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Updated 31 January 2014

10 best resolutions ever

Here's what you owe yourself in 2014. We've done the legwork to find the best New Year's resolutions.

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It's getting to that time of year again. Reflection. Resolution. Disappointment. Many of us set ourselves up for failure every year by making super-ambitious, unrealistic New Year's resolutions. We trawled through all the wit and wisdom on Health24 regarding New Year's resolutions and came up with the 10 best.

They're not impossible to achieve. Most of them don't require complete lifestyle overhauls (OK – except the quit smoking one) – just a slightly new mindset:

 1. I will value my partner

He/she is not just part of the furniture. Your partner (unless completely useless, in which case the question is what you're still doing there?) does stuff for you. Is there when you need support. Helps out in a crisis. Likes you when you don't feel very likeable. Loves you.

Don't wait until this person is gone before you show your appreciation. And remember that nobody is perfect, not even you.

Read more:
alt, blue, bullet icon14 sure signs of a good relationships - take heed and make them work for you!
alt, blue, bullet iconIt's so easy - simply cuddle and up the happiness
alt, blue, bullet iconIt's true what they say: good sex = good relationship 

2. I will avoid fad diets

There's no quick fix for weight loss. You gained it slowly and you're not going to lose it fast, whatever the ads may say. Combining a balanced diet with exercise is the only real way to lose weight. Fad diets mess up your metabolism. Just don't go there.

Read more:
alt, blue, bullet iconWhy fad diets flop
alt, blue, bullet iconThe dangers lurking in fad diets


3. I will stop smoking

This is a biggie. Despite all we know about the destructive impact of smoking, addicted smokers find it incredibly hard to quit. Make it your choice to be more healthy. And to smell better. And not to expose your kids to secondary smoke. Just think of all the money you'd save. Do whatever it takes – you really will be glad in the end, however impossible it seems right now.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet iconThe best way to stop smoking it to see a specialist!
alt, blue, bullet iconWatch our video where a wellness coach gives advice on stopping smoking

4. I will listen to my body's stress signals

When things get too hectic, your body tells you. The warning signals include insomnia, heartburn, headaches, skin disorders, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. Ignoring these is a bit like taking no notice of the grinding sound in your car engine before going on a 1 000km trip. And then being surprised if everything packs up. Learn to destress – exercise, yoga, therapy, me-time. It needs to go to the top of your list.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet icon13 signs that you are stressed
alt, blue, bullet iconHow stressed are you? Do the quick stress test

5. I will give my body what it needs. 

Your body needs healthy food to fuel it. It just doesn't run well on junk. It also needs five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, at least six glasses of water, high-fibre foods, enough protein, little fat and the odd treat. It also needs enough sleep, something - like exercise - that will get your heart rate up, and a commitment to safe sex. It's the only body you have, and will ever have. If you treat it well, it will treat you well.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet iconEat well and live longer
alt, blue, bullet iconWork out what your healthy weight should be
alt, blue, bullet iconVisit our sleep centre for everything you need to know about a good nights rest

6. I will take some me-time

We often do far too much for other people and far too little for ourselves. Set some me-time aside in which you nurture yourself in any way that works for you. And don't let anything interfere with it, unless there is a real crisis. It's not a real crisis if your child can't find her swimming costume, or your husband has burnt the mince.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet iconMoms, make the most of me-time
alt, blue, bullet iconHere's how to take some time out

7. I will take a 10-minute walk.

Not everyone can commit to an endless gym regime, but everyone can go for a 10-minute walk every day. Even you. Researchers have found that it cuts your heart attack risk by as much as 50%. There's no better investment you can make towards your health and fitness.

Read more

alt, blue, bullet icon5 Walking tips for seniors or starter-outers
alt, blue, bullet iconWhy walking is such a good fitness option

8. I will spend time with energising people

Cut contact to a minimum with negative and difficult people who drain you. Rather spend your time with people who make you feel good and energised, and with whom you have interesting conversations. The most demanding people often leave you feeling depleted. Avoid them as far as you can.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet iconLetting go of toxic relationships
alt, blue, bullet icon5 Common energy vampires

9. I will not overwork 

Overworking is a killer. The possibility of a promotion or extra income that all that overtime creates is simply not worth it. Meaningful time with your family, or with friends, or just with yourself, is more important than more money. Effective workers do what they need to do in the eight hours they're at work. If it means less shopping, fewer toys or more modest holidays, then it does. Don't become a victim of our consumer culture. It creates its own stresses.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet iconWhat to look out for in a healthy workplace
alt, blue, bullet icon10 Office pests we all recognise

10. I will get help

Call the professionals when you need them. Whether it be a handyman, a therapist, a dietician, a fitness instructor, a marriage counsellor or a massage therapist. In the long run it always saves you pain or money to ask the people who really do know best.

Read more:

alt, blue, bullet iconWhen is it time to ask for help?
alt, blue, bullet iconGet help right here, right now - ask our experts!

Finally, let us help you! Subscribe to Health24's excellent daily tip right here. There'll be a reminder in your inbox, every day, about the stuff that really counts.

(Photo of party girl from Shutterstock)

 
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