It’s that time of year again. The holiday season has come to an end and the new year is right around the corner. If you are like a majority of Americans, you are starting to think about what your health will look like in 2018 and declaring your new year’s resolutions.
In theory, this is a great idea. Taking time to establish goals with a fresh outlook on health. However, when it comes down to it, this approach fails time and time again. The truth is, very few make good on their resolutions while a majority fall off the wagon in just one month.
So what’s the problem? Why is it so hard to stick to these yearly goals? The simple answer is, most are unrealistic and set with little to no preparation. A well thought out action plan is key to carrying out and following through with your resolutions.
So what might this look like in 2018? Rather than declaring how much weight you would like to lose or muscle you would like to gain, focus on small action steps you can take each day to improving your overall wellness.
Here are a few ideas for you:
- Forget the all or nothing approach
Too often we hold ourselves to standards we can’t maintain with an all or nothing approach. That simply isn’t how life or our health works. Each day we make choices on how much we move our body, what we put in our body, the thoughts we think, the people we surround ourselves with and so on. All of these decisions add up and move our health in a positive or negative direction. This new year ditch the all or nothing approach with your goals and focus on daily actions you can take to move the needle in a positive direction.
- Say goodbye to diets
Losing weight might be one of the most popular resolutions in this country. With that comes a wide variety of diets and a majority of these diets focus on removing something whether it be grains, meat, or calories. What happens when you “can’t” have something? You are left feeling deprived and counting down the days until you can have that item again. Losing weight is a great goal if your focus is on health. Rather than going on the next crash diet focus on consuming healthy foods. Try the crowding approach. Focus on eating your six to nine servings of fruit and veggies each day and loading up on whole foods. You will notice that you naturally start to crowd out the bad with the good. As your daily eating habits shift in a positive direction so will your health.
- Move that body
The typical health resolution includes purchasing some sort of gym membership. You won’t be surprised that a lot of these memberships don’t get used. The fact is, if you haven’t had time to work out in the past it won’t magically change in 2018. Rather than hoping you will find time in 2018, look for small ways to incorporate movement throughout your day. If you have a desk job set a reminder on your phone or calendar to walk for a minimum of two minutes each hour (that would add up to a total of 16 minutes in an eight hour work day and an hour and 20 minutes in a work week). You can commit to taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You could also start parking in the furthest parking spot from the door. There are a number of ways to sneak more movement into your day, and if you do it consistently, you will notice positive changes in your health.
The most important thing to remember is, small, positive changes in your daily habits over the next year can have a tremendous impact on your health, wellness, and quality of life. We wish you a healthful 2018!