Want to be healthy for life, not just for 2012? Two words for you: baby steps.
We live in a society where we want to see results right away. We have no patience for the process of working hard at goals that are for some so easy to accomplish. This article speaks to those of you who start every New Year off healthy – joining gyms, juicing, etc. – then give up after a month or so of trying because you don’t see instant results.
News flash: creating a healthy routine takes new lifestyle changes. By setting goals for ourselves, we encourage motivation. Whether that goal is to exercise more often or to eat cleaner foods, everyone should be aware of where they stand with their health.
Here are 4 easy steps to gear you up for the healthy lifestyle you’re after this New Year:
- Have a plan and be specific. The biggest mistake people make with resolutions is that they are too broad. Just because you announce that you want a better body in 2012 doesn’t mean you’re going to get it – you need a plan! For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, figure out what you’re going to do to make that happen, such as investing in a personal trainer, finding a new gym with classes or meeting with a nutritionist. To track your progress, you must make a weekly chart to record your workouts and eating schedule.
- Be realistic with your goals. It’s a lifestyle, not a short-term process, which is how you have to start thinking. I hear all the body complaints in my studio, but I always get asked the same question: “When am I going to see results?” For those who are as obsessed with a quick turnaround as I am, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: patience is a virtue. My clients know that the more time and effort they put into their workouts, the faster they will see results. But they also know a new body doesn’t develop overnight. The majority of my clients who have the long-term goal of staying fit and lean have changed their outlook on what it means to be healthy and thus have never been happier or calmer in their lives!
- Learn to cook. There are no more excuses on why this is not possible. With all the cookbooks, cooking classes, food blogs, magazines and TV shows, it is easier now than ever to learn how to cook a meal. However, if your New Year’s resolution is to cook every single night, you might be stretching yourself a little thin. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all about baby steps. Research cooking classes in your area and sign up with a friend who also wants to learn. Also, don’t give up if you are not Gordon Ramsey in the first week! Learning a new skill takes time and patience. Here’s a smart tip: hit the grocery store at least every 2-3 days so you have fresh produce in your fridge and no excuse of why you had to skip breakfast. You can absolutely not lose weight permanently if you eat like crap – so you better get on this cooking train.
- Stay aware of what you’re after. Goals are more than just words on a piece of paper or ideas in your head; they are strong desires to make a life-long change. When you start losing the weight you’ve been working so hard for, you don’t want that to stop, do you? Or worse, gain all of it back in 2013? The answer you’re looking for is no. Sticking with a healthy routine will not only make you look better, but also make you feel better in all areas of your life. Be aware of what is going on in your body and mind as you exercise or put food into your mouth. Sure, sometimes you’re going to splurge on birthday cake or skip a few workouts when you’re on vacation, but be aware of that and enjoy yourself while doing it! Just make up for it by adding in an extra workout session or skipping the bread basket at the next work dinner. Staying on a solid routine is what makes these lifestyle changes stick for the long haul, and who doesn’t want that?