2020 has been a challenging year for us all. Whether you were able to get your health goals for 2020 back on track following a covid-19 lockdown or the whole year was a write-off, it’s time to leave that behind While we may still face some disruption to our lives next year, the continuing development and rollout of covid-19 vaccines means we should all be able to do more of what we love.

Let’s be positive and look forward to 2021! Here are all the health goals you should set for the new year.

Follow stress management

In our world today, we are living in a marathon. We are running and stressed. We are all working and have a lot of responsibilities and endless tasks. But in this busy life, we must take a minimum of a 20-minute break for ourselves – every day.

What to do during those 20 minutes of me time? The most important thing is to disconnect, put the phone away and just be with yourself.

What helps you decompress? Do more of whatever helps you relax and do it more often. Stretch. Do yoga. Try meditation as a way to relax anywhere and anytime. But don’t stress yourself out trying to maintain a rigid daily mediation practice – just give yourself the gift of a couple of moments every day to be present, to breathe, and to look up at the sky.

Take time out for some physical activity

Another key to success is physical exercise, but this doesn’t mean you need to spend an hour at the gym every day. Just seven minutes of exercise can make a difference. Commit to daily home exercises for just seven minutes to charge the body, boost your circulation and heart rate and improve your health and fitness levels.

Examples of seven-minute exercises include push-ups, stretches, squats, jump rope or jumping jacks. Even if you're reading a long email or you're listening to something, you can do the seven minutes and it will pass so fast.

Besides the seven minutes, make a point to enjoy some kind of physical activity a few times a week. This could be taking a walk with a friend or colleague or playing with your children. Use this time to practice gratitude for what your body can do.

Eat nutritional foods

It’s no mystery that good nutrition means better health, better sleep, and more energy. So just do it. Eat more fruits and vegetables, stay away from processed foods, gluten and sugar, and commit to a minimum of one to two meatless days a week – no chicken or red meat. You’ll appreciate the difference it makes.

Unplug yourself

Downtime is critical for recharging your batteries, re-energising your body and mind and it inspires creativity. Commit to time with your family and friends to laugh and enjoy the life you work so hard for. Put away the phone, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy being in the moment.

Another tip: Commit to doing something that brings you joy every day, even for just a couple of minutes. Take up a hobby or learn something new – both are enriching and will make a positive impact on your sense of happiness and well-being. You will be 10 times more successful if you are happy.

Age gracefully by age management

Nothing will stop you from aging, but you can manage the process to look your very best at any age. Looking and feeling your best gives you a boost of confidence – and that is a competitive edge. So take great care of your skin: It’s the body’s biggest organ. Make it a priority.

Another basic tool: sleep. Sleep will help with age management.

Stress has a noticeable negative effect on the face and body. Learning to decompress and committing to doing whatever that is on a regular basis will positively contribute to your age management.

Get regular medical done

Getting regular check-ups and tests may seem obvious and basic but it’s also the most critical, and too often, the most postponed or neglected thing we can do to stay on top of our game. Without this fundamental component to keep your health in check, nothing else we do works as effectively.

This is an essential building block because it’s with regular check-ups and medical tests that people determine the body's needs and identify imbalances. When needs, irregularities or deficiencies in the body are found, we can deploy other foundations such as diet, exercise and stress management to help bring the body back into a state of balance – and maintaining harmony and balance in the body and mind is the key to optimising health and well-being.

Make taking care of yourself a priority. Health affects general mood, anxiety levels and vitality. And staying on top of your health is critical to having peace of mind, enjoying your life and achieving your goals.