1. Act Like You Live in a Desert: Drink a TON of Water

I know, you’ve heard this before. Then why haven’t you started doing it?

Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, it also keeps your skin looking healthier, aids in digestion, and gives you more energy. Do your best to cut out soda, juice, and alcohol – try to stick to water (and the occasional glass of milk). For the best results, drink at least five glasses of water a day.

2. Eat Real Food, Not Too much, and Mostly Plants

Mike Pollan was on to something when he wrote In Defense of Food. If you haven’t read this book, then go buy it right now – it will change your life. In his book, Pollan encourages everyone to:

  • Eat real food: Opt for fruits, grains, and veggies. Steer clear of pre-packaged non-nutritious foods.
  • Not too much: A calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t matter if it comes from broccoli or white bread. If you eat more calories than you burn during the day, you will gain weight. A slice of white bread has almost no nutritional value – it’s like eating cardboard. And if you wouldn’t eat cardboard, then why eat white bread?
  • Mostly plants: When prepared the right way (tasty recipes are very easy to find), plants taste really good and are really good for you. Try to incorporate more plants into your diet.

3. Catch More zzzzz’s

Sleep is overlooked and underrated as an aspect of being healthy. Your body needs rest like it needs food and water. Make sure not to deprive it! If your current lifestyle keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep, then you need a change. Life is not work, it is not money, and it sure isn’t about dying early from stress. So sleep, nap, go to bed early or wake up late. Fit it in, no excuses.

4. Make Like an Extrovert and Socialize

Health doesn’t start and end with eating well and working out. Your mind and emotional state matter, too. Making time to be social helps with depression, anxiety, and stress. Give yourself the gift of happiness and socialize more this year.

5. Start Moving that Awesome Body of Yours

Find something movement-based that you enjoy. (Some ideas: yoga, running, or kickboxing). Why? Movement makes you feel good. Our bodies are hardwired to inform us of what we should and shouldn’t do. When our body feels good after a nourishing meal, a morning walk, or a nice overdue phone call to a friend, it’s the body’s way of saying, Hey, this is good, keep it up! Start listening to the signals your body sends; they’ll light your path toward longevity, sustainability, and happiness.

Article by Anna Gannon