A Year of Healthy Habits: 52-Week Wellness Challenge

steps up mountains- representing 52 weeks of healthy habits

Well, the New Year is off with a bang!  Our family has already been very busy in 2024.  But the one thing I have noticed is that I have been putting off working on writing down my New Year’s resolutions.  I have also been putting off all the healthy habits I chronically want to work on, like “exercising more” and “eating better.”  

Why?  Because those goals aren’t measurable and don’t really give me much guidance.  They have become too easy to dismiss.

Deciding How to Work on My Healthy Habits, One Step at a Time

So, I started to think about resolutions and my goals.  And I decided, you know what?  Looking at something for a whole year feels impossible, even insurmountable.  But what if I start working on a healthy daily habit one week at a time?  At the end of that week, I can either keep going with it or give myself permission to ditch it.  But ACTUALLY follow the advice that is out there and give some things a try.

After my Aha! moment, I went through and came up with a list of 52 healthy habits to try.  Almost all of these healthy living habits are backed by science, with plenty of research to support the suggestion.  Some might not be, but they have anecdotal evidence that it’s beneficial (and would be relatively harmless to go ahead and try).  

journal, notebook, note-791286.jpg To Do list for healthy habits

The Healthy Habits Journey Begins

So, that’s what I’m going to do!  Every week, starting tomorrow, I will tackle each of these health suggestions.  Now, I need to give myself some grace and leniency, so I won’t follow this list in any particular order.  But I will be checking them off, one by one, to make sure by the end of the year and into the 2025 New Year,  I will have tried them all.

My Twist: Healthy Habits in North Carolina

Now, obviously, my site name is “NC Healthy Living.”  Therefore, along this journey, I will work with and incorporate all things North Carolina when possible!  Restaurants, farmers markets, small businesses, hikes, parks, organizations, whatever it is… I will highlight whatever I can whenever I can in this beautiful state.

public art- cow sculpture with "greetings from north carolina" written on it, cardinal bird, NC state flag, and dogwood blossoms.  Located in Knightdale, NC

My Healthy Habits List Unveiled

52 Healthy Habits for Your Wellness Journey

  1. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
  2. Eat a serving of fruits and vegetables with every meal.
  3. Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
  4. Practice mindfulness or meditation for 10 minutes daily.
  5. Take a 30-minute walk every day.
  6. Add a “healthy” houseplant to your home (snake plant)
  7. Try “grounding” in nature for 20-30 minutes each day.
  8. Limit processed food and focus on whole foods.
  9. Try a new healthy recipe each day
  10. Try intermittent fasting
  11. Go for a brisk walk after dinner.
  12. Stretch for 10 minutes each morning.
  13. Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet (e.g., fish, flaxseeds).
  14. Limit screen time to one hour before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
  15. Start every day with a mug of hot lemon water
  16. Engage in strength training exercises twice a week.
  17. Reduce refined/added sugar intake.
  18. Set aside time for a hobby you enjoy.
  19. Include probiotics in your diet daily.
  20. Practice deep breathing exercises for stress relief.
  21. Limit caffeine intake in the afternoon.
  22. Schedule regular health check-ups. (for you and your family)
  23. Practice gratitude journaling
  24. Eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits for diverse nutrients. Try a new fruit or vegetable.
  25. Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels
  26. Practice using self-love mantras and positive affirmations daily.
  27. Experiment with a new type of exercise (e.g., yoga, Pilates).
  28. Include fiber-rich foods in your diet (e.g., whole grains, legumes).
  29. Schedule time for relaxation and self-care.
  30. Buy produce locally and, if possible, organic
  31. Limit processed and red meat intake.
  32. Work on accomplishing something that has been bothering you- e.g., something on your to-do list that you just keep putting off.
  33. Reach out to someone you have meant to reconnect with but just keep putting it off.
  34. Choose whole grains over refined grains.
  35. Set realistic and achievable fitness goals.
  36. Go travel somewhere new.
  37. Identify your “sense of purpose” (eg- best mom/daughter/wife/sister ever, being irreplaceable at work, etc.) for one week and work towards your daily goal.
  38. Use spices and herbs to add flavor without excess salt.
  39. Practice good posture to prevent back pain.
  40. Throw out/drop off all of your old and expired medicines and supplements
  41. Eat mindfully, savoring each bite, listening to when your body is full or doesn’t really want to eat that food.
  42. Switch to whole, unprocessed snacks (e.g., nuts, fruits).
  43. Schedule time for a digital detox. No TV or phone after 10 pm (or at least one hour before your bedtime)
  44. Challenge yourself with a brain-teasing activity (e.g., puzzles, games).
  45. Participate in a volunteer or community activity
  46. Get outdoors for fresh air and sunlight. Soak in nature.
  47. Practice a relaxation technique before bedtime.
  48. Schedule or dedicate time to do something meaningful with your significant other
  49. Prioritize family time – 30 minutes of uninterrupted play (aka no phones, no TVs) each day.
  50. Try eating vegan for one whole week
  51. Experiment with herbal teas for different health benefits.
  52. Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time for healthier choices. Try meal prep on Sunday (or whatever day works best for you).

Join Me On My Healthy Habit Journey!

By the way, please feel free to join me!   I’d love for you to share with me your journey as well!

Get ready because starting today, I am working on number #16- Engage in strength training exercises twice a week.  I rejoined the popular North Carolina-founded Burn Boot Camp for 30 days, and today was my first day to restart my camps. 

Wish me luck (and lots of sore muscle relief)! 

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