I'm not much into resolutions for the New Year. But, I do believe in setting goals for myself. January is the perfect time to reflect on the last year and think about what you'd like to accomplish in the coming year.
What achievements or moments are you most proud of from this last year?
What goals do you want to set for yourself for the coming year?
Setting goals or intentions is not just about thinking, "I'd like to be healthier." Or, "I'm going to eat better." In order to achieve our goals we need to get specific. Here are a couple of examples.
Goals get reached when we practice self-discipline. If you are disciplined and follow through, you can accomplish anything. It doesn't take a huge change, in fact you will see bigger results with smaller changes that you can maintain in a consistent manner.
Instead of, "I'm going to eat healthier."
"I am going nurture my body by cutting out processed foods and include more home cooked meals with vegetables, quality fats, proteins and fiber."
This sets the tone of the actions you are going to take.
Once you have your goal. Write it down, post it where you can see it as a reminder.
Now, let's get you an action plan. How will you achieve this goal? Make a list of everything that will help you be successful.
Check out websites, magazines and cookbooks for healthy recipes.
Make a meal prep list for lunches and dinners.
Make a shopping list.
Block out a time on your calendar for meal prep.
Then sit and think about the biggest obstacle that can get in your way. Set up a trouble shooting plan to help you eliminate this obstacle.
Example Obstacle: "Tuesdays are my busiest day. Work, kids school and sports events. How will I feed us a healthy dinner when I'm exhausted?" I just want to pick up fast food and be done with it.
Example Solution: On the weekend make a meal that can go into the freezer, take it out on Monday night so it's defrosting in the fridge so by Tuesday at dinnertime, just heat and eat.
This can even become a fun and healthy custom for your family. What a great way to instill healthy behaviors for your kids too. And, there is nothing wrong with repeating the same healthy meal on the same day every week. This keeps it super simple and takes the pressure off.
If you're not a cook and can't stand cooking, be honest and find a solution. There are tons of online meal prep services that deliver healthy meals to your door. Many grocery stores offer meal kits, pre chopped vegetables and pre grilled chicken and salmon. Do your homework and investigate, read labels. You can be fooled into thinking you are eating healthy when there is hidden sugars, salts and unhealthy fats in certain prepared foods.
Instead of, "I will exercise more."
Why not try, "I will schedule at least 20 minutes of exercise 4 days a week." This makes it much more concrete.
Schedule exercise into your calendar on your phone. It might mean getting up 20 minutes earlier to go for a walk or taking two 10 minute breaks throughout the day to run up and down the stairs.
Write it down. Are you a people person? Would you benefit from joining a structured class?
Do you need accountability? Do you know how to exercise properly? Get a friend to be your workout buddy or hire a trainer.
Do you need flexibility and can't get to or afford a gym? How about online classes?
Again, being honest with yourself is going to help you be clear in what you will stick with.
Take time to think it through.
Think for a moment, what is your biggest obstacle? If again, it's time, look at your schedule and be honest with yourself. If you're a morning person, set the alarm for just 20 minutes earlier. If you're a night owl, schedule a class or workout for after work. Can you fit in a quick workout on your lunch break?
Honestly ask yourself what is your biggest goal.
Set a specific action plan and put it in writing.
Think ahead and prepare for obstacles. They will come your way.
Schedule your action into your calendar, just like other commitments.
Relish in your self-discipline and accomplishments when you stick with your plan.
Notice how your body feels when you are consistent with your new healthy habits.