Ask the Readers: What's Your Healthy New Year's Habit?

Photo: Sally M

**** Congrats to our winners!

Comment #9: Tracking  Submitted by RJ Weiss on December 8, 2009 - 16:55.  I have decided to actually track my workouts. I feel like I go to the gym enough, but I want data to back it up.


New Year's Resolutions will be a hot topic in the coming weeks, and some of the most common resolutions will involve your personal health. Whether you're looking to lose weight, kick the smoking habit, or scale back on the caffeine, many of us have — at one point or another — made a health care resolution.

It's even more relevant with talks of health care reform. Perhaps the number way to lower costs in any sector (public or private) is to start making personal changes that will have long-lasting, healthy benefits. So what about you? Do you have a health resolution lined up? Have you tried in the past and been unsuccessful? Do you share these resolutions with others to help maintain accountability, or is this something personal that you do for just yourself (and choose not to disclose them).

Let us know how your health habits will change in January. Will you save money as a result? Or do you even bother waiting until the New Year (you can start now!) We'd love to hear what our readers have planned for healthy habits in 2010, and if you can tie it into big savings — all the better! Share your thoughts here in our comment thread or on Twitter, and you'll be entered to win one of two $10 Amazon giveaways. It's just enough to snag a subscription to a healthy living magazine or a new set of legwarmers for your winter workouts. Dozens of readers have already won. You could be next!

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

We're doing two giveaways — one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Thursday, December 10th at 11:59 am CST. Winners will be announced after December 10th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

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Guest's picture

2009 was a year without gravy for me. Happier and healthier. (actually a little sadder, but healthier.)

Guest's picture

My healthy new years habit? Whiskey - neat.

'nuf said.

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Healthy habit - excercise more. Unfortunately it is unlikely I will save money, more likely it will cost me.

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jamie g

I'm a diet soda addict, and I'm cutting back! If I cut out just one can a day, that's well over $100 over the year. I've started cuttingback and weening off the caffeine. Wish me luck and Happy New Year!

Guest's picture

I've decided on two things. I have gotten out of the habit of packing my breakfast and lunch to take to work. I'm going to start doing that again and I have already begun to pack breakfast each day this week. Packing both meals will save about $10/day.

I've also come to rely too much on takeout for dinner. I've already cut way back on that in December.

In an effort to eat healthier I've decided to focus on adding fruits and vegetables to each meal. For dinner, I plan to fill half my plate with veggies. For lunch, I'll substitute edamame or sliced bell peppers for chips I'll add a piece of fruit to breakfast.

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I have to start eating smaller portions, and quit eating in restaurants as much, save both calories and money.

John DeFlumeri Jr

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In the next few weeks we will be starting a new diet, not for weight loss (though that would be great!) but for health. Lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, that kind of thing.

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My boyfriend and I are going to be working out at least 4x a week. I told him that if we keep that up until April, starting now, I'll agree to the purchase of a PS3 (or new computer, whichever seems best at the time). We just have to get back in the habit...

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I have decided to actually track my workouts. I feel like I go to the gym enough, but I want data to back it up.

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The first one I started last month and hope to continue through 2010 - take a picture every day. I got a new camera and I want to practice using it, but I also want to improve my photography skills in general, so I set a goal to take at least one picture every single day.

The other goal with hopefully save me money as well as improve my health - I plan to not eat any meat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I'm not against eating meat, but I do want to eat healthier and I figure that adding in more tofu and beans while at the same time cutting out some meat (especially red meat) will improve my health, as well as save me money in the long run.

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I'm planning on getting out and walking most work days during lunch to get exercise and clear my head. This year I only made about 1/2 of them. Next year.. 3/4 maybe ;)

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Have more focused workouts at the gym in 2010!

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Lauren A.

if i'm hungry before going to bed my new habit will be to replace sugary snacks and desserts with snacks based on protein and complex carbs.

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Run a 10K in under 60 mins, stay married (good for your health), Lose an add'l 10 lbs.

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Dawn F.

New Year's is a time for me to stop, breathe and really take a look at what I'm doing with myself in my life.

Generally, that amounts to figuring out if I've stuck to exercise routines, if I've been eating well, if I've been taking care of my emotional self.

This year, after taking stock, I know that I've been reading too much and not exercising enough, so I've decided to invest in an exercise DVD and really go to town. I'm not a big outdoorsy person on days like today (it's a high of 8 degrees in Denver), so I know my activity has to happen inside.

Second, I've decided that I need to eat more veggies and drink more water. Simple stuff, I know, but I let it fall by the wayside too much this year.

And last, I'm going to take care of my emotional needs better by going out and finding a guy that I can fall hard for. Worst case scenario, my libido will get a long overdue workout, best case, I meet the guy of my dreams. I'm determined this year!!

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I'm going to be cutting back on the soda, and up-ing the veggie intake; I'm going to have one salad meal a week. I may increase it from there, but one I figure I can stick with..

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I drink too much Coke, and not enough water. If I drink more water I will save save at least $6/week!

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Ever since I can remember I've been stuffing cookies down my throat and then washing them down with 3.25% milk every night.

