New Year, New You?
Seems to be how it goes every year right? Out with the old, in with the new. I’m going to lose that weight, workout more, quit smoking, quit drinking so much, spend more time with family and friends… It’s all good in theory and most of us hit the ground running, figuratively and metaphorically, but for how long? Good intentions are great but how do we sustain them? Perhaps the problem isn’t the intentions but the goals themselves. They’re usually so grandiose that after a few weeks or so, we slip up and then slip back to old habits. Making smaller more attainable goals you can do on a daily basis might be a better way to start. Below are just a few to get you started…
1. Get 8 Hours of Sleep
You’ve heard it before but do you really get enough zzz’s? “Cutting back on snooze-time can lead to an out-of-control appetite (some studies show that people who sleep less are more likely to be overweight), a greater risk for coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”1
2. Eat Breakfast
Yes, it’s still the most important meal of the day. It sets you up for success and studies show that “skipping breakfast can actually make weight control more difficult.”2 You are more apt to eat a more calories later or make bad choices because you’re hungry.
3. Wash your Hands
Seems simple enough and of course we all do it but are you doing it as often as you should? “From banishing cold and flu germs to preventing food borne illnesses, frequent hand-washing is one of the smartest preventive habits you can adopt.”1 Think about everyone else who has touched the doorknob, that restaurant menu or the change you got from the coffee shop. A lot. So do yourself a favor and suds up.
4. Be Mindful of What you Eat
Turn off the TV, put your cell phone away and enjoy the meal in front of you. Savor every bite and put your fork down between bites. Chances are you will eat less and feel more satisfied. Talking about feeling satisfied, are you getting the variety you need, like 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables? Heart healthy fats?
5. Take 5
Okay, that’s not permission to go easy on the exercise! But it should be a reminder to de-stress and take a moment to breathe throughout the day. Life can be hectic and “stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.”3 Whether it’s meditating, yoga, a walk or listening to music, take time to relax and listen to your body.
H2O is so important it ought to be on here twice! By weight our body is about 72% water for goodness sake. It not only keeps us hydrated, it helps prevent constipation, flush out toxins…it’s basically the foundation of a healthy body. “It has been medically proven that just a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25 to 30% loss of energy in most people, a 15% drop causes death! It is also estimated that more than 2/3 of all people do not drink enough water and suffer some degree of dehydration.”4
So those are just six tips to start your New Year’s Resolution list. Add some more personal goals and you’ve got yourself a 2015 plan! Just remember to stay realistic and give yourself plenty of time to achieve them.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu