Happy New Year! Resolution time is here. This year go beyond “I want to lose weight and get in shape.” Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time specific (aka SMART) goals. Here are some ideas you might want to consider.
Get inspired with this list of goals for better health in 2018!
Goal: Lose body fat rather than focus on overall weight. It is very difficult to control the number on the scale but what you can control is the action you take to get in better shape. Eating a healthy diet along with working out is something you can control. Losing body fat will change the shape of your body so focus on that rather than lowering the scale. Just because the scale isn’t budging doesn’t mean positive changes aren’t happening!
Goal: Get Stronger. Set a strength goal. Want to do more push ups? Bench more weight? Tighten up your behind? Try a 30 day challenge for push ups or squats. Follow a lifting guide to increase your power.
Goal: Schedule Your Workouts. Like a doctor’s visit, schedule yourself exercise appointments. Have a plan of when you will exercise and what you will do. This will make it easier to stick to. Often we are too vague in our exercise intentions and easily find excuses not to follow through. Have a plan. Follow it.
Goal: Sign up and Train for a Race. Sign up to walk, jog, run, swim or bike your way to the finish line. Training for a race will give you a plan to follow. Sign up with a friend for accountability. Try a 5k if this is your first attempt.
Goal: Master a Skill. If fitness is already a regular part of your life, you still might need a little motivation to keep it interesting. Try mastering a skill like pull ups, head stands, that yoga pose you’ve been avoiding.
Goal: Improve your Cardio. Cardiovascular health goes beyond burning calories. Increasing your heart rate, giving your lungs a workout, lowers blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and reduces your risk of heart disease. Start out with taking regular walks. You might progress to jogging, swimming, or other aerobics such as jump roping and HIIT workouts. Jump on a treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, bike, pool or go outdoors.
Goal: Drink More Water. Drinking enough water can boost energy, keep you feeling
fuller longer, help eliminate toxins stored in the body, keep things moving, prevent headaches. set a water goal. Start with 8 oz more each day than you currently drink.
Goal: Track Your Nutrition. Writing down what you eat every day can help you see more clearly what (and how much) you’re really eating. Modifications can be made based on your goal. This is great accountability too! Using an app like My Fitness Pal makes it simple.
Goal: Skip Soda and Other Sugary Drinks. It’s empty calories. Full of sugar. Soda just isn’t good for you. Even the diet stuff. Drink water instead. You can start by mixing seltzer with a splash of fruit juice. Next, flavor flat water with lemon or other fruits. You’ll save $ too. Swap your fancy coffee drinks with regular coffee and a splash of milk. Reduce the sugar and cream in your coffee a little bit at a time until you don’t need it at all. One less sugar packet per day cuts nearly 5,500 calories a year.
Goal: Eat Better Carbs. Replace refined carbs with whole grains and even better- vegetables. Whole grains have more protein and fiber so your body takes longer to digest them; you’ll fuller for longer. Try other carb-swaps like brown rice, pasta alternatives made from beans, spiralized veggies and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips and butternut squash.
Goal: Eat More Veggies. You know that veggies are full of fiber and nutrients. They will fill you up and lower your simple carb intake. Add some spinach, peppers and onions to those am eggs. Spiralize veggies to swap for pasta. Roast or steam veggies to go along with your dinner. Have a meatless dinner day.
Goal: Plan Ahead. Prep some meals and snacks for the week ahead on Sunday. Make a double batch of dinner and freeze it into individual servings or eat leftovers for lunch. Cut up fruit and veggies for easy healthy snacks. Shop sales and meal plan around the deals.
Goal: Cook One More Night Than You Currently Do Each Week. If you get take out multiple times per week, set a goal to eat at home more. Start by cooking 1 more night each week and then try 2. You can double the amount and have enough for 2 dinners with only one night of cooking!
Goal: Be More Flexible. Improving your flexibility can lead to less stiffness, reduced joint and back pain and greater ease of movement. Start with setting a goal of stretching of 5 minutes each day. You can even do it before getting out of or into bed. Eventually you consider practicing yoga or Pilates.
Goal: Get More Sleep. Adequate sleep can help you feel less hungry, reduce your stress, and give you more energy. Studies have shown that sleep plays a key role in your mental and physical health. If you are struggling to get enough, a few suggestions: try white noise, lower the temperature in your bedroom, try a diffuser with lavender, practice meditation or gratitude before bed and turn off electronics.
- Watch your portions- measure out what you eat for a week until you feel comfortable eye-balling it.
- Upgrade your breakfast- swap cereal for eggs, yogurt and nuts or other higher protein option.
- Reduce sugar. Start slow and cut back on added sugar in your diet.
- Instead of sandwiches, put that protein over a salad, wrap it in lettuce or use just one slice of bread.
- Take The Stairs. Set a policy that you will take the stairs. At work, when shopping, at the doctor’s – anywhere you can.