At the beginning of a new year, everything seems possible, doesn’t it? Good health, a strong body, abundant energy, and peace of mind — they all seem within our reach. And I believe they are, if we set goals and move forward with purpose — before the year takes on a life of its own and sucks up all of our time and energy!
If you’re like me, you’ve probably set healthy living goals for the year, and maybe even planned some strategies for reaching them. I’ve set a couple of healthy eating and exercise goals, and have taken small steps to start working on them. But I want to kick off the year with a lot of momentum — sort of a boost of energy to get things going in the right direction. And you probably want to do that too.
So here are nine things we both can do right now to start out on a positive note and pave the way for a healthy year. Pick three or four and work on them this week to get your health goals for the year moving in the right direction:
• Take a hard look at your calendar. Every goal you or I have set for this year requires one thing that’s always in short supply — time. Eating well takes time, exercising takes time, losing weight takes time — you get the idea. So figure out now how to make time for the things that will help you reach your goals. Take a hard look at your calendar and identify activities you need to drop or delegate in order to free up time. Then practice saying “no” to people who want you to keep doing them.
• Clean out and organize your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Clean out foods you aren’t going to use, then organize the ones you will. Store similar foods and foods that will make a meal together. And put the things you want to use frequently in places where you can find them easily. For example, if you want to use more extra virgin olive oil and whole grain pasta, put them where you can grab them without digging through the pantry.
• Get rid of foods that won’t help you reach your goals. This is the perfect time to get rid of things you really don’t want to eat, including snacks, sweets, candy, junk food, and soft drinks. Just get rid of them. If they’re not in the house, you’re much less likely to eat them.
• Make a meal plan for next week. Eating well is so much easier when you have a plan. So look at your family’s calendar and think about the food you have on hand, then plan meals for the week. And get into the habit of planning meals every weekend, in order to get ready for the new week.
• Stock up on foods that will help you reach your goals. If you’ve set any sort of healthy eating or weight management goals, go shopping and buy only foods that will help you reach those goals. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, lean protein, and whole grains, then do some prep to make it easy to use them during the week.
• Cook double batches of two healthy meals and freeze half of each. One of the easiest strategies for eating more real food and less processed food is to cook double or triple batches whenever possible and freeze half for a busy day. So sometime this week, cook double batches of two healthy meals. Use one batch of each during the week, and freeze one batch of each for a quick meal on a busy day. My free ebook, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Quick and Healthy Meals, includes more ideas for quick meals and tips for prepping healthy food quickly and easily.
• Find the things that help you exercise, and put them in a prominent place. Find your walking shoes, fitness clothes, gym membership card, workout music, hand weights, exercise DVDs — anything and everything that allows you to get up and move! Put them where you can find them — maybe even in a special box, bin or drawer — to make it as easy as possible to reach your exercise goals for the year.
• Find or buy a water bottle and start using it. If drinking more water is one of your goals (which it probably should be for all of us!), get a water bottle and use it. You can use anything from the free bottle your daughter brought home from soccer camp to a pricey fruit infusion bottle, or anything in between. A bottle that’s slightly nicer than the “soccer camp special” may inspire you a bit more, but do whatever works for you. Right now I’m using a stainless steel water bottle that I bought at Wal-Mart for $5.
•Get more sleep. Don’t start the year tired and run down. Rather than cramming in a bunch of activities this week, take some time to rest and allow yourself to sleep 7-8 hours each night. And work on making changes to your schedule so that you can sleep at least 7 hours on most nights throughout the year.
What health goals have you set for this year? I’d love to hear your strategies for giving them a boost of energy to start the year.
Originally published at CalmHealthySexy.
Photo credit – Marek @ Fotolia