New Year’s resolutions: 13 for ’13

As the holidays draw near, expect the usual onslaught of well-intentioned suggestions for lifestyle changes guaranteed to make you healthier, wealthier and wiser in the new year. Talk is cheap, but these 13 New Year’s resolutions for 2013 are backed up by decades of research. If your resolve needs strengthening, click through the embedded web links to learn more about the research behind the resolutions, including tips on using your smart phone to quit smoking and the best way to pay down your holiday debt.

Dr. Hipp’s simple tip for reducing holiday stress and tackling resolutions — spend time in a park

The holiday season, while fun, can be draining. When you add the pressure of New Year’s resolutions, stress levels can rise. Environmental health expert J. Aaron Hipp, Ph.D., says that simply getting out of the house and going to a local park has the potential to lower stress and increase focus.”Parks allow us to physically and psychologically get away from stressful environments,” says Hipp, assistant professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. “Spending time in a park is a restorative activity that can recharge your batteries. A resolution to take advantage of local parks can contribute to a healthy, green year. Plus, a walk in the park can help you relax and refocus on New Year’s resolutions that may already have been broken.”