Why You Should Drop the Resolutions

How many New Year’s resolutions have you truly seen to fruition? We’re only two weeks into 2019 but the chances are most good intentions have already fallen by the wayside; few keep their resolutions past the month of January.

What you should be doing is looking at things a little differently. Give up on such things and instead just take the steps you need to get healthier and happier in the long term. Make a promise to be kinder to yourself and make a plan to achieve optimal health, uncover your inner strength, and take life one day at a time to move ever closer to your better and healthier self — no matter the time of year.

1. Eat a substantial breakfast

Breakfast is an important meal, for a number of reasons. It sets the body’s liver clocks, which are critical to an earthy metabolism, which includes glucose regulation as well as cholesterol and fat regulation. Eating a large breakfast makes one less hungry the rest of the day, and more resistant to snacking and temptations. All of these factors contribute to making one less likely to gain weight, more likely to lose body fat, and feel overall happier and healthier. Make sure your meal includes vegetables, whole grain cereals, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and fruit for the biggest benefits.

2. Take a half-hour relaxation bath before bed

Data shows that soaking in hot water promotes a sense of peace of tranquility. It also enables one to fall asleep faster and sleep more peacefully. Add epsom bath salts to the water, which contains magnesium sulfate, which is calming and relaxes muscles, reducing night muscle cramps. Or add 15 drops of essential oil, such as lavender, frankincense or eucalyptus for relaxation.

3. Keep a gratitude journal

Research shows that feeling grateful for the people in your life and all the good things which life has bestowed upon you can give life a deeper and more satisfying meaning. A gratitude journal is really about living in the moment — acknowledging each day the people and events which have impacted you and have held meaning for you. These do not have to be monumental events. A kind look, a door held open, or a thank you can all make life a more wonderful experience and give one more joy and appreciation for the goodness and beauty abounding.

4. See the sunset

Watching the colors of the sunset, even if only through the window or for a brief moment, helps set the body in the proper state for the upcoming night and the sleep which follows. Our brains are programmed to change with the viewing of the lovely oranges, yellows, and reds of a sunset. These hues allow the production of melatonin, so critical to rejuvenating sleep, to begin to slowly rise, while the levels of cortisol drop. This is a peaceful and calming process, as the body begins the journey into night and towards sleep. As often as this can happen, visualizing the sunset will enhance your sleep and your life quality.

5. Give up snacking

The notion that eating around the clock is good for health is about as crazy as it can be! The exact opposite is what is needed for health. Time-restricted eating is the new buzzword for health; eating at regular and specific times and not in between. Optimal eating would be breakfast and lunch and no dinner, or breakfast and dinner and no lunch, with no eating in between at all! Since skipping dinner is truly hard to do, I recommend a breakfast and dinner and very light lunch or just a healthy beverage and a few nuts or olives. This gives the liver clocks the correct timing and keeps all humming along in the body. As well, periods without food permit gut rest, allowing healing to occur.

6. Have sex two or more times a week

Busy lives should never become so busy that sexual activity takes a backseat to everything else. Sex is a healthy activity, and orgasms are beneficial! Sex is good for your body and for your partner’s body tool. Nature gave us sex drives to have babies, but in the process we get to have lots of pleasure. These days, we can have the fun and pass on the babies if we so desire. And don’t forget that sex and intimacy is marvelous for strengthening relationships. Just be sure sexually transmitted diseases don’t spoil the fun.

Obstetrician/gynecologist and founder of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine. Author of PCOS SOS. Find her on Twitter at @DrFeliceGersh.