Nearly half of our nation made resolutions for the coming year. The top goal? Losing weight. Related fitness objectives rank close behind. Tracking gadgets, supplements, and exercise equipment fly off store shelves this month. Consumers spend billions on the promise of a healthy lifestyle.
Most won’t keep their commitments long enough to see results. After skipping the routine one day or indulging in an extra treat or two, resolutions falter before the spring time change. Fitbits find a new home in the drawer. Treadmills become expensive sweater dryers. All those pricey supplements might as well have been flushed down the toilet.
The statistics discourage some of us from making goals in the first place. Instead of giving up on self-improvement, we can opt for a better way to reach our optimal lifestyle. Setting the right goals can aim us toward success. And the top health objectives won’t strangle your budget. Try these vital goals on for size.
1. Set sustainable goals.
In addition to the SMART characteristics (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, Time-bound), the best goals aim for permanent lifestyle changes. If you’re not a morning person and you work full time, don’t try to get up at four in the morning and jog twelve miles every day. Create a realistic exercise goal you’re likely to keep forever. Start with small changes and work your way toward the lifestyle of your dreams.
2. Shrug off the pricey beverage hype and drink more water instead.
Chapped lips and pinched skin which returns to place slowly can both signal dehydration. Unless you’re experiencing significant electrolyte loss, the body needs water more than the high-sugar drinks. Most of us don’t drink enough to sustain basic health. With additional moisture lost through sweat and breathing during exercise, we need even more. Thirst occurs after the body experiences significant deficiency. Since the brain often confuses thirst with hunger, a large glass of water can satisfy us when we thought we might have wanted to eat. The cheapest appetite suppressant has no side effects.
3. Upgrade your tech by adding humans for accountability.
Gadgets may help measure progress, but they can never replace human support. People offer the best accountability. Enlisting a partner remains a vital part of reaching your goals. Since individuals might have periods when they’re unavailable, joining an accountability group is the ideal solution. If you don’t have a group in your area, consider starting one.
4. Shop at your local fruit stand on the way to the store.
Before heading to the supermarket, stop at the fruit stand and stock up on the freshest options. Prioritizing fruits and vegetables makes a great new habit. Farmers markets and fruit stands tend to offer the freshest produce at lower prices.
5. Eliminate saboteurs and block their opportunities for ambush in the future.
Clear out alcoholic beverages, junk food, and late-night tempters. These saboteurs trigger craving cycles and interrupt healthy sleep patterns. Sleep problems exacerbate weight problems, so strategies for rest are important ones. Plan not to binge at parties or events by giving yourself a limit. Have a healthy alternative ahead of time to take the edge off of your appetite. Keep delicious and nourishing options on hand to ward away ambushes. Consider a cup of herbal tea or warm milk with stevia at bedtime instead of salty or sugary snacks.
6. Redefine yourself as a health-conscious person.
Instead of committing to eating better, identify yourself as a healthy eater. Instead of trying to quit smoking, define yourself as a non-smoker. Naming your identity wields far more power than simple semantics. All behavior starts in the brain.
7. Adopt new ways to celebrate, and enjoy them often.
Many of our issues with sustaining healthy lifestyles center around how we frame enjoyment. We celebrate with sweets, indulge ourselves with idleness, and seek empty-calorie foods for reward or comfort. To acheive the healthy life of our dreams, we must re-imagine celebration in ways which bless our bodies and minds. Nourishing food can taste great, but food doesn’t need to be our resource for entertainment. Bubble baths, spa services, walks in beautiful settings, shopping trips, painting, sculpting, board-games with friends, dancing, singing, visits, sight-seeing, performing arts shows, and an endless list of other things can serve as delightful enjoyment instead of food. Be sure to celebrate your small accomplishments often so you never feel deprived.
Which vital goals will you adopt for 2016? Share your commitments with us here. I look forward to hearing your inspiring comments.