If you read my previous post, Will Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail?, you now know why you want to be healthy. The question is how can you make sure your goals are SMART? SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Here are a few starter goals for the New Year ahead. I will focus on health eating and exercise since those are part of the top 10 most common resolutions. Just know the possibilities are endless, but pick your top 1-3 goals to start out so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Start with small changes. Doing a complete 360 from your normal eating habits will probably leave you feeling deprived and could lead you to reaching for the bag of chips and cookies in less than a week. Ask me how I know?
Instead, try to make 1-2 changes that will add up to positive results over time. For instance, if you don’t eat breakfast then start by adding this key meal into your daily routine. You can eat a small piece or fruit or for more impact make a smoothie where you can get fruits and veggies that will give you maximum nutrients leaving you with energy to tackle your day.
Everyone is talking about going gluten free. Maybe you are curious about it, but are worried you might be too difficult. To dip your toe in the gluten-free pond, you may want to remove bread from your diet. Instead, try a salad with protein, soup or get your favorite sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead of bread. I personally believe that everyone should remove gluten from their diet, but I realize it’s definitely a big commitment.
Another goal for the year, might be to write out your meals at the start of the week so you eat out less. I highly recommend it, but it does take some planning.
TIP: Do NOT go to the grocery store hungry. I promise you because I have done this way too many times you will end up buying food that you don’t want or need in your kitchen. Make a list before hand and stick to it. Your waist and your wallet will thank you so make sure you do not “shop with the munchies”!
Every little bit helps so start with a small goal, get used to the change and once you have conquered it then add your next goal to the list. Make sure to celebrate your success too! I am not saying celebrate with food, but maybe reward yourself by treating yourself to a massage, pedicure, or that outfit that’s been calling your name.
Exercise: Move it or lose it
I am a firm believer in if you do not move it you will most definitely lose it. Meaning if you have a sedentary lifestyle (aka you sit all the time) and do not engage in any physical activity you will most certainly have issues when it comes to how your body moves. You might have difficulty walking or might end up suffering from chronic pain issues. It’s important to do some activity if you can.
My recommendation is to schedule your workouts like you would any other appointment based on what best works for you. Basically you want to establish a routine like going to the gym right before or right after work or even during your lunch break.
For my entire career, I have had a desk job and it has been a huge factor in my health over the years. I would rarely leave my desk (not even for lunch) and would end up working 10-12 hours a day. Exhausted from the day, I would then go home to rest and then start over the next day. Through trial and error I found out the best time for me to work out is in the morning before work. If I did not do it in the morning, then I would typically be too tired to do it later in the evening.
TIP: If you are at work try to walk around the building 2 or 3 times during your lunch break or do calf raises, lunges or squats at your desk. Your colleagues may look at you funny at first, but keep your bigger “why” in mind and do it anyway. Who knows – you may just start a new office trend. Get others involved, throw on some music and make it fun. The goal is to get your body moving!
A quick note about detox
Around this time of year you will see words like cleanse and detoxification (detox). There are SO many gimmicks out there that promise fast results, but the methods are extreme and more often than not temporary. You don’t want to be stuck taking a pill that leaves you running for the bathroom. You want long-term results and to do that it’s important that you add into your routine ways to detox your body every day. Here are a few healthy ideas that will help you detox your system naturally.
- Drink a cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice when you wake up in the morning
- Cut out processed and fast foods
- One of my favorites is a SoCal Cleanse tea that works gently with your system. It has a delicious light flavor and is one of my daily go-to’s.
- Exercise and sweat is another great way to get the toxins out of your body
- Drink H2O! If you want to flush out the toxins you need to drink plenty of water. If you are not sure how much water to drink a good rule of thumb is to take your weight divide by 2. That’s approximately how many ounces of water you should drink per day. Want to learn more about what type of water you should consume, check out this article: Water is a key component to your health
Is your head spinning yet? I have barely scratched the surface of possibilities, but I promise I will have more tips for meal planning, snacks, stress management and more. In the mean time, will you share with me your most successful resolutions? Share your comments below or tweet @alisonbrehme.
Image credit: Natasia Causse via Flickr