Raise your hand if you’ve made some New Year’s resolutions for this year! Raise your hand if every year so far you pretty much abandoned all your old resolutions within the first few months, only to write them again in your notebook (or brain) on December 31st!
Yeah, I thought so.
I really like the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail”. To me, resolutions (or even goals in general for that matter) are pretty useless unless you make plans to actually accomplish those things. Of course, getting up off your butt is another crucial step (yes, really).
So here we are in mid-January, time of year when most resolutions get thrown out the window. I bet a lot of you vowed to “be happier”, “live healthier” or “lose a bit of weight but not in my boobs” (unless you’re a guy…or maybe you’re cool with man boobs? I dunno). What I’m here to tell you is that even if you got a bit side-tracked or even if you ditched those resolutions DAYS ago, all is not lost! Although I don’t believe in setting goals only once a year, I do believe in taking concrete steps to get to where you want to be. And how do normal people go about doing that, you may ask? Well I think it’s much easier done in baby steps rather than biting off more than you can chew. Especially in the cold winter months when all we want to do is watch Netflix while hiding under a pile of blankets. (Or is that just me?)
To make things even easier for you, I’ve prepared a tiny to-do list of baby steps that will almost instantly make your year better. Yup, less than ten items that will turn your life around in zero time and minimal effort! Now doesn’t that seem manageable? So without further ado, here are 7 ways to turn this year into the year where you DID get healthier and where you actually fulfilled some of the promises you made to yourself. Yay you!
1. Track your food
Want to stop eating so much crap? Easy, write that sh*t down! No one wants to look at a paper full of junk and think “this is what I fuel my sexy machine with”. If you want to take it one step further, head over to a food logging website such as www.myfitnesspal.com to start seeing how much you’re actually eating and what is lacking in your nutrition. You don’t need to obsessively track all the time but I like to use this as a way to reduce binges or make sure I’m not missing anything.
2. Move more
Once upon a time, humans led very active lives. And then somehow we ended up driving everywhere and sitting in front of the television all evening. No wonder people are turning into mush and losing mobility in their adult life! Honestly, I think it’s fair to assume that taking a break from staying still is a good idea for most people. So stretch, go talk to a colleague a few cubicles away, walk to the store and take the stairs whenever possible. I hate stairs but I take them anyway, so you should too!
3. Stand when you can
Which brings me to my next point: stop sitting on your butt all the time! I try and split my work time between sitting and standing throughout the day. Don’t have access to a fancy ergonomic workstation? Me neither! I just propped my screens, keyboard and mouse on boxes at appropriate heights and stand on a folded yoga mat. I also take frequent but short sitting breaks to prevent my back, legs and feet from getting tired. With a quick Google search, I’m positive you will find great tips and cheap ways of “pimping your workstation”.
4. Stop complaining
Cut that sh*t out, I mean it. One complaint here and there doesn’t seem like much but it really adds up at the end of the day! I’m all for a good b*tch session once every new moon but am I the only one who thinks having a positive attitude is just WAY more productive and generally healthier? You know it’s true! Now let’s kick those Negative Nancies inside all of us to the curb and make this year about positive vibes, mkay?
5. Reduce the number of ingredients in your food
You’ve probably heard this before but real food isn’t full of chemicals and shouldn’t take 30 ingredients to make. Although I admit that I do love Kraft Dinner, there’s no way the fluorescent processed stuff is good for any living being! Choose foods that have a short ingredients list (most if not all of which you recognize) and your body will certainly thank you.
6. Be mindful
Confession: I struggle with this. Instead of doing 5 things at once while juggling your phone and kitten (not recommended for kitty safety), try focusing on one task at a time. This allows you to register what you’re doing and be more present. So either if you’re spending time with your kids or doing a heavy deadlift, be mindful. Focus your mind and your energy on just that one activity. Guaranteed your thoughts will be much lighter and your tasks will get done with more accuracy.
Although I’m a big kid at heart, I somehow lost the release and freedom of spirit to play while growing up. And then recently I started doing handstands and ring exercises at the Crossfit gym I go to and suddenly found myself giggling like a 5 year-old. I realized that this is what it felt like to play. I think playing, as much for humans as for animals, is essential to living a happier and healthier life. So have a limbo party in the office, chase your kids or even pets (my pup LOVES getting chased), buy yourself a nerf gun and, of course, do handstands! Whatever it is that sets you free, DO IT.
What are you doing to improve your year? Have your resolutions held up? Tell me in the comments!