The New Year is a great time for integrating new habits and rituals into our every day routine. And we don’t have to overhaul our lives all in one go either. In fact, small changes done consistently over time can add up to dramatic results in our overall health and wellbeing.

Check out the list below to see if there are areas in your own life that could use a little improvement and commit to making it happen!

1. Wake Up Earlier

Set your morning alarm 15 to 30 minutes earlier and enjoy a leisurely cup of tea or coffee while reading the paper or a book. This extra time will leave you feeling less hurried in the morning and set the tone for the day ahead. Plus having this little ritual to look forward to at the start of your day will make getting out of bed a lot easier!

2. Don’t Sleep with Your Phone

Even a small amount of screen light can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, so be sure to keep any devices away from you while you sleep. Plus with the growing concern over the potential health effects of long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation, it’s probably best not to sleep with it next to your head.

3. Upgrade Your Bedtime Routine

In the half hour (or full hour) leading up to bedtime read a book or sit quietly, and either meditate, journal, or write out your to-dos for the next day. Avoid all screens (smartphone, computer, TV) right before bedtime since these devices stimulate brain activity at a time when you should be unwinding and preparing your body for sleep.

4. Learn a Few Basic Recipes

You’ll always know how to feed yourself something healthy in a pinch – not to mention be prepared for last minute guests. A few simple recipes to have up your sleeve could be an omelette, baked fish with herbs, and a simple vinaigrette.

5. Pack Your Lunch

Take the time to pack yourself a healthy and delicious lunch. You can always heat up leftovers in the morning while you’re making breakfast and put them into a thermos so you don’t have to worry about heating anything up at work. Make it a goal to bring your lunch at least four days per week and if you succeed allow yourself a lunch out on Friday!

6. Snack Wisely

Say no to the mid-morning bagel or muffin run and instead stock your own healthy snacks. Many forward thinking workplaces now offer free fruit to their employees, but if you’re not so lucky, pack some yourself. Be careful not to confuse boredom with hunger, and oftentimes a cup of tea is all you need to tide yourself over until lunch. And to the point above, be sure to pack yourself a satisfying lunch so that you’re not left hungry and snacking all afternoon!

7. Begin Your Day with Water

The first thing that crosses your lips in the morning should always be water and NOT coffee or food. To hydrate your body and keep your digestion humming along smoothly aim to drink at least 1-2 glasses of water before starting your day.

8. Get Outside on Your Lunch Break

Step away from the computer and go for a 15-minute brisk walk outside. Not only will you fit some exercise into your day, but the fresh air and sunlight will boost your mood and energy levels!

9. Squeeze Fitness in Anywhere

Don’t have time to go to the gym? Do a 10-15 minute circuit of sit-ups, squats, and push-ups from the comfort of your own home. No excuses! For example, you might start with 25 sit-ups, 15 push-ups, and 30 squats. Repeat the circuit as many times as you can through while resting 60 seconds in between.

10. Dine at the Table

Turn off the TV and sit down at the table to a proper meal. It doesn’t matter if you’re dining alone or eating something as basic as a sandwich. Take at least 15-20 minutes to slow down and mindfully enjoy your food. Eating while rushed, anxious, or overly stimulated by the television is a recipe for indigestion.

11. Cultivate Your Relationships

Take the time to connect with friends and loved ones. Pick-up the phone and call your friend rather than texting her, or better yet, meet up for tea and connect in person. If there’s an old friend who you’ve lost touch with over the years and she’s been on your mind, take the time to reach out and reconnect. We never know how much time we’ll have left so make the most of it!

About the Author

Elaine is a Certified Nutritionist and Women’s Health Coach. She works with clients across the globe to help them improve their health and relationship with food. Elaine believes in a real food approach to health that is rooted in optimizing digestion and includes ongoing and intelligent cleansing. You can download her FREE Hip, Healthy & Holistic Makeover Guide to learn 5 simple things you can do every day to lose weight, increase energy, kick cravings, and feel beautiful inside & out.