“My formula is easier to follow,” Garten suggests of her goals for the new year.
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Ina Garten and Reese Witherspoon on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Polk / Noam Galai

The dawn of a new year always means it's resolution season: the time of year when people bet on themselves—or bet on a new diet or exercise regimen. While we're all about setting healthy goals, it's important to make them realistic and achievable

If you're looking for examples, check out Reese Witherspoon's goals for her own healthy habits. Witherspoon shared on Instagram yesterday that after reading Atomic Habits (buy it: $12 for paperback, Amazon), she decided to "work towards" some simple goals to get a little healthier. Her goals include starting the day with a glass of water, getting outside in the morning, reading without distractions each day and going to bed at 10 p.m. at night. 

These measurable, attainable goals are great ways to get a little healthier in the new year—getting a good night's sleep can support the health of your heart, weight and skin and drinking more water is good for just about every part of your wellbeing. Plus, Reese says she's just "working towards" these goals, which hopefully means that she's not holding herself to an impossible standard. Taking small steps towards better health is usually more sustainable than making extreme promises that you may not have the energy to keep.

"The new year can feel like a natural time to reflect and set new goals, but it's important to be realistic about why you are setting your resolutions and how exactly you plan to achieve them," says Jessica Ball, M.S. RD, associate nutrition editor at EatingWell. "Break up your goals into small, actionable steps and make sure each step is time-bound. This will help you be more accountable and set you up for success." Ball also loves that none of Reese's goals are related to weight loss. (Check out some of her other favorite non-weight loss-related resolutions for inspiration.) 

While Reese's goals seem manageable, some of us might find Ina Garten's comment on Witherspoon's post to be a little bit more relatable. "To quote @reesewitherspoon—that sounds great but I'm probably not doing any of those things! LOL!! My formula is easier to follow: 1. Drink more large cosmos; 2. Stay up late watching addictive streaming series; 3. Stay in bed in the morning playing Sudoku instead of reading a good book; 4. Spend more time (safely) with people you love. In a pandemic, I do what I can!"

We could all stand to be generous with ourselves in the new year, no matter what kind of goals we have for our health. Plus, Garten's resolutions have some health benefits of their own. Number puzzles, like sudoku, can contribute to healthy cognitive health, and if the occasional cocktail brings you joy, you can make it part of a healthy lifestyle. (Though we probably wouldn't recommend regularly drinking one of Ina's signature giant cosmos.)

The best part of both Garten's and Witherspoon's goals is that they fit their lifestyle and their desires for the new year. Some of the healthiest resolutions should aim to leave you feeling like you've found a solution that works for you. Ball recommends resolutions like finding a type of exercise you truly enjoy or finding a new way to de-stress. It doesn't really matter what the details are as long as it works for you!