Starting the New Year Off Right!

By Jennifer Gendron, PTS/FIS

As we quickly come to the end of 2017, we begin to look ahead to the New Year and all that it will bring.  Many of us will set “resolutions” as we roll in to 2018 with goals in a variety of areas however, often times, we set our expectations so high that we quickly fall away from our resolutions and they end up never being achieved. This year, I would encourage you to think not necessarily about resolutions but about positive changes that you want to make in your life as we enter 2018.  What are some manageable changes that you can make to live a healthier more balanced life in the New Year?  Once you figure out what those are, be sure to write them down.  Writing them down makes us that much more likely to actually follow through and achieve them.  To make your commitments even more solid, share them with a friend or a loved one.  By speaking your plans out loud, you are also more apt to actually follow through as now you have someone who will keep you accountable.

Here are some things you may want to consider as possible commitments for 2018:

1.  Make a commitment to fitness.  If this is one of your plans for 2018, don’t just make a resolution and join a fitness center that you won’t see after February!  Take some time to actually come up with a plan.  Make a commitment to yourself and build fitness in to your schedule.  This is one of the hardest things for many of us – to stay consistent and make fitness an actual part of our daily lifestyle.  By taking the time to create a plan and schedule it in like any other appointment on your calendar, you are much more likely to stick with it.  If you have trouble staying on track, join a group program or hire a personal trainer to keep you accountable.

2.  Make healthy nutritional changes.  While many people use January 1st as a time to start a “diet” or a weight loss program, these sorts of commitments also tend to quickly fall away as we put ourselves in situations where we follow unrealistic plans that won’t fit our lifestyles long term. While you may see quick results from crash diets, it is not a healthy way to loose weight and sustain good health.  Instead, think of small changes you can make to your eating plan that are manageable and sustainable long term such as cutting down on the sugar you consume, removing processed foods

from your diet, increasing the amount of vegetables you eat, etc.  By making changes that are sustainable long term, you will set yourself up for long term success and avoid getting on a yo-yo plan that has you on a roller coaster ride.

3. Make time for you.  If I could suggest one thing for 2018 for all of us, it would be to schedule time each and every day to do something for yourself!  This is something that many of us struggle with as we try to keep up with the demands of work, family and other commitments.  In today’s world, we find ourselves over-committed with very little down time and we are conditioned to think that it is selfish to take some time for ourselves however, it is one of the most important things you can do to live a healthy lifestyle.  By building some “you” time in to each and every day to relax and re-connect with yourself,  you will reduce your stress levels, improve your mood and have more to offer those around you.  This does not have to be complicated.  It can be as simple as a few minutes of deep breathing, a quiet walk in the woods, a hot bath, a few minutes to read your favorite book – whatever it is that relaxes you and helps you unwind.  You will be surprised to find that the more you focus on slowing down, the more able you will be to speed up and be productive when necessary.

4.  Be grateful.  One of the most therapeutic practices you can ever begin is keeping a gratitude journal.  In today’s world, we are bombarded with the negative on a daily basis from the time we turn on the news to listening to co-workers at the water cooler.  By taking a few minutes at the end of each and every day to focus on the things you are grateful for, it will return your focus to the positive and encourage you to see all the good things that surround you each and every day.  No matter how bad your day, there is always something to be grateful for and taking some time to reflect on that each and every day will help you to stay in a positive mindset and get through the more difficult times with renewed energy and positivity.

These are just a few suggestions of things you can focus on in 2018 to make this your best year ever! By taking the time to focus on what is important to you and coming up with small changes that can have a big impact, you will set yourself up for success for the coming year.

 

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