Well this year I made the move to 1% milk, my New Year's Resolution is to stop the cookies completely. Will I do it? You bet your wise bread I will.

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I'm going to try and break my persistent soda addiction. I also need to get back into my running routine, but that will have to start pre-new year to get ready for the new years 5k!

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Since I just went gluten free and feel better I am going to stick with that but also reduce my portion sizes.

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I started in 2009 to focus on what is important in my life and to simplify. I had too many things, most of which never got used. I am a financial counselor and author of a guide that provides basic financial money management information and tips to women. My goal personally is to keep simplifying and to really think before I spend. My goal professionally is to help as many women as i can become financially aware and empowered.

Guest's picture

One of my New Year's resolutions is to cut back on soda (oh, how I love Coca-Cola though I know it's empty calories, too much sugar, destroying my tooth enamel, etc., etc.) and junk food (I am a total baked goods and chocolate addict!). These things will not only make me drop a few pounds and be healthier, but it will also save me a bunch of money (as will good health in the long run).

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I'm changing the carbs that I'm eating to include more whole grains and complex carbohydrates.

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I agree with the above poster that packing lunches is a great way to save money. I try to limit myself to eating out once a week but I am going to try and make it once a month in 2010.
Every little amount of money saved helps.

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My goal for next year is to improve my sleep schedule (find my rhythm, and stick to it), and to make time to de-rez. Time away from TV, phones, computers, etc. Book time. Writing time. Reflecting time. The rest seems to fall out of the relaxed self, for me at least.

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I've definitely got to cut back on the soda consumption. I'm a Diet Coke addict, and I know my pocketbook and my body will both thank me if I can get it out of my life!

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My healthy New Year's habit for 2010 is to cut out juices/wasted calories. I'll still drink tons of water and indulge in coffee, but I should get rid of other empty calorie drinks.

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drink more water and exercise more

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We bought a house this year, and I'm looking forward to starting a garden as soon as the weather permits. It will make it more appetizing and convenient to eat more veggies - definitely a health plus - and it will save me money over grocery store prices!

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My healthy habit is to get more sleep and to sleep earlier. That will help me to get up early, be more productive, give me time to exercise and start the day not in the frenzy. Which will be one more push to growing in patience with my family. Oh and it'll curb my late night snacking which happens when you're up for another 5 hours after dinner, and consequently help me keep some weight off. Who knew so many things could be affected by a late bedtime and loss of sleep.

Guest's picture

I already exercise at moderate-intense levels 5-6 days/week. I also eat right, because if not, why bother exercising? I think they go hand in hand. I *could* very well cut out my planned unhealthful eating, but I like to eat and want to have something not nutritious every once in a while. I think I may cut down on alcohol from once or twice a month to zero or once a month, only because sometimes it doesn't agree with my stomach.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2010!

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Lucky Mrs H

We are are going to do the Biggest Loser DVD's and get fit and fabulous!

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We're moving closer to a traditional foods diet, which takes a ton of little steps. We've made a lot of strides this year, but have much farther to go this coming year.

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I'm giving up sugar-- completely!

I eat way too much of it and diabetes is a problem in my family. I'm not going to substitute with fake sugars or substitutes-- I'm going to actually let it all go, and work on finding real foods to fill the space of those empty calories.

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To take it easy on myself as I finish up my dissertation; and to remember that taking breaks can be just as important as writing pages.

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I'm going to go back to cooking ahead for the week so I can avoid fast food or expensive food decisions just because I'm hungry.

I'm also going to start a regular walking schedule-which includes a 20 min. walk during lunch every day.

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Finish reading the Bible and try to model my life, finances and relationships more closely to it's teachings.

Get more active in standing up for what I believe in politically.

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Wash my fruits and vegetables

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Floss every day and max out my Roth IRA contributions.

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I don't have any new years resolutions. I actually don't believe in them. I haven't found the new year all that motivating by itself. I mean, it's just a calendar date. Why should it matter?

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Just going to keep doing what I'm already doing... logging my food, exercising, and taking care of myself.

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Now that my knees are back in reasonable working order, I'm planning to talk to the trainers at the gym about setting up a strength training workout that's more about functional strength and less about knee rehab.

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Mary Ann

I plan on trying a yoga class. Would start now, but just recently had foot surgery.

Guest's picture

My life is full of healthy habits, but one thing I lack (like most people) is proper sleep. One of my goals is to get 8 hours of sleep at least 5 nights per week. I love this goal because it doesn't involve sacrificing anything - it's actually kind of indulgent. Plus, it satisfies the three criteria of an effective goal - specific, measurable, and attainable.

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I'll be adding an additional day of exercise to my week to jumpstart my fitness goals for 2009. Sigh. But I guess I won't be sighing when I reach my goal (30 lbs here I come!).

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I have several resolutions that are alredy under way. One is to lose 15 pounds and the other is to quit smoking.

However, I don't like to put the tag on them of "New Years" resolutions. To me, it allows you to put off starting them and there's the added pressure of maintaining it.

If you have something you want to accomplish to improve your health--start now!

