Here we are, another January and another chance to set goals for the new year. As much as I and others talk about skipping resolutions because they just don’t work, I see so many posts on social media from friends and even former clients about their resolutions to eat healthy, exercise more, stress less, etc. It seems we can’t get out of the mindset or the habit of making resolutions in January.
What if this year, we change that mindset or habit along with the idea that we have to achieve some level of perfection when it comes to eating right and exercising? What if we start 2016 by throwing out the idea that we have to join a gym, or commit to some brutal exercise class or program that we don’t really like and we know we won’t be doing a year from now in 2017?
This year, let’s resolve to have balance in our life. Let’s think of exercise in terms of movement. Let’s think of “diet” in terms of fueling our body instead of depriving ourselves or giving in to emotional eating. Let’s think of HEALTH.
Many of us have sedentary jobs, families at home, older parents to take care of, financial stresses, or a number of other commitments that will take priority over the $60 a month gym membership. Instead of stressing ourselves over the fact that we are “donating” $60 a month because we can’t get to the gym every day, how about we take a walk every day? It may be on our lunch break, it may be in the morning before everyone is awake and the day has started, it may be at the end of the day to relieve stress. Is the weather bad where you live? Find an indoor track, or create a walking path in your house. Yes, walk in your house. Put on headphones with your favorite music and walk for 10 minutes. So what if the dog or the kids are making faces at you! You’re moving and improving your health.
Do you spend at least 5 minutes before you go to bed checking your phone, email, or Facebook? Shut off the electronics, and spend that 5 minutes stretching or doing yoga instead. It will reduce stress, relax your mind and body, and help you to sleep better. You’re moving and improving your health.
Are you an all day coffee or soda drinker? Follow each cup of coffee or can of soda with a glass of water. You may find that you start drinking just the water and cutting back on the soda. You’re improving your health.
Will you be perfect at these changes? Of course not, but you will start thinking differently. Instead of not being aware of how much you haven’t moved, you will begin to think, “I haven’t gone for my walk today”. That awareness is improvement. Will something such as illness or work deadlines get you off track? You can count on it! However, you will start your routine again as soon as you can and not feel defeated or give up. Will you have too much dessert or too much wine? Probably, but it isn’t the end of the world or the end of your health goals. Just get back on track.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t about perfection. It is about making small changes, awareness, and letting go of ideals that never really worked. Start today by looking for opportunities to move. Walk to your co-worker’s desk instead of emailing her. March in place tonight while you are watching the news. Drink one more glass of water than you did yesterday. Start 2016 out right, but in a way that you don’t have to start all over again in 2017.