Finding New Year's health resolutions you can stick with long term might be easier than you think!
Ready to make this your best year yet?
Try the sustainable diet, fitness, and health goals we lay out below.
You don't have to go “all or nothing”!
Choose a few New Year's health resolutions at a time to get started on the journey toward better health!
Turn your bad habits into good habits with these 10 fitness habits!
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20 Sustainable New Year's Health Resolutions
1. Don't Skip Workouts
Even if you complete a short 15- or 20-minute sweat session, do so rather than skipping workouts altogether.
If you simply don't have the energy to exercise, go for a short walk, climb stairs, or do house chores to keep your body moving and your blood pumping.
2. Set a Regular Bedtime
Sleep might not be a top priority, but sleep deprivation is one of the worst things you can do for your body and health.
It can weaken your immune system, diminished the effectiveness of muscle-building workouts, decrease your ability to concentrate, increase your appetite, and boost your risk of weight gain.
A simple New Year's health resolution to consider this season is setting a regular bedtime and sticking with it whenever possible.
Even if you slip up and have a late-night every now and then, allow yourself at least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights of the week to achieve optimal health and wellness.
These 7 ways to sleep better will improve your sleeping habits, helping you to wake up rested in the morning.
3. Change Up Lifting Routines
If you're bored of the same weightlifting routine or you're not getting the muscle-building results you desire, change up your lifting regimen as a New Year's health resolution this year.
Choose a variety of strength training exercises and avoid working the same muscle group two days in a row.
For ideas about effective weightlifting workouts you can do at home, check out these articles.
Aim to lift weights at least 3-5 times each week!
4. Don't Forgo Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is just as important as strength training when you want to achieve exceptional health and wellness.
It helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases, keep body fat low, and boost your mood.
Even if you can't get in 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, biking, etc.) every day, don't skip it entirely.
If you complete just 15-20 minutes of aerobic activity on days you're tight on time, it's better than no cardio at all!
Learn how to do cardio at home to lose weight with HIIT and LISS cardio!
5. Consume 38 Grams of Fiber Daily
Set fiber goals as a New Year's health resolution this season, as many men don't get as much fiber as they need to maintain optimal health.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends men aim for 38 grams of fiber every day.
Foods naturally rich in fiber include:
- 1 ounce of chia seeds: 10 grams
- 1 cup of cooked green peas: 9 grams
- 1 cup of raspberries: 8 grams
- 1/2 cup of cooked black beans or other legumes: 7-8 grams
- 1 large pear: 7 grams
- 1 cup of cooked barley or other whole grains: 5-6 grams
- 1 cup of cooked broccoli: 5 grams
- 1/2 medium avocado: 5 grams
- 1 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts: 4 grams
- 3 cups of air-popped popcorn: 3-4 grams
- 1 ounce of nuts or seeds: 3-4 grams
Add a variety of high-fiber foods to your diet daily to reach a 38-gram daily fiber goal.
Ask your doctor if taking fiber supplements is the right decision for you.
6. Get a Measuring Water Bottle
If you suspect you're not drinking as much water as you should, consider getting a refillable water bottle that tracks water intake as a New Year's health resolution!
While everybody is different, many men need at least 16 cups of fluid daily to maintain optimal health, wellness, athletic performance, and energy.
Drink water often throughout the day, especially during workouts.
Drink 2-4 cups of water when you first wake up each morning and 2 cups before meals if your goal is weight loss.
Make sure your urine is light yellow or clear in color, rather than dark yellow or brownish.
Try these quick tips and targets to hit your daily hydration levels.
7. Replace Soda with Coffee or Tea
Soda, even diet soda, puts you at risk of unwanted weight gain and obesity.
Regular soda adds empty calories to your meal plan and diet soda can induce cravings for sweets and added sugar.
Just one can of regular soda provides about 150 empty calories.
Instead drink water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea!
Coffee and tea each contain just 5 calories per serving.
8. Find an Accountability Partner
To increase your chance of maintaining healthy habits for life, find an accountability partner.
They might be a friend, family member, or health coach!
Studies show that a coach can improve your health if you have a chronic disease.
Health coaching support also increases your chance of effective weight loss.
Sign up for the Fit Father Project to receive email health coaching from medical experts!
9. Use a Daily Journal or Planner
Get organized this year by choosing a New Year's health resolution you can stick with all year long — use a daily journal or planner!
Doing so helps you set goals, make lists, and track health progress over time.
Write down health goals in your planner. You might choose the following:
- Sleep at least 7 hours each night
- Work out at least 30 minutes daily
- Do something active for at least 30 minutes, in addition to exercise
- Spend more time with your family
- Increase work productivity
- Drink at least 16 cups of fluid daily
- Spend time outdoors each day
You can record food intake in a daily journal too! Doing so can help you better control the type and quantity of food you're eating.
10. Increase Your Vegetable Intake
Eating more vegetables is a New Year's health resolution that's easy to get behind, as many adults in the United States don't eat as many veggies as they should.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends men consume 2 1/2 – 3 cups of veggies every day.
This includes non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, and more.
Fill half of each plate of food with these types of vegetables.
