Seven Healthy Resolutions You Can Start Right Now

Why wait until January 1? Make these healthy changes today.

Early Resolutions

Pushing resolutions off until the new year is a bit like continually telling yourself, “My diet starts Monday.” If you want to make a change, why not make it now?

January 1 may be a month away, but you can get a head start on resolutions immediately. And if you need a little guidance, don’t worry. We asked the pros for resolutions you can—and should—make right now.

1. Find your workout buddy now—and really stick to your plan.

The experts: Christina Lodde, master instructor at Flywheel and trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp, and Sara Steele-Rogers, instructor at Equinox and BFX Studio

Don’t wait until January, when gyms are jam-packed. Pick a friend, family member, or coworker with similar health goals, and set your fitness routine now. “Workout buddies are great,” Lodde says. “Find someone who shares the same interests as you do, and get into a routine of taking classes together or going to the gym at the same time.” 

And a wishy-washy plan won’t cut it. Rogers suggests using Google Docs, shared calendars, and social media to hold yourselves accountable. “Create a number of workout goals, and plan an epic celebration once you’ve achieved it,” she recommends.

2. Prioritize self-care.

The expert: Majesta Thorndike, studio manager at CorePower Yoga Ink Block

If there’s a season when it’s especially crucial to make time for yourself, it’s this one. “The busier we get, often, the less time we take out of our day to practice self-care,” Thorndike says. “This December, let self-care be your number one priority, whether it’s taking an hour to read your favorite book or taking an hour-long yoga class.”

Keep Thorndike’s advice in mind when the calendar turns, too. Taking time for yourself will keep stress levels low 365 days a year.

3. Control your party provisions.

The expert: Kerri Thomas, regional fitness director at Orangetheory Fitness

You wouldn’t show up to a party empty-handed, so multi-task by making your contribution something healthy and delicious. “It’s obviously polite to bring something with you, but it’s also a clever way to have something you feel good about eating,” Thomas says. Hint: This tip also works for dinner parties, potlucks, and gatherings all year long.

4. Load up on veggies first.

The expert: Rachele Pojednic, research fellow at Harvard Medical School, assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons College, and instructor at Flywheel

How many times have you gone straight for the main dish(es) and run out of room for sides? Yeah, us too. Combat that problem by filling your plate with veggies first, piling on healthy-but-tasty sides like sweet potatoes, root vegetables, and winter salads. “Fill yourself up with this nutrient-dense, low-calorie, and fiber-full good stuff, and then feel free to sample bites of naughty indulgences,” Pojednic suggests.

5. Add relaxation to your schedule.

The expert: Eliza Shirazi, founder of Kick It by Eliza

It may seem counterintuitive to schedule your wind-down time, but it works. Force yourself to take a break, even if just for a few minutes each day. “Make time in your schedule to sleep, meditate, slow down, get off your phone,” Shirazi says. “Our society moves at lightening speed, and to get anything from a work out, you need rest. Plan ahead and create time in your schedule.”

6. Leave the sweets behind.

The expert: Skylar Griggs, Boston-based registered dietitian

No matter how much the host begs, don’t take home sinful holiday leftovers. “If it is in the house or apartment, you will eat it,” Griggs stresses. Have your treats at the party, and then get back to your regular diet. This tip is especially helpful during holiday party season, but the same goes for office snacks, birthday baked goods, and any other tempting treats.

7. Eat more soup.

The expert: Joan Salge Blake, registered dietitian and Boston University nutrition professor

Why soup? “Research suggests that routinely eating soup, specifically chicken soup, before a meal can help reduce hunger and increase that feeling of fullness,” Blake explains. If you’re looking for a pre-party snack that will actually satisfy, soup may be just the ticket.