the body

Stay in Touch: Research shows that people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t. In a technology-fixated era, it has never been easier to stay in touch. Make it a goal to reach out to a loved one weekly – schedule a Zoom date, a phone call or a coffee.  

Quit Smoking: For those who smoke, this may be one of the toughest resolutions to keep. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – 70 of these can cause cancer. If that isn’t enough incentive to simply quit, a crucial step is to have a plan – one that’s customized for you. Make sure it’s personal, targeted, realistic and sustainable.

• Expect setbacks
• Be prepared to start over, but commit to keep trying
• Line up support in advance
• If quitting smoking completely seems a bit daunting, set a goal of cutting back how much you smoke. Reducing your consumption by 50 percent can get people started toward the ultimate goal of being smoke-free
See what the effects of quitting are after 20 minutes to 15 years.

Cut Back on Alcohol: Whether you’re concerned you may have a drinking problem, want to cut calories, or wondering if you should scale back, it’s always worth checking in with yourself. Refraining from drinking can help you sleep deeper; brighten your skin and mood, and give you more time and energy. It can have positive effects on the way you look and feel – often within a few days. In the long term, you will reduce your risk of some serious illnesses such as cancer, liver and heart disease. Make it a goal to quit altogether or drink less often.

Get More Sleep: Getting enough sleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule is crucial for your health. When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and focus better. People who get enough sleep get sick less often; are more likely to stay at a healthy weight; have less stress and see an improvement in their mood; have a healthier immune system and have higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving and attention to detail. Start tonight - make it a goal to get more shut-eye.

Stay Organized: Living in a messy, disorganized and cluttered situation can cause extra stress. Having mountains of clothes to wash or “stuff” everywhere can make it difficult to fully focus on chores, appointments, work, school, paying bills, caring for pets, and even relationships. Getting organized can help with concentration. Try setting up daily habits or times for tidying up. Donate or throw away things you no longer use – clothes, batteries, books, shoes, papers. Start with a small space – a room in your house, your car, or your home office, then build on from there. Organizing can take time, but once you know where everything is, you’ll know how to find things quicker and that leads to less stress.

Practice Self Care: We live lives of activity, noise and hurry and it can be difficult to feel completely healthy or fully rested at times. Thus, we become stressed and burned out. To nurture the health of our mind, body and soul we need to find ways to recenter and restore. Here are some quick ideas for self-care: Simplify your schedule; practice good hygiene; unplug for a day; meditate; create a list of what you're thankful for; try something new.