New Year, New You!
Make 2020 Your Healthiest Year!
Every year, millions of people start off the new year with a resolution to lose weight and get healthier only to throw in the towel well before they reach their goal. Often, it’s because people are trying to make too many changes all at once.
Putting yourself on a new, strict eating schedule, buying all new foods, going from never exercising to six planned workouts per week, and avoiding all your favourite foods. It’s no wonder most of these resolutions are doomed to fail; this dramatic 180-degree turn is completely unsustainable.
A much better approach to adopting healthy habits is to view it as a skill-building exercise; it’s best to start slow and tackle one new challenge at a time. Concentrate on learning the skills that are going to help you get there. As you master one goal, move on to the next. By gradually making changes, you’ll create a healthier lifestyle that meshes with your everyday routine. What’s more, the process won’t be nearly as overwhelming and stressful.
10 Tricks to a Healthier You
Be Realistic – Instead of shooting for something unrealistic (“I will make it to the gym 7 days a week all year”) or unhealthy (“I will lose 20kg by Valentine’s Day”), aim for one or two goals that are sensible and attainable. By giving yourself enough time and resources to accomplish your resolution, you’ll set yourself up to be successful.
Write It Down – When you put pen to paper and write down your resolutions, you
automatically turn your thoughts into something tangible. Post your goals in a place you’ll be forced to look at them regularly, and as you re-read them again and again, the words will form a stronger impression in your mind. Studies show that keeping a written record of your progress can also help you succeed.
Measure Up – If you don’t set a goal that’s measurable in some way, how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Include some smaller mini-goals to function as progress checkpoints along the way to the main goal. That way, if your long-term resolution seems overwhelming, you can break it down into more short-term, measurable daily or weekly goals.
Make It Visual – In addition to writing, you can use other visual reminders to help keep your goals fresh in your mind. By keeping these visuals hanging around your home, on the fridge or at your desk at work, you will have constant reminders to stay motivated and stick to your plan.
Make the Investment – If you’re serious about getting healthy, this is a great time of year to invest in some quality gear to help you succeed. Treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers with a sturdy sole, a few comfortable and stylish pieces of workout attire, or a set of dumbbells (or all three!)
Get Inspired – Sign up for a daily inspirational newsletter to help you stay focused on meeting your goals. Read the success stories of others who have accomplished their goals. Anything that gives you a boost of confidence and helps encourage you to make positive changes will do the trick.
Make Room in Your Routine – If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out in years, it’s important to find a workout time that works for you — and stick to it.
Get Others Involved – Having friends and family on board is such a huge motivator. Research has shown that people who have support are the most successful at diet and exercise programs. Plus, when you make a commitment to improve your lifestyle along with someone else — a close friend, your significant other, a child — you’re more likely to stick with it.
Focus on ONE step at a time – Sooner or later you’re bound to get distracted, feel worn out, or hit a plateau with your progress. Instead of getting overwhelmed by what’s still ahead, keep it simple. Take a moment to ask yourself, what’s one thing I can do or change right now to help myself succeed? Then go ahead and make that one small change. By focusing on the next step in front of you you’ll stay in control of the situation and help yourself get back on course.
Reward Yourself – Sometimes staying motivated requires a little incentive. How about a day of pampering? Get a fabulous new haircut, a mani-pedi, a facial, or a massage. Or reward your hard work each month by picking up a new fitness accessory (a medicine ball, say, or a pedometer) or a kitchen tool to help you prepare all those good-for-you meals. Giving yourself little rewards allows you to celebrate your progress and motivated you to keep working towards that resolution!