At this time of year, more and more people are thinking about their health than at any other time of the year.

With New Year’s resolutions in mind, better health becomes a priority. Unfortunately, most people don’t stick to it and soon fall off the track to better health. But even with a few lifestyle changes, you can make a lasting difference to your health in just a month.

Better health is possible if you’re committed to turning your knowledge into action. This short list isn’t everything you need to do for better health, but it’s a giant step in the right direction and you will notice you feel healthier in just a month if you take care to follow each step.

Be More Positive

Research has shown time and time again that a healthy, positive attitude helps overall health in so many different ways. Our thoughts and attitude can go a long way to helping build a strong immune system, reduce the chance of depression, improve resistance to stress and even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It’s also believed by many experts that those who have a more positive attitude tend to have a healthier lifestyle and exercise more regularly, eat a healthier diet, avoid smoking and excessive drinking and sleep better.

If you tend to have a negative outlook, practice positive self talk and avoid self-criticism while being more accepting to yourself and others. As your state of mind becomes more optimistic, you’ll notice your health gradually improve according to studies.

Get Your Diet Right

There’s no question eating a healthier diet is going to keep you in better health both mentally and physically. And the good news is eating right doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself, but it means you get a proper balance of lean proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Experts recommend getting between 45 and 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates, 10 and 35 percent from protein and between 20 and 35 percent from fats.

Eating healthier is going to improve your health in so many ways from your cardiovascular health to your energy levels, bone and teeth health and your weight management.

Aim to eat a variety of foods and avoid eating too many carbohydrates, a problem for so many people.

Exercise Regularly

Like a healthy diet, regular exercise goes hand in hand with being in better health.

If you feel like you need to be healthier, you can’t ignore this aspect of your life. Regardless of your age, sex or even physical ability, you can get serious benefits from exercising regularly.

Exercise is a proven way to help you control your weight, combat disease, improve your mood, boost your energy levels, promote better sleep, improve your sex life and build relationships.

Build Relationships

Social connections offer a way to improve our health a lot of people don’t realize. Individuals with more satisfying relationships tend to be happier, have fewer health problems and live longer. On the other hand, having fewer social connections is linked to depression, cognitive decline and even premature death.

How do social connections and relationships help improve your health? Better relationships help relieve harmful levels of stress which can cause all kinds of health problems from damaged arteries to poor digestive health to a depleted immune system.

And when it comes to improving your health as a result of your relationships, both quality and quantity make a difference. A study showed women in more satisfying marriages had a lower risk of cardiovascular health than women in less satisfying marriages. Other studies indicate negative interactions with family or friends can lead to poor health.

Take the time to foster your relationships and develop new relationships. Participate in activities that bring family and friends together whenever possible and you’ll be able to notice your health improving.

Get a Healthy amount of Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep is absolutely vital to keeping your heart as healthy as possible, your weight where it should be and your mind as sharp and healthy as possible.

While sleep is far less discussed than diet and physical activity, it should never be ignored if you’re looking to improve your health.

Sleep is an important part of learning, reduces inflammation, increases creativity, sharpens your attention, helps you manage your weight, reduces stress, improves your mood

A lack of sleep can negatively impact your mind, body and overall health in many ways. Chronic lack of sleep is linked to colds and flu, diabetes, heart disease, poor mental health and even obesity.

As you consider your health during this time of year, be aware of the steps you can take to improve your health for the long term. Once you make these changes to your lifestyle, it’s easier to make them habits and then to stick to them throughout the year.