Updated: January 25, 2024
Thinking of making some healthy lifestyle changes this year? The great news is this: There are often simple habits you can pick up and stack up to help you create a more healthy, rewarding, and focused life.
To help you get started, here are some easy healthy lifestyle changes you can make in 2024. Each one is designed to help you improve an area of your life — whether that’s sleep, nutrition, yoga, or purpose. Read on to learn more.
1. Get enough sleep
One of the best healthy lifestyle changes to start off with is to improve your sleep. Getting enough sleep helps you stay healthy, as it can help your concentration, reduce the likelihood of getting sick, and improve your mood.
The Sleep Foundation suggests we need 7-9 hours sleep a night as adults, and kids need even more. Of course, we’re all individuals and you might find you need more or less sleep. Experiment with this — set an alarm to try waking up earlier, or head to bed earlier at night to see if you feel better after a longer sleep.
2. Drink more water
After sleep, water is another thing we definitely benefit from getting enough of. Without enough water we can really feel the results, manifesting in dryness, headaches, and weakness.
Although most sources say you need eight glasses of water per day, the actual figure varies between people. Some research even suggests it could be closer to 11-16 cups of water per day — but you don’t need to consume all that directly, as some comes through food and other liquids. Try to get into the habit of drinking water regularly, before you feel thirsty, so that it becomes part of your daily routine.
3. Walk more often
It can be tempting to hop in the car whenever you want to head somewhere to shop, relax, or explore. Instead of reaching for your car keys, think about whether you can adapt your route and walk instead.
Walking is a great way to get fresh air, see more of the outdoors, and give yourself time to think on your journey. You’re moving your body, staying fit, and making it easier for your body to support you through other activities or more strenuous exercise in the future. Look for other ways you can swap travel — try commuting by walking, walking to the local store instead of a big box retailer, or adding an early morning walk around the block to your morning routine.
4. Create your own morning routine
A morning routine gives you a sense of direction and comfort right from the moment you wake up. You can personalize your routine so that it works perfectly for you — whether you need some time to exercise before work, or whether you’ve found that an early morning journaling session helps you stay focused. This morning routine can also be a great way to embrace other healthy habits — include a good breakfast, a glass of water, and some day planning to help you start the day right.
5. Set goals to motivate you
Without goals you can feel a little like you’re moving from one moment to the next, with no direction. Instead, set goals that feel achievable but yet challenge you as a healthy habit commitment this year.
Take some time out to think about your life — what you love the most, what you want to achieve, and how your ideal life would look. Consider what’s important to you, and look for steps in between that you can create goals for. You might decide you want to save up for a house deposit, start your own business, or move to a new city. Map out a series of goals to help you get there and you’ll have a fresh sense of enthusiasm, motivation, and purpose.
6. Take days off to rest
While having goals and being productive is valuable, so is rest. Don’t plan your days so heavily that you don’t get enough space and time to recharge.
Make sure you take days off to rest and create moments for rest throughout your day and week. This is often harder than it sounds, and it might mean starting your day earlier or booking in fewer social commitments to make it happen. Use your rest time to get more sleep, read a book, or simply head outdoors and be present in the world around you.
7. Embrace ‘no screen time’
So much of our lives are lived online or through digital screens, so it’s no surprise that they follow us everywhere. Bring some ‘no screen time’ into your daily life to give yourself some digital-free time to think, focus, or rest.
It’s tempting to scroll through social media after heading to bed, but there are some great reasons not to. The blue light can affect melatonin production, making it harder to get to sleep or wake in the morning. Our digital spaces and social media channels can often affect our mood or outlook on things too, so it’s useful to take a break to feel fully present in the moment. Plus, it’s great to give your eyes a rest too.
8. Practice yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation are proven to help relieve stress. With yoga, you don’t need to be a fitness buff to begin practicing poses. And with meditation, even if you’re fidgety, five minutes of mindful meditation a day is a great way to start!
Plus, if you’re looking to do something healthy with your kids, yoga may be just the ticket to help the whole family. You can start with a yoga class or you can grab some inexpensive yoga cards with poses that are easy to do!
Healthy lifestyle changes for a better year ahead
Making positive changes starts somewhere, and healthy lifestyle changes are no exception. Start with one, then add new habits in as you go, and soon you’ll have a fresh new approach to the way you live.