Man shopping in supermarket reading product information

Nearly all of us are trying to eat healthier, exercise more, and make better choices for ourselves to have a healthy start to the year. Unfortunately, our busy days and hectic lifestyles often get in the way of our goals to make improvements for a healthy new year.

The good news is that being healthier and making better choices doesn’t have to be as time consuming as we think. As much as we’d all like to have time to complete a full workout session or prepare a perfect, nutritious dinner each day, there are plenty of simpler ways to ensure that you achieve your goal of self improvement in the new year.

Here are our top new years resolution ideas that take 5 minutes (or less!) below and how you can incorporate them into your everyday life.

Schedule an appointment.

Okay, so actually going to your appointment will take more than 5 minutes, but it only takes a few to pick up the phone and call your doctor’s office. Getting regular checkups are a huge factor in helping to set you up to be healthy over the long term. Screenings can often detect diseases before they progress. Be sure to schedule appointments well in advance with your general practitioner, dentist, and optometrist, as well as any others depending on your specific needs.

Disinfect, Disinfect, Disinfect

Just because you can’t see germs doesn’t mean they aren’t there! It only takes a couple of minutes to wipe down surfaces like your work desk, the kitchen countertops, and your bathroom doorknob so that they’re clean for you to use. Make a New Year’s resolution to carve out some time each week for this, and it will soon become a habit you won’t even have to think about.

Get back to basics.

These suggestions may seem obvious, but there are a surprising number of people who don’t always wear seatbelts, put on sunscreen, or even wash their hands properly. By not following these simple healthy ideas, you are setting yourself up to get sick more easily, get sunburned, or even be seriously injured in a car crash.

Scan food labels.

It takes less than a minute to look through food labels, and if you read them properly, you’re apt to make much better choices than if you don’t glance at them at all. Be sure to note the sodium, fat, cholesterol, protein and sugar contents. You should also pay attention to the serving size to see if you’re eating the right portion.

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Make simple swaps.

You don’t have to find an extravagant recipe on Pinterest just to eat more nutritious meals in the new year—start by making better choices. For example, if you order out for lunch frequently, try taking 5 minutes a few nights a week to pack a simple salad with precooked grilled chicken instead. You might want circle lighter options on your takeout menus when you aren’t hungry so you’ll be reminded of what the more sensible options are the next time you order.

Consider switching up the meals you cook with healthier ingredients. Make brown rice instead of white, use olive oil instead of butter, and coconut flour instead of wheat flour. You’ll be amazed to see that these unassuming switches can have a huge impact on how you eat in the new year.

Get moving!

The CDC recommends that children should engage in 60 or more minutes aerobic activity daily, and adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week along with muscle-strengthening activities. While that may seem like a lot while balancing a jam-packed schedule, there are easily ways to meet those requirements in the new year. Park the car farther from the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk while talking on the phone. Every little bit counts!

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By using these simple healthy tips, you can be sure to start your new year resolutions off the right way. And, once you have all of these easy healthy tips down, try doing a little more each day to feel even better. Feel free to share your 5-minute healthy resolution ideas in the comments below, too!

– Sara Kildunne

Smart Lifebites