8 Easy-to-Keep New Year’s Resolutions

We make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions. We’ll eat healthier, lose some weight and exercise more. It can be hard to stick to grand, vague resolutions but when narrowed down to smaller goals, those promises to ourselves are surprisingly easy to keep. 

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Expect Good Things

1. Expect Good Things

Having healthy expectations for yourself is important to both your physical and mental health. A mean-spirited inner-critic can ruin relationships, keep you from reaching personal goals, and cramp your ability to be an active participant in your life. Find something small to compliment yourself on every day.

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Floss

2. Floss

Bacteria in your mouth can lead to serious problems if you neglect oral health. To remove plaque, scrape the surface up and down two or three times, moving gently below the gum line, on both sides of each tooth.

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Decrease Sodium Consumption

3. Decrease Sodium Consumption

A good maximum amount of sodium to consume per day is 6 grams. Many folks eat more than twice that amount, though. In addition to contributing to water retention, sodium can raise blood pressure. Processed foods contain the most, so read labels. Try to swap unsalted butter for salted, use garlic to add flavour instead of salt, and opt for fresh tomatoes, not canned.

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Wear Sunscreen all Year

4. Wear Sunscreen all Year

Most skin cancer develops after age 50, though sun damage starts at an early age. The sun's rays are also behind brown spots, and can make wrinkles appear before their time. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, even in the winter, anywhere skin is laid bare. An easy, on-the-go way to reapply: carry sunscreen wipes in your purse or car.

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Increase Antioxidants

5. Increase Antioxidants

When your body breaks down food it produces molecules called free radicals. You can defend your body by including rich antioxidant sources in your diet. Fruits high in antioxidants include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries. Antioxidant-rich vegetables are kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli flowers, beets, red bell peppers, onions, corn and eggplant.

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Start Strength Training

6. Start Strength Training

In 10 minutes a day, you could gain more energy, stronger bones, and a faster metabolism - and you don't even need to lift dumbbells. Strength training doesn't necessarily require equipment. Do exercises, such as pushups, that use your own body weight. What's even better: strength training helps you burn more calories in less time.

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Buy Smaller Plates

7. Buy Smaller Plates

Want to downsize your figure? Start downsizing your dishes. Studies show using smaller plates and bowls promote weight loss because they help to curb overeating.

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Become a Creature of Habit

8. Become a Creature of Habit

Stick to a nighttime routine, which can be effective in letting your body know when it's time to sleep. Go through whatever rituals help you mentally prepare for sleep. Read a few pages of a book, spend 5-10 minutes on personal grooming, meditating, or stretching. And go to bed and get up at the same time each day-even on weekends. More sleep means a healthier you.