Have you promised to make changes in the New Year? If so, you’re not alone—millions of people make New Year’s resolutions every January.
The top choices are no surprise: people want to lose weight, exercise more, and quit smoking. Other popular resolutions involve saving money, getting out of debt, getting a better job, and reducing stress. Many more well-meaning Americans resolve to be better people, be nicer to their colleagues, or volunteer more to make life better for others.
Imagine how good life would be if we kept all those promises? Think about it for a moment: We would all be healthier and happier in the New Year, just for starters.
You might be surprised to know that the benefits from losing just a small amount of weight—10 percent or less—can make a noticeable difference in your health. Since losing weight and exercising tend to go hand-in-hand, this one-two punch can help you reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It also helps lower blood pressure and improve sleep disorders. Experts say that successful dieters concentrate on becoming healthier rather than obsessing about a weight loss goal—an important change in mindset.
If you’ve been struggling to kick the cigarette habit, consider this: According to the American Cancer Society, your heart rate and blood pressure drop within just 20 minutes of stopping smoking. Within two weeks, your circulation starts to improve and your lung function begins to increase. After a year, you’ve cut your risk of heart disease in half. A little willpower can make a huge difference in your health.
It’s no surprise that so many resolutions revolve around money (or the lack thereof). Reducing debt and saving money create freedom, financial security, and peace of mind. It doesn’t get much better than that! Eliminating the stress caused by economic instability can also lead to better health, since stress contributes to a wide variety of health problems.
As with losing weight, small changes can lead to big rewards when you’re making financial resolutions; you can reduce your spending by something as simple as not carrying credit cards with you, for example.
If you haven’t made a resolution yet, there’s still time to change a bad habit and adopt a new, healthier one. If one of your resolutions happens to involve looking better (and feeling better about yourself in the process), we’d love to discuss the possibilities with you. Here’s to positive change in 2013!