Going into the new year is a perfect time to set new goals for yourself, hit the reset button on unhealthy habits, and create a game plan for how to be the best version of yourself moving forward. Although it’s common to allow negative thoughts about letting yourself down or not being able to stick to your goals creep in, we still think it’s a great time to try to make small improvements to your health, body, mind, and relationships!
As you work your way further into January, this list should assist you in following through on your health goals for 2019, whether that’s losing weight, changing your diet, working out more, or just making healthier choices on a daily basis. Here are our top tips on how to keep your New Year's resolutions:
- Set Attainable Goals
Failure, giving up, or falling back to your old ways is almost a given when you choose goals that are impossible, unhealthy, or “cold turkey” style. Crash diets, plans to increase from working out never to working out 2 hours per day, or going from being a hardcore carnivore to going vegan almost never end up working out. Start with goals that are realistic for your lifestyle and budget. Keep it simple and concrete and write down to make it “real.” For example, write down your goal to eat 1,500 calories per day and eliminate refined sugars and complex carbs, while getting in at least 10,000 steps per day. This allows you to focus on a few “eliminations” and a few “additions” at a time that aren’t too drastic.
Ease Into Things
Who says you have to dive straight in 100%, right away? Start with a few simple changes and then once you’ve mastered those, add in new challenges or goals that you can conquer. For example, if you want to become vegan, you would start by eliminating only red meat, then chicken, then fish, and so on. Working toward a larger goal gradually will ensure you have a better chance of reaching it than going from 1 to 100 from the start.
Create a Lifestyle Goal, Not a Diet Goal
Use long-term vision when creating your health goals. Solely thinking “I want to lose 15 pounds” and ways to accomplish only that will most likely not keep you there for longer than it takes to lose the weight. Create a larger goal and use the previous two steps as a way to live a healthy, active lifestyle that reaches beyond a weight loss or fitness goal. For example, if your vision is too be more fit and healthy, create a strategy for daily eating and fitness that isn’t too restrictive or unrealistic based on your normal daily life.
What motivated you to eat healthily? Work out? Drink water? Find what sparks the fire to accomplish these activities and stoke that fire. Some people are motivated by a competitive nature. If that’s you, create a challenge with your friends and check in every day to see who is following through! If an energy boost is the missing component for you to get moving, drink a cup of VitaCup for a boost of caffeine and extra natural energy from the added vitamins. If you simply need to be reminded, add workouts or grocery shopping dates to your calendar, or leave post-it notes with reminders for healthy eating or working out around your house or office. Find positive ways to motivate yourself and soon you will begin to form positive habits.
Use Healthy Diet Plans
Sometimes, we just need a little help when it comes to nutrition and what is going to work best for your body and lifestyle. One strategy our very own Chief Vitamin Officer, Brianna Harris, RD, swears by is the “My Plate Method.” Every meal, your plate should be divided into quarters of the following: Fruits, Veggies, Whole Grains, and Protein. This is one of the most simple, yet effective, way to eat a balanced diet and feel energized to add fitness into your routine.
Set Yourself Up For Success
The times when you’re tired, starving, and stressed are also usually the times you abandon your plan and go back to old habits. Give yourself a leg up by thinking ahead before you get to that point. Create grocery lists that appeal to you and have snacks around that are healthy - this doesn’t give you the option to reach for the cookies if there aren’t any in the pantry. Work your eating, cooking, and fitness around your schedule. Prep your meal ahead if you know you have a late meeting one night. Plan a workout class for a time you know you’ll have the energy and that it doesn’t interfere with another engagement. Put it in your calendar and allow for drive time, if applicable.
Hold Yourself Accountable
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable is to get concrete goals and use apps to help get you there. Use a smartwatch to see how often you’re standing in a day, how many calories you’re burning, and how many minutes you’re being active for. You can use your phone or step counter to count how many steps you’re taking. There are plenty of apps out there to keep track of water and calorie intake as well! If you’ve never done this before, DO. IT. The psychology of watching yourself accomplish these smaller daily goals will help turn them into natural daily goals.
Share With Others
What better way to stick to a goal than to talk about it with others! Whether you share with your friends, co-workers, family members, or even social media followers, the more transparent you are about a goal or challenge, the more accountability you feel to stick to it! When you have people watching and asking about your goals, you’re more motivated to complete them and continue sharing. Hey, you might even inspire others to join you on the journey!
- Allow For Setbacks
Remember, it’s OK to falter, pivot, or even abandon goals if they aren’t working to make you feel healthier and happier. There will be times you “fall off the wagon” or simply allow yourself to “cheat” for a particular occasion. Resolutions are about creating an intention to be better and doing your best to get there. Try not to give up just because you make a wrong choice (or a few wrong choices). Get back on the horse and continue your goal. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and goals take time to achieve!
We hope this list helps you accomplish whatever goals you have set for yourself in the new year and that you go into 2019 feeling like you can conquer any goal you set for yourself. We have a secret to tell you… you can!