by Shannon Doleac and Ellie Rice
The New Year is just hours away, which means a fresh new start for all of us wishing to live a more fulfilling and healthful life. It is also a time for each of us to write down our New Year Resolutions! What do YOU want to achieve in 2015? We often hear people say “be more fit, lose weight, become more toned, and eat more nutritious food.” All well intentioned goals, but what’s missing?
The WHY and the HOW!! To me, New Year Resolutions are an opportunity to reevaluate where you currently are and where you want to be. They are an opportunity to continue working on lasting “lifestyle behavior change” and not a change that will fizzle out in a month or so.
In order to make those lifestyle changes, we need to consider WHY the change is important to us AND plan HOW we will go about implementing the change. “Wishing” it to happen won’t cut it!
Here are a few suggestions from Primal Peak to get you moving in the right direction today:
1. Clean out your Kitchen!!
During the holidays we are spoiled with sugary foods such as cookies, cake, and chocolate. Not to mention all the chips and that hot toddies that sneak in with the social events of the season. It’s time to PURGE! A good rule of thumb is that if it’s in your house, you are way more likely to eat it, especially if is sitting out. By getting rid of all the junk food and restocking your pantry with nutrient-dense, whole foods you will set yourself up to “thrive” in life, and not just “survive.”
2. Set Realistic Goals
Life without goals leaves us little to work towards. At the beginning of the New Year, WRITE down your goals in a place where you can refer back to them frequently. It is important to set REALISTIC goals that are specific and have a plan of action. Goals such as “I want to be skinny” or “I want to lose 200 pounds” are too generic. Why do you want to lose 200 pounds? What would that mean to you? And how will you get there? Start off with short-term steps that will eventually lead you to achieve your long-term vision. The whole point of health is for it to become a lifestyle, not something that will only be achievable for a few months.
Take time throughout your week to read about health, fitness, and nutrition. If you understand why you are doing what you do, and what it is doing for your body and mind, you will be more likely to stay motivated and keep at it. The knowledge of “why” you are doing something will increase purpose for what you are doing. Check out Primal Peak’s Amazon store HERE for our favorite books.
4. Get outside more often!
Getting outside instantly helps the mind and the body!! Ever noticed that? Even a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood will greatly impact your wellbeing and help you feel greater fulfillment in your day-to-day life. What are you waiting for?
This is one of the most underestimated aspects of life. Too many people think they are doing great on 4 to 5 hours of sleep at night. Getting 7 to 8 hours every night will help aid weight loss, improve your mood, leave you with more energy, allow you to be more efficient and productive, help with recovery and enhance immune health, decrease sugar cravings and much more!
6. Take time for yourself and unplug
Life today is too rushed, too busy, and too crazy. We all have things we need to do, deadlines we need to meet, and stress that we carry with us everyday. Whether we feel like we have the time in our day or not, taking time for ourselves is just as high as a priority as taking time to make sure your work is done. Whatever you enjoy doing, take an hour out of your day and do it! Listen to your well-being thank you.
7. Get a planner or a journal!
Write out what you want to cook, when you are going to take time for you, and how you feel each week. Expressing your feelings on paper clears your mind, keeps you focused and is therapeutic by nature. It also proves as a good learning tool to look back on. Use your journal as you choose, but when it comes to nutrition, planning out meals and what you will buy from the grocery store every week, will keep you on track and keep a real-food-lifestyle manageable.
- Plan out what you will eat for the week
- Eat leftovers!
- Make a list of your favorite snacks
- Fill your fridge with plenty of color (fruits and vegetables)
- Cut up your fruit and veggies and put them in container so they are easily accessible
- Take notes of what you make and slowly put together a recipe book to reference.
Here are 10 Examples of Healthful Behaviors that are specific and intentional:
- Drink a cup of water right when you wake up
- Have protein with every meal
- Have at least 3 different colors of food on your plate
- Hard boil a dozen eggs on Sunday for a grab-and-go breakfast
- Swap your afternoon protein or candy bar for an apple and almond butter
- Choose grass-fed beef over conventionally raised
- Exchange your glass of red wine for a mug of herbal tea 4 nights per week
- Touch the Earth with bare feet or hands once per day (stay grounded)
- Quiet the voice in your head and practice guided meditation 10 minutes a day (check out headspace.com)
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier
The New Year is not necessarily a time for abrupt and drastic change in your life. The way a healthier YOU will happen is by looking at life through the lens of “lifestyle change.” Lifestyle changes and behaviors can be one of the hardest things to do, but with well-intentioned daily choices you will begin to experience a more fulfilling life! What will you do today as part of your well-being journey?