The new year provides us with an opportunity for reflection. What are we proud of; what needs to be different? A New Year’s resolution is a wonderful way to affirm the changes we want to make. Too often though, resolutions are focused on punishment and deprivation. It is healthier for the body and the mind to focus on what will enrich our lives. Instead of taking something away, try adding something in. Unhealthy habits or patterns will naturally lessen when our time and energy is focused on something enjoyable. Below are four suggestions for a healthier, happier new year.

  1. Drink Water. Without proper hydration your body can’t shed toxins and metabolism slows. Pure filtered water is one of the most important medicines. Light herbal teas, soups and juicy fruits and vegetables are also good sources of water.

  2. Eat your vegetables. Vegetables are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins, minerals, bioflavinoids and fiber. Darkly colored vegetables are usually highest in beneficial phytochemicals. Each day try to eat at least 1 ½ cups each of green and red/orange vegetables.

  3. Move. Whether it is structured exercise or or an active lifestyle, people need to move their bodies to be healthy. Don’t have time for a gym or exercise class? Try biking or walking instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up from your desk and stretch every few hours. Humans were not meant to sit still all day.

  4. Spend more time with the people you love. It is easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by responsibilities. Sometime it seems like there is no room for friends and family. But it is important to take time out each day to focus on the people who are dear to you. It will nourish you and your relationships.