New Year! New Me?

New Year! New Me?

Being more active is one of the top New Year’s Resolutions.
Photo credit: UF/IFAS Photo: Sally Lanigan.

Well, it’s that time of year again. January 1st has finally rolled around and I still have not completed last year’s New Year’s Resolution. If you’re like me, your resolution is to lose weight in 2022. Maybe you have chosen to quit smoking, exercise more, or try to be more positive. Maybe these resolutions sound familiar to you because they were last year’s resolutions, too!

You don’t have a New Year’s Resolution yet? Below is a list of some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions that could help you spark an idea!

 

 

  • Exercising with others can help you stay on track to reach your wellness goals.
    Photo credit: UF/IFAS Photo: Josh Wickham.

    Exercise more

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Learn a new skill or hobby
  • Save more money
  • Quit the use of tobacco
  • Quit the use of alcohol
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Travel more
  • Read more

So, how do you ensure that you are going to stick to your resolution? Below are a few New Year’s Resolution tips to help us create long-lasting change:

  1. Dream big! The bigger, the better. Do you want to learn to run a marathon? Do you want to fit back into those jeans you wore in high school? Being ambitious will help inspire others around you to cheer you on toward those goals.
  2. Break that big dream down into smaller pieces. Running 26 miles seems daunting, but when you start with just walking 1 mile, you will soon gain the confidence to push for more. Choosing to reach for healthier snacks, such as carrots or celery instead of potato chips, is a small change that can affect your diet. You do not have to deprive yourself of foods you enjoy to lose weight. You just have to focus on portion control. Small steps will move you forward to your ultimate goal.
  3. Commit yourself to your goals! Write them down, post your goals on social media, or verbally promise to others that you are going to do it. Hold yourself accountable to what you are trying to do. Sometimes, making a public announcement will encourage others to join you on your journey. They can push you to be the best version of yourself, while also holding you accountable.
  4. Give yourself a pat on the back! “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, neither will you accomplish your end goal in one day. Typically, our new year’s resolutions take time, sometimes a very long time. Encourage yourself to keep going by acknowledging what you do accomplish!
  5. Learn from your past. I am not perfect, you are not perfect, no one is perfect! We all stumble at times, but it is how we recover that will set us up for success or failure. If you “fall off the healthy-eating train” one evening, don’t beat yourself up or give up. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can resolve to recover from your mistakes to get back on track.
  6. Support! I have mentioned inspiring others already, but you need support, too. Accept help from those who care about you to help you achieve your goals. Consider joining a support group, such as a workout class at the gym or a group of co-workers to quit smoking. These individuals share your struggles and want to see you succeed, which makes the challenge less intimidating!
  7. The 3 R’s: Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce. The 3 R’s can help you make a long-term change. Reflect on your current situation, i.e. eating habits. Replace those unhealthy habits with healthier ones. Reinforce these changes in your daily life.

 

Use the Nutrition Facts label to make healthy food choices.
Photo credit: UF/IFAS.

According to the American Psychological Association, “By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your every day life.” The dreaded New Year’s Resolution does not have to seem unattainable. If you plan to make a New Year’s Resolution this year, limit the number of resolutions you choose so that you can focus on them. By creating new habits and making small changes, you can do anything you put your mind to!

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/seven-steps-for-making-your-new-years-resolutions-stick

https://www.apa.org/topics/behavioral-health/new-year-resolutions

https://www.dhs.gov/employee-resources/blog/2020/01/07/new-years-resolutions

 

More Trees, Please

More Trees, Please

Trees help to clean the air and provide a relaxing setting to reduce stress.
Photo credit: Anitra Mayhann

Do you know how vital trees really are? Trees conserve soil and water and clean the air. Research has shown that there are both mental and physical health benefits from forests. Trees provide us with oxygen through photosynthesis. Not to mention, think of the beauty they add to an area. Florida has celebrated Arbor Day for many years, since 1886 to be exact. It is the third Friday in January, whereas the National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.

We can improve our health just by spending time outside in nature. Forests and trees can boost our immune system, reduce stress, increase our ability to sleep as well as boost energy levels while improving mood and helping us to focus. Studies in health care show a link between nature and health. Plants put off airborne chemicals called phytoncides to repel insects. The antifungal and antibacterial qualities that are put off in this process help us as we breathe them in by increasing our white blood cell count.

It is important that we remove ourselves occasionally from our office or home to explore green spaces to take a mental break. That might mean a walk in the forest, gardening, exercising, or resting and meditating to unplug from our fast-paced busy life. Many doctors encourage and incorporate this type of therapy for wellness for their patients and for children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

There are many ways to celebrate trees. They are a great gift for birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries. You might also consider planting a tree in honor of a family member who has passed on or to remember a beloved pet. This year, give a gift that gives back as well as be encouraged to celebrate Florida’s Arbor Day on January 21st, 2022.

Many holidays celebrate something we remember, but Arbor Day is a way to celebrate hope for the future by planting a tree to support a healthy community. I encourage you to check with your local government offices, Forrester, or Extension office to see if there are any special celebrations planned that you could join or plan your own activity to honor trees as a resource and how they impact your environment.

For more information, visit Arbor Day Foundation or Florida Urban and Community Forestry.

SMART Couples Celebration Statewide Virtual Event – February 19

SMART Couples Celebration Statewide Virtual Event – February 19

The Art of Effective Communication

 

SMART Couples Florida Celebration
Statewide Virtual Event

February 19, 2022
6:00 – 9:15 p.m. EST

Photo source: Victor Harris

It’s time to talk about love! Join us online for a night of real talk about building stronger relationships from marriage and family professionals across the nation. Learn how to improve your communication and keep the romance alive. Tickets available now!

Learn more here: https://smartcouples.ifas.ufl.edu/flcelebration/