With the new year upon us, now is that time again where we make resolutions. Usually to better ourselves in some way, or enrich our lives. But how many times have you seen someone, maybe yourself, make resolutions that only last a few weeks or months?
Often times that happens because people aren’t realistic with the things they would like to change. They go for drastic, dramatic changes all at once. Well, that’s just not fair to yourself or any expectations you should have. You can only hold yourself to so much before you end up either wanting to give up, or slipping into your old habits out of comfort. For example, if you don’t have a workout plan at all, it is unrealistic to expect you will all of a sudden start going to the gym five days a week. It’s too much.
So what’s the answer? Make resolutions you can stick with. Concentrate on making small changes that will make an impact on your life. It is after all better to have stuck to a small change permanently than a big one for a limited time.
I’m going to give you a few ideas for small things you can easily commit to. A starting place, for bigger changes yet to come.
1. Drink Water With Your Meals- By making a small commitment to trade in the soda on the side for a big glass of water for three meals a day, you can save yourself nearly 600 calories! (Remember, it only takes cutting 500 calories per day to lose about 1 lb of fat per week) Not to mention the sugar, and other additives in that shiny can. Plus, adding a few glasses of water a day can go a long way towards improving your overall health.
2. Take A Walk- We all know we should get more exercise, but who has the time to hit the gym for long hours on the treadmill these days? Pick a convenience store that is close to your house (that you visit often) an commit to walking there and back when you need something instead of driving. Not only will the exercise add up to a nice result (a 15 minute walk burns almost 100 calories in the average adult), but you will also find that you save gas. Bonus: you are likely to spend less money since you won’t buy the “little extras” that you don’t want to carry back home.
3. Eat Breakfast- I know this is one that most people forget, or just get too busy for but breakfast really is your most important meal of the day. Find a trick that works for you to make sure you are getting a good boost in the mornings. A lot of people find that having fresh fruit around is good because you can grab it on the go. Personally, I make a big batch of healthy muffin tops every weekend and they work the same way for me. I know I’m starting the day off right just by spending a little time to prepare for my morning rush ahead of time. This one will make a big difference in how and what you eat the whole rest of the day.
4. Veg Out- We all need to get more vegetables in our diets, and there are very simple ways you can do that. Prepping your veggies ahead of time is a big help. That way when you are cooking, it’s as simple as grabbing a bag and adding it in. You could also pick one meal per week that you vow to eat a vegetarian dish. This one will also help make you creative so that you don’t get bored with your options. Making hearty soups and sauces is another way. Most of them are packed full of veggies, and easy to make at home without the added chemicals and preservatives you find in the premade varieties.
5. Indulge Yourself- Treat yourself to one hour a week that is set aside just for you. No matter how busy your schedule or who is depending on you, one hour is NOT too much to ask. A little time for yourself can go a very long way to improve your stress levels and overall mental health. Find a way to get away from your everyday demands by riding your bike, roller blading, going for a walk, or simply locking yourself in a room and stretching out for a while. Set a date with yourself and let everyone know that is your time free from distractions. You will be amazed how fast you see changes in your attitude and start to love your time to yourself.
These are just ideas to start off your year on the right foot. Any of these can easily be worked into your day without making drastic changes. But be prepared to see results. Pick one, or a couple of these and see how it works out for you. You will still need your will power on your side, like any life change, but these will be a little easier to hold yourself to.
What are your resolutions? I would love to know what you plan to do with your year, and how it’s working out. Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below.