Happy 2014! Let’s get real about New Year’s resolutions:
45% of Americans report they usually make resolutions, but only 8% of those folks actually achieve them. That’s a lousy success rate.
Why do you suppose that is? Often it’s a lack of a clear plan that trips us up. Sometimes the resolutions that we choose are just too big and we become overwhelmed. I’m proposing something different for 2014. I want you make it into that 8%.
Making a major lifestyle overhaul is hard. Making two tiny changes is do-able. And with a few small changes each month, by New Year's Eve 2015, you can make a big impact on your health.
I'm challenging you to make two small changes right now. Here's what I propose:
Review my list of 20 small changes below. Are you already practicing all 20? Great! Go on with your awesome healthy self. Everyone else, proceed to the next step.
Pick two habits that you can begin practicing today. Some are quick, some are more intensive. Be realistic and choose changes that are achievable for you.
MAKE IT KNOWN.
Let the world know what changes you're committed to making! Post on my Facebook page, post on your Facebook page, email me, email your mom, tweet me, put a post-it on your monitor. Just get the word out that you're trying a couple healthy habits this week.
STICK TO IT FOR ONE WEEK.
How do you feel? Did the changes impact your life in a positive way? Was it hard to do?
Do you want to stick to one or both changes for another week? Do you want to choose another change or two from the list to try for another week? Do you need some support in adapting these habits? Let's talk about how I can support you!
I'll keep the conversation going on the Live Full Facebook page--come join in!
- Scour the produce section and locate some seasonal produce you’ve never tried. Bag it, bring it home and try it. Repeat this at least 3 times this week
- This is a great time of year for deals on gym & fitness club memberships, as well as for scoring cheap and free trial memberships. Call around or look online for a deal and commit to a short- or long-term membership
- Pick three items from my “10 Foods You Should be Eating this Winter” and incorporate those items into meals and snacks this week (yes, dark chocolate is on the list!)
- Set an alarm on your phone or computer to go off every hour, on the hour, to remind you to stand up and stretch
- Find a cookbook, magazine or website with healthy, produce-heavy meals. Pick two recipes, write a shopping list for the ingredients, and plan to cook those meals this week
- Resolve to park at the verrrry back of the parking lot everywhere you go and enjoy the walk
- When you fill your plate at mealtime, make sure that produce covers 50% of the plate. Try this at least once per day all week
- Don’t skip meals: Schedule time on your daily calendar for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day (schedule a couple snacks, too, if you need the reminder)
- Before you indulge in a food craving, take a moment and evaluate how hungry you really are on a scale of 1-10, 10 being starving and 1 being really full, as in after a big meal. Track your ratings on paper or on your phone
- Breathe! Stop three times during the day (you can even schedule an alarm on your phone or an appointment on your calendar) and take 10 deep breaths, and imagine that fresh oxygen flowing to all of the cells in your body
- Pick one whole grain that you've never tried, and cook with it. Repeat three times this week
- Look for a packaged food that you eat regularly that contains artificial calorie-free sweeteners, like Splenda and aspartame. Cut out just one of those packaged foods completely for the week
- Buy a food scale and compare your usual serving size vs the recommended serving size for foods you eat regularly, like pasta, cereal and snacks
- Give yourself a burst of energy during the day: Stand up from your desk (or wherever you work) a couple times during the work day and do 25 jumping jacks, jog in place for a minute or do squats for one minute (or do all three!)
- Pick a 5k or 1 mile fun run—or a half-marathon or marathon if that’s more your speed—and make a plan to train and complete it. Engage an expert to help you
- This one is for soda & diet soda drinkers: Reduce the amount of soda you drink for one week. It may be tough to go cold turkey, especially if you drink several sodas a day, so try cutting the amount you drink at least by half for this week
- Every night, power down all your light emitting electronics—that means computers, smart phones, tablets—one full hour before you go to bed for a more restful night’s sleep
- Be compassionate to yourself! If you catch yourself engaging in negative self talk, stop yourself and imagine how you would feel if you heard anyone else using those words on your best friend. Practice as needed
- Identify one packaged food—a cereal, cookie, cracker, ice cream or yogurt—you eat regularly that has highly high fructose corn syrup in it. Cut it out completely for the week
- Slice up some fresh vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, celery—or try some fancier options like jicama—and put them in a see-through container at eye level in the fridge so they’re readily accessible as snacks
I’ve got one BIG bonus change to suggest to you: Get in touch with me to schedule a free health history review. I'd love to help you get on the fast track to a healthier you...today!