3 New Year’s Resolution ideas to kick off a healthy year

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

It’s officially the new year, and with this often comes the creation of New Year’s resolutions that concern a healthier lifestyle. It can be difficult to decide on what exactly these should be or if they’re reachable goals–the entire process is overwhelming. 

Here is some advice on how to tackle some of these health-based resolutions.


A common resolution for many is to start a diet or lose weight. According to the Lindner Center of HOPE, however, most diets promoted as a way to lose weight only result in short-term weight loss that is not sustainable. This is referred to as the yo-yo effect, the quick loss and regaining of weight, and is harmful for mental and physical health.

It also explained that psychologically, dietary restraint makes you more reactive to food cues, cravings and binge eating. In many cases, those that constantly diet report feelings of guilt, self-blame and low self-esteem.

Nutritious eating can happen without implementing a popular diet, where the main goal is high weight loss. Eating nutritiously means your body is receiving the nutrients it craves while certain ingredients and nutrients are limited, not cut off completely.

Instead of voicing your nutrition-based resolutions as diets, try pinpointing specific ways that meals can be made healthier and how to get nutrients your body really needs.

Some resolution ideas that follow this guideline are the following: swapping having a soda at two meals to just one and drink water instead, try to have at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal or try out the healthy options at the dining locations on campus, for example, the Simple Selections section at Fresh.


Rather than set your resolution as something broad like “get fit” or “go to the gym more”, it could be helpful to further specify what you want out of this resolution.

Some ways of doing this could be for those that just want to exercise more for the health benefits with no real end goal in mind could be the following: creating a weekly schedule for times going to the gym is possible, starting morning or nightly at-home exercises or going to the gym with others to encourage exercising.

For those that are setting this resolution for more definitive goals or those that already go to the gym regularly, it can be even more specified. 

Learning about which parts of the body exercises target so you can create a more thorough workout, planning to consistently increase workout times until the desired amount or trying out new machine exercises or sports every week are all ways to encourage the completion of your resolution.

WKU offers many resources when it comes to physical health. Optimizing these resources could be a part of any resolution. The Preston Center facility itself has multiple sports courts, a full workout center, a natatorium and a running track. It is also where GroupX classes are offered, where specific workouts are done with a group and a trained leader. The Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Center is also housed here–if you’re wanting to find more unique ways to improve physical health, try out one of their spring semester trips.


The idea of New Year’s resolutions can negatively impact mental health in itself. According to Centerstone, because of our competitive culture, resolutions are seen as an all or nothing, extreme goal setting challenge. And when these goals soon feel impossible to reach afterwards, it can lead to self-doubt or perpetuate a cycle of old habits.

It suggests making sure the resolutions you make are healthy and don’t fall victim to the idea of setting extreme goals. Be reasonable and allow yourself flexibility with the resolutions you set. They are there to help you, never to harm you–so understand when to step away if a resolution isn’t going as planned.

Making resolutions about your mental health are also a huge part of keeping yourself healthy. These resolutions can be much more specific to the individual. It’s good to keep these broad, with things such as being more positive, creating a better work-life balance or trying therapy, but it’s even better if these are used as a jumping point to reflect on where you would like to see improvement in your mental health.

The main resource offered at WKU for mental health is the counseling center. A consultation appointment can be made with only one phone call, and during this appointment, students speak with a professional about identified difficulties and where they would like to go with therapy. 

Individual appointments aren’t the only resource offered, however. A collection of support groups meet throughout the semester that provide the chance for students to meet with others that seek to find a similar community.

Julie Mishchuk, a freshman clinical psychology major and neuroscience minor, explained her resolution and why she chose it.

“I really want to implement exercise to improve my mental health,” Mishchuk said. “And I want to start putting better food in my body so I look and feel better.”

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].