Top 10 Ideas for a Healthy Year
New Year is usually a time when the most people want a fresh start. For many of us, New Year’s resolutions are a good way to make this urge for new beginning happen. However, these resolutions are rarely effective and bring a little or no result. According to psychologists, the reason for that is simple: we set up unrealistic and big goals in which we do not truly believe. It is very hard to break our old habits, especially the ones that have developed during the years, even decades, which become our second nature. If we really want to change something in our life, it is not enough to rely on discipline and free will. Setting up realistic goals that are in alignment with our true wishes and make them specific and small are the key points in their manifestation. With every simple goal, our self-esteem will arise which in turn can motivate us to persist. The article “10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Health Goals“ suggests 10 ideas on how to improve our health habits during the year.
Top 10 Ideas for a Healthy Year
1. Find Your Motivation
What is motivating you to lose weight? Do you want to look better in your clothes, feel more energetic, or simply improve your health? Get clear about
what you want, and then use that to inspire you throughout your journey.
2. Have a Plan
If you were to go on a long road trip, you wouldn’t just jump in the car and go. If you did, you’d arrive hungry, tired, and fatigued. That’s the same
way you’d feel if you jumped into a whole new lifestyle with no planning. Before January 1st arrives, outline the changes you want to implement and
decide how you’ll fit them into your schedule. Keep in mind that it may be best to take steps rather than tackle everything at once.
3. Make Goals
Goals help measure progress. If you don’t know where you want to end up, you won’t really know how to get there. When making your goals, you need to make
For example, a SMART goal would be something like, “I will walk for 15 minutes 3 days for one week.” Or, “I will prepare one new healthy recipe each week
for the month of January.”
4. Track What You Eat
Looking closely at what you eat is often an eye-opening experience. Use FitDay’s free online Calorie Counter and Fitness Log to keep track of everything
you put into your body. You don’t have to do it for the rest of your life, but it is a great habit tostart. Tracking will help you tweak your diet so
that you can still enjoy foods you love without sabotaging your weight loss or healthy eating efforts.
5. Use Reliable Resources
It may be tempting to try a fad diet, but these are usually unrealistic, difficult to maintain, and sometimes even dangerous. Instead, find a reliable
source of information to help you understand nutrition. The USDA offers a number of tools and resources, or you can consult a registered dietitian in
your area. An RD is specially trained and can give you tips and tricks to help you achieve your specific goals.
6. Eat Breakfast Every Day
Surely you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is! Eat a big healthy breakfast as early as possible. It will give you more
energy, lead you to make healthier choices during the day, and keep you feeling full so you eat less later on.
7. Fill Up on Vegetables
Vegetables are filled with nutrients, water, fiber, and very few calories. If you fill half of your plate with vegetables, you’ll get fuller faster and
cut down your calories without feeling deprived. Use herbs and spices to jazz up vegetables instead of using butter and/or salt to flavor them.
In order to burn calories at a faster rate and build a healthy body, you’ll need to incorporate exercise into your life. Take it slow at first, and then
increase your time and/or intensity once you feel comfortable. If you haven’t exercised in a while, talk to your doctor to make sure that you are healthy
enough to begin an exercise plan.
9. Take It Slow
A major mistake many people make when trying to tackle a health resolution is trying to do everything at once. This is almost always a recipe for
disaster. Spend a few weeks just trying to achieve 1-2 goals at a time. When you have established new good habits, put a couple more goals on your plate.
Remember: You want to make permanent changes, and these will take time to implement.
10. Be Prepared for Lapses
A lapse is when you temporarily “fall off the wagon.” This is a normal part of the process; no one is perfect. It is important for you to take a moment
to recognize that you got sidetracked, but don’t use it as an excuse to throw in the towel. Every day is a new chance to start over, so return to your
healthy lifestyle immediately.
There is one more thing that can prevent us from reaching our goals. Very often, we have experienced our resolutions as an obligation, and whenever we think that we should or have something to do, we will not be truly motivated. On the contrary, we will feel a pressure to reach the goals and guilt if we did not. If we want to motivate ourselves, it is important to understand that these are our resolutions, resolutions that we really want to achieve, based on our free will. Considering our goals as a choice, rather than obligation, will inspire us more. Furthermore, maintaining good motivation during the year will make us more committed. Through commitment and persistence, our New Year’s resolutions will turn into long-term goals, which will flourish only through step-by-step strategy and result in gradually adopting new habits.