Why wait till Jan. 1?

Also, with the New Years tag on it, if you fail, I think there is a built-in notion that you can't go back to it till next year, or your mind has the notion that if you give up, you can't re-start it.

Health improvements and changes in lifestyle are difficult enough as it is, why put the added pressure of doing it on Jan. 1?

Good luck to all who start them though!

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It sounds silly (and gross) but I have been getting lazy about flossing every day, so my goal is to get back into that habit. On another note, I am also going to work to control my temper and try not to take work stress out on family.

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Also giving up sugar (except maybe very small amounts of chocolate :)

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I've already been cutting down on pop, so I will continue with that. I exercise sporadically right now, so I'm determined to exercise at least 3 times a week, hopefully more for the new year.

I've also been slowly switching to healthier foods or healthier versions of our current food. I will continue to do that. Unfortunately a lot of times, that seems to cost more not less.

I'm not really going to call anything a resolution because that usually equals failure. I am hoping though to find some online groups that have similar goals to help give me encouragement over the year!

Guest's picture

Mine is to exercise more - my doctor said that having a consistent exercise program is the best way to judge if your heart is having problems and heart disease is a killer. I've been incredibly lazy with no excuses for not getting up on the treadmill.
I'd like to lose 10 pounds too but keeping to a consistent exercise schedule is more important. Also need to lift weights for bone density and strength.
I already eat vegetarian, rarely drink soda, rarely eat out and love to cook. I should probably cut down on the wine intake though so I will work on that too.

Guest's picture

Since we moved to a small town in an attempt to "simplify" our lives, My wife and I have resolved to use our cars as little as possible. She rides her bike to work and we ride to the local grocery store for small items. We are saving gas, and getting exercise at the same time! Our "sacrifice" in moving to a small town has really turned out to be a blessing. :)

Guest's picture

i need to run more often. i have everything else in check, but i cant seem to go run after work (since it is dark) and before work (it is also dark).

I was going to break down and buy a used treadmill, but i want to force myself to get out during the dark season first and see how that goes. maybe start tomorrow???

Guest's picture

My New Year's Resolution is the same every year: Be Happy.

A healthy and happy mindset can go a long way in a lot of aspects of your life, finance included. A happy person is satisfied with what they have, and need less material things to cheer them up. They are also more productive and able to get more done.

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I plan to get on a regimen and treat myself better.

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I plan to keep using the rowing machine that I bought for $300 on Craigslist.

It sounds like a lot, but I waited to buy it until I found the exact machine that I wanted and didn't compromise on the brand or model. I got the same kind that my dad has - and he's rowed almost 2,000,000 meters (1,242 miles) on it with absolutely no maintenance whatsoever. I have barely a tenth of that logged, but I'm looking forward to several more trouble-free years of rowing.

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Marla Y

I drink too much Diet Pepsi. Other than my usual resolution to lose weight, I plan to try to cut down on my diet pepsi consumption and focus on drinking more water. Thank you for the giveaway.

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Get the bikes fixed so DH and I can start riding to work. Its only 2 miles for me, about 4 for him.


Guest's picture

As I stare the big 50 in the eyes in March, I have realized the the past 20 years have been focused on taking care of everyone but me. I need to find a little piece of who I was before all the obligations came along. So, I will be taking one day or night (sometimes a whole 24 hours!) that will be my time to do some of the things I used to enjoy doing that I have not had time for. Some may see this as selfish, but I see it as reviving that extra sparkle I had! And I know by my feeling better about myself, my husband and family will reap the rewards! This year I lost those stubborn 20 pounds I have been fighting for a couple of years now, so keeping that off is a gimme also. My fifties may just be my best decade yet!!!!

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I have been working out 5 days a week since June. So far I have lost 25 pounds. In the new year, I want to continue to work out and get in shape for my first half marathon. Having weightloss as a goal in addition to a race keeps me motivated. I don't know if I will save money. I have had to get rid of most of my clothes and buy new ones and I pay $40/month for a gym membership. But I think it is worth it to be happy and healthy!

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Stretch, Sex, Sleep and Smile :)

All great things for physical AND mental health!

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Drink more water, and eat more raw foods....

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My healthy habit for 2010 is to maintain the habits I have developed in 2009. I have mostly gotten on track with exercise and healthy eating. One thing I would like to add is more healthy cooking and some batch cooking so we always have yummy stuff ready to eat.

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Debt Free in 2010!!!

This is not such a goal as it is a lifestyle choice.

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My New Year's resolution is to sleep more. Sleep is one of the things that people (myself included) constantly short themselves on. Getting enough sleep has been proven to help manage your weight, elevate your mood, and make you more more mentally agile.

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I really need to cut back on how much soda I drink. I don't think I'm ready to give it up completely, but I can definitely work on decreasing the amount that I drink and replacing it with water.

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Bijan's Mom

We've kicked this around for so many years, and since we work at home, have de-cluttered our house, and the market has picked back up....Aloha!
Tired of waiting for dreams to come true. Life is short! Embrace, enjoy, love more! Happy New Year!