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Home > Lifestyle News > Health And Fitness News > Article > Want help to set food mental health and fitness New Year resolutions Experts share easy tips

Want help to set food, mental health and fitness New Year resolutions? Experts share easy tips

Updated on: 02 January,2024 06:03 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Nascimento Pinto | nascimento.pinto@mid-day.com

As people get to setting new year resolutions, it can often get very challenging and the whole process may leave you overwhelmed. As 2024 begins, mid-day.com spoke to Mumbai-based mental health experts to help you plan your short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals

Want help to set food, mental health and fitness New Year resolutions? Experts share easy tips

Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Every year, people set their New Year resolutions but often find it difficult to follow through with them due to a variety of reasons including lack of direction or motivation, especially when they face the first hurdle.


While it is impossible to avoid hurdles, such setbacks are a part and parcel of the process, and that is why Mumbai mental health experts believe you should approach resolutions with a plan.



While most people have different kinds of resolutions, some of the common goals include food and eating right, mental health and last but not the least fitness - all of which are becoming important with every passing day.


While one may get overwhelmed with these three, mental health experts say one of the easiest ways to frame goals is by using the SMART criteria - which translates to Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound approach.

Dr Santosh Bangar, senior consultant psychiatrist at Global Hospitals in Parel says one must start small. He explains, "When it comes to food, plan to eat a minimum of 5-6 days homemade meals each week to promote healthier eating habits. For mental health, on the other hand, integrate mindfulness practices like daily meditation or journaling to reduce stress and enhance overall mental well-being." With the new year here and fitness being one of the top goals, begin with a manageable exercise routine, such as a 30-minute daily walk, progressively increasing intensity and duration over time.  

Dr Shaunak Ajinkya, who is the consultant, psychiatrist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai dives deeper into the process because he
says breaking them down into short-term, mid-term and long-term goals can help.

Food:

Short-term goal - Practice mindful eating by savouring each bite without distractions. Ensure daily intake of an adequate amount (2 to 3 litres for adults) of water for improved hydration. Dedicate time each week to plan and prepare healthy meals.

Mid-term goals - Implement portion control. Have proper portion sizes for meals to promote balanced nutrition. Experiment with new, nutritious recipes to diversify the diet. Gradually reduce the intake of processed foods and focus on whole, unprocessed alternatives.

Long-term goals - Adopt a sustainable and balanced diet that includes a variety of food groups. Continuously educate yourself about yours and family's nutritional needs and make informed food choices. Always prefer home cooked meals. Develop or enhance your cooking skills to create flavourful and healthy meals at home.

Mental health:

Short term goals - Daily practice of gratitude. Start a daily journal to
note down things to be grateful for. Dedicate a few minutes each day to
practice mindfulness-based exercises and meditation. Try to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Gradually reduce screen time to foster a
healthier relationship with technology.

Mid-term goals - Develop and follow a consistent self-care routine to prioritise mental well-being. Eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep,
exercise daily and stay away from addictive substances.

Long-term goals - Invest time in activities that build emotional resilience and coping skills. Cultivate a mindset of continuous learning to stimulate personal growth and development. Build and nurture strong connections with a supportive community for long-term mental health benefits. Consider talking to a mental health professional for guidance and support, if needed.

Fitness:

Short-term goals - Incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity into each day. Consistent daily movement is important. Evaluate current fitness levels and identify areas for improvement. Establish
achievable workout goals for the first month.

Mid-term goals - Incorporate a variety of exercises to target different muscle groups and prevent monotony. Introduce strength training exercises into your fitness routine for overall health benefits. Increase the
frequency and duration of cardiovascular workouts for enhanced endurance.

Long-term goals - Establish a consistent and sustainable fitness routine that aligns your personal preferences. Set performance goals like running for a certain distance. Cultivate a lifelong commitment to regular physical activity for sustained health and well-being.

Ajinkya reminds that these examples are dependent upon personal preferences, health conditions, and fitness levels. "Setting realistic goals and adapting them over time will support long-term success," he concludes.

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