Happy ‘Better’ Year and Tips for Meeting the Top 3 Resolutions (Even During a Pandemic)

I recently wished a friend ‘Happy New Year’ and she responded with a phrase that continues to stick with me… Happy ‘Better’ Year!

It’s true – I’d imagine that nearly all of us share the common wish that 2021 is a better (hopefully much better) year.

This phase, ‘happy better year,’ got me thinking… HOW do we make 2021 a better year when so much of what made 2020 difficult seemed to take us by surprise and quickly spiral far from our individual grasps. How do we make 2021 ‘better’ when there is still so much uncertainty around us?

Setting goals in uncertain times can be quite tricky, but keeping focus on what you can (and cannot) control can help to keep you on track. With the right mindset, proper planning, and perhaps a bit of creativity, you can make this year personally productive, even with additional challenges.

A review of this year’s Top New Year’s Resolutions has many recurring resolution favorites including exercising more and eating healthier. Unsurprisingly, given the unique circumstances of 2020, a new topic has entered the Top 3 – spending more time with family and friends.

Let’s take a look at some ways to modify reaching these Top 3 Resolutions (with the current coronavirus circumstances in mind).

Exercising More

Prior to 2020, this goal may have involved a new gym membership or showing up to regular community fitness classes. Just because things might look different, don’t let that discourage you! A quick internet search for home fitness workouts or exercise apps is likely to give you more options than you know what to do with! Many gyms have also adapted their classes to virtual formats to accommodate these unique times. And don’t forget, walking, within your home or outdoors (weather permitting :)) is one of the BEST ways to move your body.

Eating Healthier

Emotions play a substantial role in our eating patterns. Stress, worry, boredom – all can influence how often we reach for a snack (as well as the type of food we tend to reach for). Additionally, more time in our homes puts us closer to the snack cabinet. If you’ve put on a few pounds in the past year (I believe the term is “the quarantine 15”), you’re not alone. Similar to exercising more, planning to eat healthy during the pandemic may require a bit of extra prep, but can be achieved with a solid plan. Below are a few tips that may help you stay on track…

Review what’s in your refrigerator or pantry.

Do you see healthy choices? If not, consider a pantry do-over. We reach for items that are available, so remember to stock up on healthy choices next time you shop.

Look for healthy food swaps.

Have a sweet tooth? Or tend to reach for crunchy items? A number of healthy alternatives can still satisfy your cravings. Common healthy swaps include fruit or berries to satisfy a sweet craving and opting for ‘baked’ instead of ‘fried’ crunchy items.

Prepare healthy meals in bulk.

If you take the time to prepare a healthy meal, double it! This helpful trick gives you extra healthy meals for only minimally more effort.

Use extra time for meal planning.

The benefits of meal planning are many – meal planning can save time, reduce food waste, promote variety, and save money! Meal planning also does not have to be complicated – simply grab a piece of paper and jot down a week’s worth of (healthy) meals. Use this list as a reference to guide grocery shopping and to help you avoid purchasing unnecessary items.

Ordering take out? Choose healthy!

In an effort to support local restaurants and vary our routines, many people are ordering take out more frequently. Finding healthy takeout options can be challenging so be sure to check nutrition information when available and be mindful of portion sizes.

Exercise and eating healthy are cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. Also importantly, these behaviors can aid in strengthening the immune system, which is especially important during these unique times.

Spending More Time With Loved Ones

After nearly a year of limiting social contact, many of us are craving connection and more time with loved ones. While we eagerly await this return to normalcy, technological advances have offered ways to connect that would have been impossible only a few years ago. Platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype enable video calling, allowing you to ‘see’ your loved one during communication. Social media, online games, and virtual discussion groups can provide additional ways to stay in touch. Don’t forget the tried and true text message, email, or phone call as well. While many will agree that these alternatives don’t fully replace in-person connection, they may help manage feelings of isolation that are common during these challenging times.

As with any form of goal setting – being flexible, realistic, and applauding personal successes (no matter how small!) is highly encouraged. While we strive for a ‘better’ year, we continue to wish you and your loved ones personal fulfillment, good health, and happiness.

~ The Moterum Team

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