We all know how New Years Resolutions work. We write down some goals at the end of the year that will ultimately bring us closer to our idealistic lives, or maybe kick a bad habit or two, only to find that by February we’re knee deep into our old habits and routines. Find solace in the fact that you’re not alone – only 8% of people actually achieve their New Years Resolutions. Not to fret though, we’re here to help ensure that you’re a part of that 8%.
When it comes to resolutions, it’s important to set measurable and attainable goals – think ‘big picture’. By setting one or a series of small goals that lead to your bigger end goal and by focusing on the steps it will take to get there, you’ll have a greater chance for success. This also makes it easier to keep yourself in check and allow for a few hiccups.
One of the most common New Years resolutions, to lose weight, encompasses 38% of all resolution setters. The idea of losing weight, however, is a fairly interpretive goal. Setting a series of smaller goals that help manage weight and promote a more active lifestyle will help provide measurable benchmarks throughout the year, and will be easier to achieve. Plus, you can feel good about crossing off each day on the calendar that you met your goal.
Since we agree that taking care of the mind, body and soul is so important, we put together some small, attainable, suggestions for healthy resolutions that contribute to achieving the bigger, more idealistic ones. Make this year’s resolution the one that sticks!
1. Drink More Water
Simple enough. Water not only helps make your body feel full, it also boosts your metabolism and helps the body digest food properly. According to some studies, it’s even proven to help aid weight loss vs diet and exercise alone. We could go on and on about the miracles of H20, but try getting as close to 3 liters a day for women, and 4 liters for men.
2. Eat An Apple A Day
The old proverb is true – eating an apple a day can help fight risk for heart disease and stroke and can keep your weight in check. Stock up each week at the store or your local farmers market, and keep an apple your desk at work for a healthy snack reminder.
3. Blend Your Greens
Resolute to eat your greens. If you’re sick of eating kale and spinach, trick your inner toddler and hide them away in your smoothies. We love this Green Warrior Protein Smoothie from Oh She Glows and this Banana Kale Smoothie from Whole Healthy Glow.
4. Own Your Food Choices
How often do you actually think about what you really want from a meal, and what you want out of it? While the thought of pancakes drenched in maple syrup may seem tempting, you may know that you’ll feel sluggish and heavy all morning. Before you order or reach for a snack at the store, think not just what your body wants, but what will actually make it feel better, and reach for that apple on your desk instead.
5. Try New Foods
Spice it up! Sometimes we get stuck in a culinary rut and need some creative inspo to break out of a kale and carrot streak. Find creative recipes online, and set a goal to try one new recipe, food or snack a week. Our current favorites? The ancient grain called Freekah, and our new favorite spice, Za’atar. Scope our Pinterest board for more recipe ideas.
6. Shop Fresh
We’ve heard that one before, but easier said than done. It’s hard to bypass the chip and snack section at the grocery store, but doing so will ensure that snack food is not even an option at home. Try to grocery shop after a full meal so that you’re not craving sweets and snacks, and shop around the perimeter of the store where the fresh, refrigerated foods are.
7. Commit to Cooking
One of the the most common reasons that New Years Resolutions break is because we lose control. When you commit to the kitchen, you’re in control and have power of what goes in your body. While we know it’s not always possible to skip the occasional to-gos and work drinks, making a commitment to the kitchen as frequently as possible will help ensure that your body is getting the nutrition it needs.
8. Pack Your Lunch
In a similar vein, committing to cooking preemptively for on-the-go meals will ensure that you’re sticking to your New Years game plan. Plus, you’ll realize how much money you’ll save packing your lunch vs ordering out. Who doesn’t love a thicker wallet and a skinnier waistline?
9. Drink Tea
Drinking tea is rumored to help aid digestion, increase metabolic function, fight against cancer and heart disease with antioxidants, diminish anxiety, improve mood and more. That’s a lot of benefits for one little cup! Try squeezing in some tea time at your desk at work, or just before bed.
A common trigger for breaking any resolution is stress. It happens to the best of us. Curb your stress and inflate your mood with just 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation a day. According to this study, mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain, reducing a slip-up due to stress. Try this on-the-go app so you have no excuses not to meditate!
And above all, remember, it’s ok to cheat every once in awhile, and it’s ok to make mistakes. Give in to your cravings now and then and forgive yourself! The new year plays by your rules.
Feature Photo: The First Mess