It’s that time of year. Once January starts to creep around the corner, it’s hard not to think about New Year’s resolutions. Between healthy living goals and career goals, it can be a difficult time to stay organized and grounded. Making plans for yourself and the year ahead can be nerve-wracking and plain complicated. To make your life easier, I’m going to walk you through a step-by-step process on how to break the unwanted habits and seamlessly integrate new ones.
If you’ve had the same goals multiple years in a row, and haven’t seen much success, today’s blog is for you.
Breaking Unhealthy Habits: Where To Start
One key practice I do with my nutrition clients to help them break up with bad habits is something called crowding out. Crowding out is the idea that you can’t truly give up unwanted habits until you have a replacement for them. For example, instead of quitting soda, decide on something better for you that you can enjoy in its place. Maybe it’s sparkling water, fresh-squeezed juice, or tea. With this practice, you’re able to reduce soda without feeling deprived. You can now focus on trying new drinks, finding which one you like, and giving yourself a healthier replacement. Another example could be setting a timer for 10 minutes to do breathing exercises in the morning. If you usually spend that time scrolling social media, you’ve just created a clear, healthy alternative. Crowd out the old, and usher in the new.
Say Hello To A Healthy New Year
Whether you’re trying to design a weight loss plan for yourself or read five books per month, these tips will help you stay on track to meet your goals.
In order to be successful in anything, you need to be crystal clear on what it is you want. For example, saying that you want to implement healthy living practices is not a goal. But saying that you want to reduce the amount of soda you drink and walk for at least 45 minutes every day are. See the difference? It’s like someone telling you to grab them a drink on your way into the office. That’s a lot of pressure! Do they like whole or almond milk? Coffee or tea? Making sure you understand exactly what it is you want to achieve is the best way to make your New Year’s resolutions last.
Make a Plan
Understanding your goal is only the first step. Creating a clear plan on how to achieve it is next. Are you someone that needs everything in your calendar? Do you thrive without boundaries? Make a plan that works for YOU. If you’re not an early riser, don’t commit to 6 AM yoga classes. If you don’t like to make rigid plans, create weekly goals. For example, instead of saying you’re going to workout every day after work, commit to three workout sessions per week. This gives you flexibility to work out whenever it works best for you.
Don’t wait for December to reflect on your progress. You completed your first run? Give yourself a pat on the back. You skipped out on the soda and chose tea? Round of applause! Without acknowledgement along the way, it can be easy to start feeling discouraged. Make healthy living a daily thing to celebrate, not an end goal.
Share Your Progress
When you’re proud of something you’ve accomplished, share it! You can tell a friend or spouse, or share it on social media. People are motivated by your success, even if they don’t say so right away. Think of all of the people who have inspired you to make positive changes in your life. Be the light for others. And if you need a support system, and aren’t sure where to start, the SkinnyFit Facebook community is unmatched. Even if you’ve never posted in the group or don’t know anyone there, your win is their win! Give it a shot and see for yourself.
After a couple weeks of consistency, assess if it’s time to level up. Maybe you’ve crushed your goal of working out three days per week. Now it’s time to try four, or add in a stretch class. Once you’ve transitioned a goal into a habit, see what you want to do next. Don’t rush the process, and don’t give yourself a strict deadline that feels out of reach. Just focus on what it is you want to achieve, and continue pushing yourself toward it!