Want to get healthier this year but you always break your NYE resolution? Did you know that by six weeks into the new year, 4 out of 5 people have broken their resolutions? Crazy right? It’s never too late to make make a goal you can stick to. Check out our suggestions below!
Many new year's resolutions are super vague. I’m going to get healthy! I’m going to lose weight! Goals that aren’t specific are not only harder to achieve, but research has found that they can even make you depressed! Check out our post here on how to make smart, specific goals to really make them stick.
This year I’m going TO EXERCISE.
With all of the amazing health benefits you get from exercise, it’s one of the new year's resolutions top picks. (One study found that around 50 million Americans pledged to exercise more and lose weight in 2017! ) But HOW much exercise should be your goal?
The real trick to making a resolution stick is that it’s not totally unreasonable and undoable. If you haven’t worked out in years aim for a smaller resolution - take the stairs, walk an extra 10 minutes a day, or get 5,000 steps on a pedometer. If you’re already working out? Add an extra day at the gym a week, take a new class, or increase your weights. Find something to mix it up, keep it fun and interesting, and keep your muscles guessing.
Remember that while there will always be people telling you that running or pilates or HIIT or ____ is the best exercise for you and will add years to your life, cure cancer, give you amazing abs, and (insert your dream here____), the best exercise for you is the one you’ll do. You can always add on more as you get stronger.
Instead of resolving to exercise, resolve to:
∙Work out __ times a week (your current workouts + 1 or 2
∙Take the stairs every day at work
∙Hit 5000/10000 steps. (check out a pedometer on your phone now, and up it by 500)
∙Increase your weights
∙Increase your running distance, add sprints, or pick up your pace
This year I’m going to EAT WELL.
Many people say they’re going to eat better, but that’s so vague, isn’t it? The trick is to see what you’re eating now and how you can improve on that. If you only eat grains like white bread, pasta, and rice, try swapping in a few whole grains a day. How many servings of fruits and veggies do you eat a day? Add one or two to that. Are you eating a lot of fast food? Try making at least one meal a day for yourself.
Instead of resolving to eat well, resolve to:
∙Make half of your grains whole grains
∙Add one serving of fruit and vegetables a day
∙Bring a healthier lunch and snacks to work for 3 days a week
∙Try to get protein in every meal and snack
This year I’m going to DRINK WATER.
This is probably a resolution a lot of people wouldn’t think to make, but drinking more water is an easy resolution that has a whole host of amazing benefits. Drinking just two glasses of water can increase the metabolism by 25 percent and reduce the number of calories eaten when consumed before a meal. Staying hydrated is also great for your skin, and prevents constipation and muscle cramps. Even being mildly dehydrated can impact your mood and zap your energy. The list of benefits goes on and on, so why not pick up a BPA-free water bottle and give this goal a go?
Instead of resolving to drink water, resolve to:
∙Drink 8+ glasses of water a day
∙Carry a reusable water bottle
This year I’m going to STRESS LESS.
Want to be in a better mood, have fewer headaches, stress less, and sleep better? Meditation is amazing for you, but if you’re like me, you know that and never make time for it. Just like drinking more water, this is one of those things that could really impact your life with minimal effort. Research has found that meditation can help with insomnia and more restful sleep, decrease depression, boost memory, improve relationships, nix emotional and binge eating.. the list really does go on and on.
There are different ways to meditate. For beginners, a moving meditation may be the way to go as it will keep you focused. For example, you might try sipping tea and enjoying the sensation and flavors, or taking a walk and focusing on the feeling of each footfall on the ground. Set a timer for 2 minutes and try taking a deep inhale to the count of 4 and slowly releasing to the count of 5-8. Over time you can build up how slowly you can inhale and exhale. My personal favorite (and this is not sponsored!) is the headspace app, which leads you through simple quick meditations with the soothing voice of a british monk.
Instead of resolving to stress less, resolve to:
∙Try to meditate once or more a week
This year I’m going to LOSE WEIGHT.
This is a common one, but let’s really think about this one before making a resolution out of it. Yes, we all want to fit into that super tiny pair of jeans we’re saving at the back of our closets for a miracle, but if you set your bar that high (or low) it’ll be hard to stick to your goals.
First, don’t view it as a failure. How were you in those pants to begin with? For me, I was modeling, which meant I worked out 2 hours a day on a strict diet. Are those jeans in there amazing? They really are. But would I want to put myself through that again? Hell no! So what’s your limit? Our healthiest body isn’t necessarily our skinniest body.
Instead of making losing weight about a certain size, or a pair of jeans, or an ideal body type, you should start by finding what weight would be healthiest for you. The Centers for Disease control uses BMI (Body Mass Index) as their rule of thumb. While there are some flaws with BMI, (for example, people with a lot of muscle who weigh more may show up as obese) in general it can help you find a healthy range for your height. Check it out here.
When setting goals, remember that the average weight a person loses is 1-2 lbs a week by cutting out about 500 calories a day. Remember this goal is for a person who has more to lose. Those last 5-10 lbs are the most stubborn. So if you want to lose 50 lbs, that could take a good half of a year to a full year to achieve. And that’s okay! Starving yourself will just set your body to gain more in the long run, and we want these results to stick, right? So take it slow and steady with your goals, and you’ll be in some great jeans - and the same jeans - for the long haul. If you need more help, you can always meet with a dietitian to find out what your healthy weight should be and make the best plan for you.
Instead of resolving to lose weight, resolve to:
∙Lose a pound or two a week, for ___ amount of weeks
∙Focus on how your body is feeling. Can you walk longer? Is it easier to get up
the stairs? Do your clothes fit better?