This is the time of year when many of us are setting new goals for the year. The #3 most popular seem to be in the area of: 1) Health, Fitness & Weight Loss 2) Financial 3) Giving Back and Making an Impact.
- Begin with writing them down. Then below each goal condense down to 6 months, 3 months and 1 month goals. This breaks your actions into more bite-sized pieces that are not so overwhelming and provide a benchmark to measure if you are on track throughout the year. Then take your 1 month goal and break it down to a weekly goal followed by a Daily Action Plan.
Goals are do-able, specific and fit your lifestyle. Setting a goal to lose 40 lbs in 1 month is not going to fit your lifestyle long term. Sustainable goals are more like mild lifestyle tweaks than full-blown makeovers. Go for the kind of small change that also has the potential for a big health impact. You’re more likely to be successful that way.
Make 2017 your healthiest Year
• Go green: Eat something green with every meal – even breakfast. Try spinach, kale, broccoli, or any dark-green leafy vegetable. They’re loaded with nutrition, not calories. Eating more greens and less meat is also good for the environment, as livestock generates more greenhouse gases than all the planes, trains, and automobiles in the world. Try greening up a Smoothie for breakfast or lunch or add spinach to your scrambled eggs.
• Stop the sugar madness: When grabbing something to drink, opt for water. The largest single source of unneeded calories in a diet comes from soft drinks and fruit juices.
• Count your steps: Buy a pedometer – either the old-fashioned kind or a new-fangled Fitbit – and challenge yourself to take 10,000 steps every day. Find a walking buddy and make it part of your social life.
• Prioritize sleep: A good night’s sleep is extremely important. Unwind before bed with a good book, bubble bath, or meditation and avoid the evening news or using technology. Did you know Sleep loss can cause accidents (e.g., drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk), impair judgment, make you less smart and more forgetful, depress your mood, age your skin, and increase your appetite, which can lead to weight gain. Commit to a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night and you’ll see dramatic improvements in your physical and mental health.
• Find an Accountability Partner: It’s much easier to maintain a new plan if you have a support buddy and someone to hold you accountable.
Any new change needs to begin with a really clear ‘why’ or reason for doing it. If your ‘why’ isn’t big enough, every sacrifice will be too high to pay..