Here it is again, those days before the New Year, when we ponder what our goals and resolutions will be for 2013. But before you get all overly optimistic and think that you are going to lose 50 pounds, run a marathon and give up all things sweet and caffeinated – stop for a moment and be realistic. No doubt these goals are achievable in one year, if the motivation is great enough. But for most people, this is way more than they can handle amidst the stress of normal life. so, why not try something new? This year, set some small, realistic and achievable goals that will form part of your healthy lifestyle. If you achieve your goal by March and are looking for more healthy goals, you can always set another one and keep adding on a quarterly basis. The objective is to set more realistic resolutions and take baby steps towards health.
Here is an example of what a realistic set of Life Changing Resolutions could look like:
1. Drink 4-6 glasses of water per day.
Sounds too simple, but water is the molecule that gave this planet life, and it keeps all the processes in your body functioning properly. In a world where we are constantly jacked up on coffee and energy drinks, many of us are dehydrated. Did you know that back pain, fatigue, sugar cravings and even moodiness can be signs of dehydration? Go out and buy yourself a nice stainless steel water bottle that you can take with you to the office and in the car. They even sell water bottles with built-in water filters so that the water tastes better. Once you start drinking more water, you will naturally crave it. I promise, you will have more energy and feel better.
2. Walk 20 minutes every day.
Before you go out and sign that expensive contract at the new gym in town, save yourself some money and set a small fitness goal. Most of us sit at a desk all day, then come home and sit by the computer or television all evening. We don’t need to buy a Bowflex, do Pilates or get a personal trainer. (These things can come later down the road if you’d like). The most important thing is that we need to move. Make it a goal to take part of your lunch hour and walk around the block or to the coffee shop or your local grocery store (to buy a green tea or water). Studies have shown that if you can hold a habit for 30 days, there is a greater chance that it becomes part of your lifestyle. Once you build this habit of walking, you will really miss it if you don’t fit your walk into your day. If work was too busy to take a break, grab your spouse or kids and go for a nice evening walk after dinner. This is also a great way to reconnect with those that you love.
3. Eat something green every day.
Every day the news tells us another study that confirms that this fruit or vegetable prevents or fights cancer. The message should be pretty clear by now, the body needs veggies to be healthy, especially those greens. This is a daunting goal for many people, who perhaps had bad experiences as children and “hate” eating fruits and vegetables. Start by finding just one that you can tolerate. Perhaps spinach, asparagus or even romaine lettuce. These basic greens will work their way into your diet, start to make you feel better and then you will naturally crave more fruits and veggies. It does get easier; it’s just the beginning that is difficult.
Baby Steps to Health
Although these simple goals are not as glorious as your typical old ones, be patient. None of your friends are going to say “wow” at your 20 minute walking goal. But, come March when you are still walking daily, your friends will be impressed, you will probably looking thinner and healthier and have a more positive outlook to life. You will be ready to start making another realistic goal and build your healthy lifestyle step-by-step. Who knows, your friends may even be coming to you for advice.
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Happy New Year!