Count starchy vegetables (corn, peas, black beans, lentils, other legumes, sweet potatoes, etc.) as starches and fill one-fourth of your plate with these or whole grains.
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11. Consume Protein at Each Meal
Chances are you're already getting enough protein to meet your body's daily needs.
However, eating protein at each meal or snack is one of the best ways to enhance muscle-building, prevent muscle breakdown, boost satiety, and keep your metabolism high.
Make sure to choose healthy protein foods, such as:
- Chicken, turkey, or duck
- Very lean, organic meats
- Fish, shrimp, or other types of seafood
- Greek yogurt, milk, or plant milk
- Cottage cheese or reduced-fat cheese
- Whey, casein, egg, or plant-based protein powder
- Low-sugar protein shakes or bars
- Peas, beans, lentils, or other legumes
- Nuts, seeds, or nut butter
- Plant-based meat substitutes (veggie burgers, etc.)
Aim to fill one-fourth of each plate of food with high-protein options.
However, avoid highly processed meats (ham, salami, deli meats, hot dogs, regular bacon, etc.) and fried meats.
12. Eat at Restaurants Less Often
Eating at restaurants (or getting carryout) is a good excuse for social gatherings, but studies show dining out is associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) compared with people who eat at restaurants less frequently.
As one of your New Year's health resolutions this season, limit the amount of time you spend dining out.
If you're used to eating at restaurants three times weekly, reduce that number to just one day per week.
13. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking any amount of alcohol increases your risk of developing esophagus, voice box, mouth, throat, colon, rectum, and liver cancer.
Even if you don't eliminate alcohol entirely, cutting back is one of the best New Year's health resolutions you can make.
Not only will you feel better, but you can also reduce your intake of empty calories and the risk of unwanted weight gain.
If you can cut out alcohol entirely, do so as a New Year's health goal.
If not, simply minimize alcohol to 1-2 drinks (or less) per day.
14. Consume Omega-3s Daily
Consuming plenty of omega-3 fatty acids is a good choice for numerous reasons.
It's beneficial for a healthy heart, optimal brain health, improved cognitive functioning, and a lower risk of age-related dementia.
Good sources of omega-3s include:
- Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish
- Fish oil supplements
- Vegan omega-3 supplements
- Walnuts and walnut oil
- Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil
- Flax seeds and flax oil
- Soybeans and soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Chia seeds
Choose omega-3-rich foods as your source of dietary fat whenever possible, and talk with your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement!
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15. Don't Skip Meals
Unless you're fasting as part of a weight loss plan, avoid skipping meals.
Doing so can cause muscle breakdown, problems concentrating, and a higher risk of overeating during your next meal.
As one of your New Year's health resolutions, aim to eat 3 meals daily plus 2-3 snacks OR 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day.
16. Set Aside Time to Relax
Because stress is a risk factor for weight gain, obesity, and other chronic diseases, make a New Year's health resolution of allotting 20-30 minutes daily (or another time commitment that fits your schedule) to relax.
Watch a movie, read a book, take a hot shower or bath, pray, meditate, journal, listen to motivational speakers, chat on the phone, get a massage, or take a short nap to help your body refresh and re-boot.
17. Take Dietary Supplements for Men
Despite your best efforts, you might not be getting all of the nutrients your body requires daily from food alone.
If your doctor gives you the okay, consider taking dietary supplements for men as one of your New Year's health resolutions.
- Vitamin D
- Creatine monohydrate
- Protein supplements
- Immunity boosters
- Testosterone boosting supplements
Taking dietary supplements daily keeps your body healthy and reduces the risk of nutrient deficiencies and chronic diseases.
18. Decrease Time Spent Sitting Down
Sitting down too much during the day is a chronic disease risk factor, as studies show sitting a lot increases your chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
It can also lead to unwanted weight gain, overweight, and obesity.
One of the best New Year's health resolutions you can choose is to sit down fewer hours each day!
Track your current time spent sitting so you can create realistic New Year's health goals.
If you have a desk job at work, consider getting a standing desk to significantly decrease the number of hours you spend sitting down.
Learn about the dangers of sitting for too long and how to combat the negative effects of sitting.
19. Get Outdoors Daily
Regardless of what the weather is like, aim to spend more time outdoors this year as one of your New Year's health resolutions.
Studies show that being outside is beneficial for your mental health, decreasing rates of anxiety, depression, and even dementia.
Because many Americans don't get enough vitamin D, spending more time outside can help you meet daily vitamin D requirements.
Participating in active hobbies outside is an excellent way to increase your calorie expenditure and metabolism.
Try hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, doing yard work, shoveling snow, playing sports with your kids, kayaking, or taking your dog for a walk at least once daily.
20. Join a Men's Health Program
Joining a men's health program is one of the best ways to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and optimize your overall health.
Sign up for the Fit Father Project to gain unlimited access to custom healthy meal plans, fat-burning exercises, muscle-building workouts, email coaching support from medical experts, recipes, newsletters, and much more!
Doing so increases your chance of success and helps you stay on track with healthy living long term.
The program is easy to follow and highly effective for men, especially those over 40.
As one of your New Year's health resolutions this season, get started with a Fit Father Project free meal plan and workout today!
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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on New Year's health resolutions.