5 Health and Wellness Goals for a Healthier You in 2023

5 Health and Wellness Goals for a Healthier You in 2023

Official New Year’s resolutions are easy to bust, but these five tips can help set you up for a successful 2023
a woman setting health and wellness goals

New year, same you: After three years into the coronavirus pandemic, staying and feeling well is more important than ever. As you set fresh intentions for 2023, these five tips can help you close out 2022 with confidence and stay "healthy, wealthy and wise" in the new year.

Last-minute tasks for 2022

1. Spend any funds in your flexible savings account by Dec. 31

Great news: If your employer offers a flexible savings account (FSA), you may have some tax-free cash that you’ve forgotten about.

While FSA funds can only be used for health care-related expenses, the range of eligible products and expenses is quite broad, including certain massage guns, prescription sunglasses, handicap license plates and condoms.

But act fast: FSA funds are "use it or lose it," meaning that any money left in the account is forfeit at the end of the calendar year. While some employers had the option of allowing FSA funds to roll over in 2021, you won’t be able to do so this year unless your plan has a grace period built in. Reach out to your employer’s human resources (HR) department for information if you aren’t sure about your FSA plan restrictions.

Not sure how to spend your funds? Use your FSA-issued debit card to pay for medical bills, or stock up on bandages, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and more at any retailer, FSAStore.com or the Amazon FSA store.

2. Make sure you’re enrolled for 2023 health insurance coverage

Do you have health insurance next year? If you aren’t sure, now’s the time to double-check: Each year, health insurance open enrollment begins on Nov. 1 and ends on Jan. 15.

If your employer offers health insurance coverage, your company’s HR department can offer information on the plans available. If you need to purchase health coverage for yourself, you can shop through different options online at the federal Healthcare Marketplace.

Plan ahead for 2023

3. Schedule your annual checkups

Most people aren’t particularly thrilled about seeing the doctor, especially when everything seems fine. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes. And under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance plans must cover 100% of the cost for preventive care, such as an annual physical or a well-woman visit.

So pick up the phone and call your doctor’s office to schedule your annual checkup. Don’t have a primary care provider, or can’t get an appointment? Many states have regional clinics or community health centers that offer more availability and wider schedules, especially for new patients.

While you have your calendar out, don’t forget to schedule a dental cleaning or two: Most dental insurance plans include two semiannual dental cleanings for free.

4. Drink more water

At the risk of sounding like your mom, an extra few glasses of water each day can make a world of difference in your everyday health, especially in warm weather or under strenuous physical conditions. Research suggests that adequately hydrated women have a daily intake average of least 91 ounces of fluids, while men need an average of 125 ounces to reach the same hydration levels. Yet most Americans don’t consume anywhere near that much water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A 64-ounce water bottle, preferably with a measurement guide, can make it easier to reach your daily water intake goal. Just fill up the bottle once in the morning and once in the afternoon, carry it everywhere with you and finish it before you go to sleep. If you’re not a fan of plain water, jazz it up with some infused fruit, herbs, tea bags or carbonation.

5. Improve your sleep hygiene

Benjamin Franklin famously said, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." While we can’t guarantee all three of those outcomes, scientists have found that sleep hygiene is extremely important for physical and mental health.

You probably already know some of the easiest tips for better sleep: Consistent routine, putting phones away and on silent and avoiding screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. But you may also find it helpful to keep your bedroom colder at night: many doctors suggest maintaining a bedtime temperature of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for restful sleep.