Hello again and Happy New Year to all! 2017 is here and many of you are determined to activate your healthier lifestyle, whether it be a fresh dedication to working out, living a stress-free life, changing up your diet or making more time for yourself. It’s easy to start strong during the first few weeks of January. After all, you’re probably eager to try out that new food processor, don those stylish workout clothes and press play on that meditation CD.
But it’s what happens after the excitement wears off that matters. It’s about what you do when you don’t WANT to hit the gym after work, when you’re craving an ice cream sundae and when you are tempted to put off your daily meditation for another half hour of sleep.
We’ve all been there. So we know what works. Here is a handy list of our top 10 tips to help you stick to your health resolutions throughout January–and for the entire year.
Tip 1: Keep choosing right
Remember that living healthy is a continuous choice. This might sound basic, but it’s actually our most important tip. Conscious healthy living is not a one-time choice. It’s a repeated action that requires you to keep choosing the healthier way, even when you don’t particularly feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. It requires focus and dedication at first, but it will get easier over time.
Tip 2: Create a realistic plan
Many people crash and burn after the first few weeks of a healthier lifestyle plan because they set impossible goals and get discouraged when they are unable to achieve them. Create a long- and short-term plan with realistic expectations. We spend a lot of time at our health retreats coaching our guests about how to create expectations that they can meet. When you create an achievable plan, you set yourself up for lasting success.
Tip 3: Get together with a buddy
Don’t think you need to go it alone! Plan meals with a coworker, make new friends at a fitness retreat or schedule a yoga date with a pal once a week. Holding yourself accountable to someone else will encourage you to stay motivated and will help you get back on track faster if you start to lose steam.
Tip 4: Visit a wellness retreat
Schedule a stay at one of the wellness retreats in your area. During your retreat, you will get a baseline reading of your overall health against which you can measure your future progress. Not only will you try new activities and meet new people, you will learn techniques that you can take back home with you and use throughout the rest of the year. You’ll also be part of a community that you can tap back into for ongoing support and inspiration.
Tip 5: Tackle your weaknesses head on
Make a list of your own personal pitfalls. Your list might include things like late night snacking, a quick trip through the drive-thru after work, or not wanting to head to the gym on rainy (or sunny!) days. When you know what your weaknesses are, you can create a plan to counteract them as they arise. Plan your meals in advance, empty your house of unhealthy food, lay out your gym outfit the night before. This proactive approach will guide you through times of resistance.
Tip 6: Mix up your workout routine
Many people fall out of the exercise habit simply because they get bored. So mix up your workout routine and keep your inspiration and interest levels high. Visit a fitness retreat to get exposed to new fitness activities. Hire a personal trainer who can show you new ways to work out. Join a Meetup group dedicated to a fitness activity you’ve always wanted to try. The point is to try new things and stay invested in your own success.
Tip 7: Track your progress
It’s easy to get discouraged when you have no idea how far you’ve come. Buy a fitness tracker to keep tabs on your exercise activities. Keep a journal to record your healthy meal choices. Take note of your ability to reach a particular yoga posture after months of trying. Recognizing what you have accomplished so far will inspire you to keep going.
Tip 8: Just say no
It’s easy to slip into old habits–that beer with a coworker, that calorie-packed casserole at the company picnic–but remember that each “no” is a re-commitment to your own goals. Until your healthier lifestyle choices become second nature, you’ll need to actively turn down some of the activities that were once part of your (unhealthy) lifestyle. Ignore the naysayers who don’t understand. Instead, set an example for them.
Tip 9: Learn from the pros
Get inspiration from professionals in an area that interests you. Subscribe to your favorite healthy chef’s YouTube channel or buy their signature cookbook. Meet experts at health retreats who are living your desired lifestyle and follow them on social media. Take a workshop from a spiritual leader who matches your own philosophy. The point is to find living examples of the type of person you want to be so you can see that it is possible–and that you’re already on your way.
Tip 10: Congratulate yourself
Whether you achieve all of your goals or not, give yourself credit for making the choice to live healthier and for how far you’ve come already. If you fall short of your ultimate goal, don’t scrap your entire plan. Your next meal, next workout class, next meditation session are all fresh chances to start anew.
Make your #1 priority this year to maintain your motivation. Stay focused, keep trying even when it’s hard, and remember that whether you achieve your health goals or not, simply staying on track is still a success.
If you would like help setting and achieving your 2017 health and wellness goals, call us at (800) 527-1936 and we’ll work with you to create a plan that you can feel good about.