Skip the resolutions and have a better new year

When the new year brings a chance for a fresh start, you might be inclined to join the crowd and make a list of resolutions. That’s a noble idea, but you don’t need to commit to an overwhelming or overly ambitious program in order to give yourself forward momentum.

With a little common sense and continuation of your good habits, you can improve on your 2017. You can get fit physically and mentally at work by doing what you’re already doing (or what you’re supposed to be doing). So keep taking the stairs, getting up from your desk chair regularly, park in a distant spot — when it’s safe — drink plenty of water and cut down on junk food.

Joining a gym or creating a workout routine is always beneficial — in January or throughout the year. Of course, that only pays benefits if you work out. If you can’t go to the gym, or don’t want to, you can still get into healthy habits.

Pick an activity you’re comfortable with: walking, pushups, situps, jumping jacks, even simple stretches. You can’t fail at this because no one’s keeping score. If you do only one pushup or jumping jack, you’re already ahead of where you’d be if you simply sat on the couch. Once you get in a rhythm, you can increase your activity as you want.

Here are some other activities that will benefit you:

Go to sleep

Researchers have investigated sleep and its effects on behavior and productivity. A 2016 studycontends that poor sleep costs U.S. businesses more than $400 billion per year.

For adults, at least seven hours of sleep nightly is recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. While that might not be possible in all cases, consistency counts.

Even when failing to get those important hours in bed, try to wake at a regular time. There’s no benefit to dragging your feet into the day.

Brush your teeth

When you get out of bed, brush your teeth. You’re already doing that, but the benefits are probably beyond what you realized. Dental health can help battle against heart disease and Alzheimer’s, among other conditions.

The American Dental Association has stated that Americans’ concern over their teeth and oral health has led to anxiety, sick days and even difficulty in interviewing for jobs.

Get outside

Spending time outside provides mental and physical benefits. Natural settings can help the brain recover from work fatigue and improve focus, according to research by the University of Washington.

Getting outside can boost your lifestyle, including better vision and improved short-term memory. Again, there’s no scorecard. If you go outdoors today, you’re better off than you were yesterday.

Eat something

You shouldn’t have to be told to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you’re not eating regularly, you’re depriving your body of fuel. That’s a drawback to your physical strength and mental acuity. And a regular diet can help you sleep better, so you reap the benefits mentioned above.

Taking a break to eat can ease the stress of work, drawing you away from your tasks for a breather, giving you time to regather your thoughts.

Who needs a dramatic pronouncement of New Year’s resolutions? You already know the best ways to go about your days and weeks. Keep the good ones, and ditch the bad ones for a better year.

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