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Who here has a goal to be healthier for the New Year?
I’m sitting here at my desk on New Year’s Day and eating chocolate. It’s dark chocolate so it’s healthy, right? Baby steps people!
Write Down Your Goal
You need to decide for yourself what is your goal. Are you wanting to lose weight, cut out sugars, decrease your blood pressure or cholesterol, decrease your blood sugar, or get all crazy by getting a 6 pack? No, no, no – not the beer kind! LOL I do not have all of these lofty goals. Losing weight is my main focus along with being more mindful of what I’m eating.
Now get a sheet a paper and write down your goal. Put that paper on your mirror in your bathroom so you’ll stare at it. Every. Single. Morning.
If you are wanting to be healthier in the New Year, write down your goal as specific as possible. For example, what do you want your blood pressure level to get to or weight. Maybe you want to switch from unhealthy snacks to healthy snacks. Write down what you plan to stop bringing into your home that is bad for you and post it on your pantry door as a reminder. Maybe it’s simple as setting an alarm on your phone or when you need to go to sleep. It has been proven that writing down your goal (and your plan to achieve it) will make it 20-40% more likely to happen. Print out this handy dandy Goal Sheet and get to planning!
Measure Your Progress
Part of having accountability is writing down your goal so you will know what target you are trying to hit. Another piece of the accountability puzzle is being about to measure your activities as you are on your journey. This year I’m using a handy app called Daily Dozen. It’s setup for vegan eating and is daily checklist to follow on what to eat and at the bottom of my list has a check box for 40 minutes for exercise. I love that it doesn’t have checkboxes for what not to eat because this girl needs a little chocolate every day! Find an app or calendar planner or whatever will keep you on track to reach your goal. Maybe you need a print out sheet of the month with daily blood pressure readings, maybe you want a way to track your weight or even how big your muscles are growing. To keep yourself accountable to whatever your goals are, you need to write down your initial goal and keep track of you daily or weekly progress.
Choose Healthy Food
It’s hard to be healthy if all you ever eat is junk. The old I get the more I realize how food can fuel me or drag me down. When I’m work out, I can get pretty hungry or thirsty afterwards. I like to try to remember to being water with me but also some sort of protein after a good climb. There’s many choices for protein from shakes, beef jerky, and more. But I’m liking plant based protein more and more. Have you read about how certain foods can cause inflammation in the body?
There are healthy snack options like the ones from Happy Little Plants. I’ve been trying out their Plant-Based Protein Puffs after workouts. These are like eating puff type snacks but much better for you with 16grams of protein! The cinnamon and sugar is my favorite, but there’s also cheese or ranch. I am going more and more toward eating less meat and am thankful there are protein alternatives! I’m also adding more fish to my diet.
One of the best ways to choose healthy food is to put together a meal plan each week. Yep, I know it’s a pain! But this can help you purchase only what you need for your meals and only purchase snacks that are good for you. Try just eating vegetables and fruit for snacks instead of processed foods. My favorite snack veggies are colorful bell peppers, fresh spinach cabbage or lettuce(instead of chips), and carrots.
Pick Exercise That YOU Like
Luckily, I have access to a treadmill and can walk on it just about any time I want. This is handy because I like to write things or read while exercising so I feel like I’m being more efficient. Also, rock climbing is super fun and I started that again this past week. I forgot how much I love it since my minor shoulder issue about 3 months ago.
Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some ideas – walking, yoga, swimming, hiking, jump rope, dancing, tennis, hula hoop, cycling, jumping on a mini trampoline while watching TV, follow YouTube workout videos, water aerobics, martial arts, active video games, kickball, softball, or walk up & down stairs. Basically… get moving in whatever way is fun for you. Pick out something you really like to do and go for it!
Find An Accountability Partner
I have so many encouraging friends that help me stay on track. Some I see in person a couple times a week and some I chat with online or on the phone. Just having a person to talk with about struggles toward reaching goals can help keep you going. Don’t really feel like you have someone that can help you to continue striving for the goals you set? Try searching for “healthy living accountability group facebook” on Google. There are tons of groups to try to be part of. You aren’t alone in wanting to reach a goal for a healthier lifestyle and having an accountability partner or group that will encourage you and help keep you on track is a great way to continue to move in the direction you are striving for!
It’s not easy putting down the chocolate bar or whatever is your specific kryptonite. We are all addicted to endorphins. It’s just time to change our opiate receptors to crave things that are better for our bodies in the long run. Try out these 5 tips to be healthier in the new year. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a day or week or more off track. Get that goal sheet back out. Remember why you want to reach that goal and don’t give up!
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/