It’s the time of year when we make resolutions and vow to make major changes in the upcoming year. The problem is that three weeks into the new year we’ve already admitted we won’t succeed. Sometimes it’s because we make unrealistic goals: Lose 25 pounds by Valentine’s Day. Walk 8 miles a day. Other times it’s too many changes and we slip up on a few.

So how about a less structured resolution list this year? A list that doesn’t say to STOP doing anything at all? A list based upon on simple word? That word is “more.” Positive always outweighs negative and telling yourself to stop doing things somehow sounds negative, but adding “more”sounds quite desirable, doesn’t it?

The first thing to do, for any goal, is to write it down and keep it where you can see it. Knowing that committing to a conscious effort  is a big step toward change and having unrealistic goals will be more challenging to reach. Therefore, I’m simply making a list of what I am going to do MORE of in 2014. It goes without saying that if you do MORE of these, you’ll do LESS of the opposite.

Make Time for 5 Simple Resolutions

Walk More Daily

Walking is a wonderful activity with so many health benefits from fighting diabetes, to revving metabolism to even boosting your sex drive. And it’s easy to do – you won’t need a gym membership. There are a few simple ways to walk more.

  • Wear a pedometer so you are aware of how many steps you take. Health experts recommend 10,000 steps a day but you don’t need to set that as a goal. Instead, see what your normal activity is and try to do more!
  • Meet a friend after work and walk at the park twice a week. Having a friend makes for less excuses to sit home.
  • Park farther from the stores each time you shop.
  • Take the dog around the block instead of letting her run in the yard.

And if you’re already walking, consider adding more by training for your first 5k!

Add More Color (and Variety) to Your Diet

Nutrition experts tell us to eat a varied diet but many of us purchase the same foods each time we shop. A simple way to change that is to add more new items to your cart each time you shop. Make sure many of those are fruits and vegetables – all in wonderful colors. Buy something of each hue; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Consider trying some new cuisines to spice up your diet: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Greek,etc. Also I find that shopping at a new grocery store or health food store opens up a world of new flavors and foods.

Vow to Do More Things That Make You Laugh

This is something I am working on and loving. I turn on Youtube for funny movies, animal bloopers, comedic routines, and funny books. Laughter time with your family and friends is so therapeutic, so vow to laugh more and seek out things that make you laugh. Mayo Clinic says “laughter is  powerful stress release medicine.” A good powerful laugh can relax muscles and keep you relaxed for 45 minutes afterwards. Laughing releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, decreases stress hormones and even boosts the immune system.

Be More Loving

It’s very easy to get caught up in the hectic life of cooking, shopping, cleaning and working. It’s too easy to fall into routine pecks on the cheek to our kids and spouses. We live in a tech-society, where we connect more by text than by hug or handshake. Taking time daily to connect with the ones you love in a close and intimate way is vital to relationships. Unplug and spend time hugging your children and cuddling with them. You won’t regret it. Spend quality time with your spouse, connecting on an emotional or physical level. Offering love in unconditional form feels amazing for both the recipient and the giver. Spend more time loving and less time judging or criticizing, even to your friends and neighbors. Send someone a “thinking of you” card or help the neighbor with their lawn. These all show more love, which will benefit you as well as the recipient.

Stretch More

Studies show maintaining flexibility is an important part of healthy aging. Staying flexible helps with range of motion and healthy circulation, maintains proper posture and reduces muscle tension. A simple every other day stretching routine or yoga routine is all you need. When your body is looser and more limber, you just naturally feel more relaxed and move about your day in an easier, more graceful manner. And who wouldn’t like that?

What are you doing to add more to your life?