The idea of a new year brings about the feeling of getting a fresh start. Our previous mistakes and unaccomplished life-checklist-items suddenly no longer plague us. We have a clean slate and vow to do better this time. One of the vows that many make at the start of a new year is the resolution to be healthier and take care of our bodies more. We start the year with so much hope, but that hope slowly gets lost in the burdens of life as the year wears on.
One of the reasons why, even with so much hope, these vows or resolutions never get accomplished is that we make them without changing the way we think or how we approach them. If it didn’t work that way last year what makes you think this year will be any different? Yes, a new year may be a clean white canvas but if you really want to make a change you have to work for it.
Here are some tips to get you in the right frame of mind to actually make that fresh start work out for you.
Don’t dwell on the Past.
Mistakes are in the past. Don’t dwell on them or you’ll just end up hating yourself. Try to forget failures and concentrate on positives – no matter how minuet they may seem. Write out a “gratitude/I’m proud of myself because _____ list” for 2013. Things always sink in more when you write them down. I also recommend trying a 40-Day Challenge Gratitude List. It’s a great way to retrain your brain to focus on the positives in life. I am in the middle of one right now and let me tell you, it really cheers me up when I’m in a bad mood to go back and read all the positives I have in my daily life.
Set a Realistic Resolution.
The downfall of many resolutions is that they’re too big to handle. Many set such high goals that they easily get overwhelmed by them and give up. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight this year know that losing 1-2LBS a week is a healthy way to go about it; so aim for that. Try to set daily, weekly, or even monthly smaller goals instead of trying to obtain one HUGE goal all at once. For instance, try to not eat bread for a week, or aim to not have dessert today. Then, see if you can achieve that same goal tomorrow. Doing it one day at a time like this will take the pressure off and eventually lead to creating new long-term habits.
Ease into Exercise.
If exercising more is your resolution remember to ease into it. Your body needs time to adapt and heal, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. For example, start off small by walking about 30 minutes a day. As you get used to that, increase the pace slowly until you get to a jog. For weight training, start with a very light weight and low reps and work your way up. Another great way to ease into weight training is to use a suspension gym. Suspension gyms allow you to alter the weight you lift easily by simply adjusting your body angle, making it easier to progress and make it more challenging as you get stronger. Don’t try to workout out every day. Remember to take a day off in between to give your body a chance to rest.
Fresh Start your Home Too.
Uncluttered your home-office space, repaint your bedroom a cheerful color, and get rid of junk food. If you’re trying to be healthier why keep your temptations at reach? Cleaning out your kitchen and replacing junk food with healthy snacks will help you stay on track. Get rid of some old stuff and turn that spare bedroom or garage-space into a home gym. Having a Zen living space goes a long way to improving mood and increasing motivation.
Make Health a Priority.
The biggest obstacle to staying on track with a health resolution is to find the time to do it within a hectic schedule. What helps is to schedule your workout in your daily planner and stick to it as you would with a doctor’s appointment. Try to plan your meals ahead of time and make healthy dishes you can freeze for emergencies. This will cut out the temptation to order take-out, and will help you stick to healthier choices. If you can, make a few things on the weekend that you can eat throughout the week to cut down on cooking time after a long work day; anything to eliminate an excuse to eat junk!
Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
It’s okay if you mess up: YOU’RE HUMAN! Just pick yourself up and start back on track tomorrow. You don’t need a new year to start fresh. Every day is a new beginning. If you fell off the wagon yesterday, start fresh today. If you stopped for a while, don’t be afraid to restart. As long as you don’t give up you won’t fail.
Be Happy Now.
Don’t look at happiness as a destination or something you will get when you achieve this, or any other goal. Do what you can to learn to accept things as they are and love yourself as you are now. If you love yourself and approach your mishaps without judgement you will be more likely to stick to your resolution.
Resources: newsmax.com, zenhabits.com, fitday.com