Will 2019 be a WHOLE New Year?
About this time every year, millions of people are setting their New Years Resolutions. Many of these resolutions will include a health related goal. Whether it’s a weight loss goal, starting a fitness program, or just reducing restaurant meals, less than 10% of people will still be focused on that goal by February. While I love the fresh start a new year brings, it wasn’t the time of year when I truly set the intention to live a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve done the 30-day resets, 17 day diets, and elimination diets but come February or March, I was back to desserts, alcohol, or whatever else I gave up. Many times, gaining back more than I lost. This circle of diets and binges continued for many years before I decided to stop. There is nothing wrong with using a new year to start working towards a goal but if you want to start a journey that will continue for years, set yourself up for success by setting goals that are realistic for a lifetime.
My challenge to you: make 2019 a WHOLE new year. What do I mean by that? Don’t fall back into the loop of starting a restrictive diet, which, if you are honest with yourself, won’t be maintained the whole year. Make 2019 the year where you only make small changes that can be kept for more than a month. Maybe, instead of trying to change everything about your lifestyle on the first day of January, you incorporate a small change at the beginning of each month. By the end of 2019 you’ll have 12 new healthy habits! Here are my suggestions for goals you can make each month:
Include colorful vegetables at every meal. Whether you are making it at home or eating out, include fresh vegetables and meats. That might mean subbing out fries for the roasted vegetables or side salad. If you can’t live without the fries, add on a veggie to the meal.
Do not eliminate all the foods you love but minimize the treats to 2x per week or only during special occasions or parties. Make a goal you can stick to.
Add an extra meal at home. If you make dinner at home 2x per week currently, try 3. Maybe you always go out to lunch and can start brining a meal from home 1x per week.
Read labels. If there are a ton of ingredients listed and you can’t pronounce most of them, try a different brand. If your normal pasta sauce includes sugar, try a new sauce or making it at home.
Drink enough water. This one is hard for me but so good for you. My goal is about 100 oz. I always have a 24oz water bottle, so I try to get through 2 before lunch and 2 by the end of dinner. Then any extra is a bonus!
Increase your daily movement. The world’s longest living people move naturally throughout the day. Outside of any workout routine you have, try to add in a stroll with your dogs or spouse. If you sit at a desk, asking about a standing option or take a lap around the office every hour. Maybe a daily step goal? Whatever works for you.
Stop a bad “healthy” habit. This can be a variety of things: stop limiting yourself to 1200 calories, stop weighing yourself every day, stop punishing yourself with exercise, or unfollow fitness gurus that don’t make you feel good about yourself.
Utilize the culinary collaborations in your January meal planning. (Yes, shameless plug)
If you decide to take on this WHOLE New Year challenge, let me know your goals each month. It helps to have accountability and someone to cheer you on! Maybe I’ll take them on with you! Even if you aren’t a resolution person, a new healthy habit each month can’t hurt.