A lot of people begin the New Year by making resolutions. We’ve all been there. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more or spend more time with our family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions and what’s standing in the way of achieving the healthy, happy life that you want?
For starters, resolutions tend to be rigid. They leave no room for experimentation, for adaptation, for growth. Why not, instead, adopt a loose set of principles that you can realistically live within and adapt to your lifestyle?
The most important thing you can do to increase your overall well being is to recognize and respect your unique self. You are not only different than everyone else, you are different than the you that you were last year! It’s more important to listen to your body for clues about what works and what doesn’t than to try something that worked for your friend ….or even that worked for you in the past.
It’s a new year. It’s time for a new approach. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Pick something that resonates with you. Try it out. See how it makes you FEEL. Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.
- “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I love this quote by Michael Pollan. It enlightens us to where our emphasis needs to be, yet there is so much room for interpretation. You can adapt that principle into what works well for YOU!
- GET REAL: Working within your reality will bring better and longer lasting results than working with a plan that requires you live in a fairy tale. Rigid plans often work well as long as you stay on them. But life is fluid. Happiness requires you to be where YOU ARE and accept it. The particulars of YOUR life need to drive YOUR plan. Be honest about your limitations of time or money. Work within your situation, and be open to approaches that you haven’t tried before.
- STAY POSITIVE. Often you can’t change your situation, but you CAN change the lens through which you look at it. Can you reframe for your glass to be half full? Read more HERE
- GATHER DATA: Keep a food/mood journal for three days. Don’t change your habits during this time, just get it all down on paper. You’ll likely be able to self analyze the situation and make some immediate adjustments.
- THE 80/20 RULE: What you do MOST of the time matters more than what you do sometimes. Keep it clean, and keep it simple as often as you can. Get into a routine that works with your living/work situation and stick to it most of the time. When you do go out, ENJOY it, hold the guilt and get back to your regular routine right away.
- MOVE OFTEN. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to weight gain as well as many other health issues. At least once an hour get up and move. Any type of movement will increase the flow of blood, increase your metabolism, help you avoid stiffness and can boost your mood.
- Lower your body fat percentage by adding lean muscle mass. However much time you can give to weight training, be present when you are there and give it your all. Working out with INTENSITY is what will change your body most, not the duration or frequency of your workout.
- EAT for ENERGY. Food is fuel. If you fill up your high performance car with regular unleaded fuel, will it run? Sure! But, if you filed it with the premium fuel, your car will be able to perform at a much higher level, taking advantage of all of the bells and whistles. We get out what we put into our bodies in a very similar way. In order to function at the top of our game—physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually—we need to be sure the fuel we put in is the best! When you wake each morning, your tank is on empty. It is up to YOU, and only YOU to decide what type of fuel to put in.
May this be the start of your best year yet!
Yours in abundance,