“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The beginning of a new year is a great time to release the things that aren’t serving you, and start fresh on new goals (or pick-up where you once left-off before). The Bitchin’ Yogis did a whole podcast this, so check it out!
I’ve been in the fitness industry for 17+ years. I owned an in-home personal training business, am a certified sports nutritionist, wrote a sugar “detox” (cringe at the word, not the program) e-book, am now a yoga instructor, and have worked with so many different clients over the years.
Needless to say, when it comes to new health goals and new year’s resolutions, I have heard it all.
Back in 2011 I wrote an entire post on S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. My grammar was shit back then, but the message was decent. That method worked well for many of my clients (having specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based goals, and work off that when making my own personal goals.
The most popular new year’s resolutions have to do with getting healthy. People want to lose weight, eat better, look better, feel better … you name it.
I feel like this happens because the months of October through January are like a sugar fest for so many people. When we spend a few months getting a little lax with our diet, we feel like crap.
This is also a time for people who have had a life-long struggle with their weight and health to hit the reset button and make positive changes.
So why do most health-related new year’s resolutions “fail” (and I use that term loosely)?
The answer is, people need to find what works for them.
Diets suck. This is a whole other blog post, but in short — we are wired as human beings to move less and eat more.
Instead, we exercise like crazy and restrict our diets to fit into some society standard that is completely unrealistic.
Now, I am not saying we should be lying down on the sofa eating potato chips all day. I am saying, don’t feel like a failure because you can’t keep up with an extreme fitness routine. You aren’t built for it!
Instead, make small changes each day that will make a big impact in the long-run, changes you can stick to.
Here are five tips and examples of what I mean.
1. Make subtle positive changes to your diet rather than trying to do a complete overhaul.
- Start by removing hyperpalatable foods from your home (processed foods loaded with sugar, additives, and sodium making you addicted to eating more), and replace them with whole foods or less processed alternatives.
- Drink more water. A few years ago I committed to using less plastic, I purchased a 40-Ounce hydroflask bottle and now refill that to a: keep track of my water intake and b: avoid drinking from plastic!
- Add in fermented foods (read my post about this, it’s a great habit to get into!)
- Shop locally. Search for local farms to buy your meats and produce. Better for your health and the environment! I was so grateful to find The Family Cow over 3 years ago!
- Find an activity that you enjoy. Now with so many different workout studios, and programs like class pass, you can try out different things and see what will stick. Group fitness may be more motivating then trying to motivate yourself in the gym alone. You may not like spinning or boot camp, but love the gym. Many have free sessions with a trainer to help set you up with a program. There are even so many great at-home programs (Beach Body has great workouts .. no offense, not into their diets or shakes, but the 30-Minute HIIT programs are efficient!) Try a yoga class! I spend WAY less time in the gym, and more time on my mat these days, and feel more fit than ever at age 36!
2. Let go of the “diet” mentality.
- the same thing goes for “detoxing” or “cleansing” –these are words I have used on a cover when selling programs, reluctantly, because they sell.
- Diets are setup to fail, you aren’t a failure though. Look for balance in your life rather than stringent food rules.
3. Believe in yourself
- When you believe in your own success, you can’t fail.
- Think about your “why” –and know you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.
4. Expect roadblocks + resistance to happen
- We don’t “fail” we hit roadblocks. We experience resistance, especially to change.
- If it isn’t the right time, you starting later isn’t starting over. It is picking back up where you left off with more knowledge + experience. Shift your mindset.
- Your journey is yours, it is personal to you. Find what works along that journey, and whatever doesn’t look at it as a lesson.
- Failure isn’t the end. It is about the lesson, and how you handle failure will determine your success.
5. Don’t allow others to dim your light.
- Others will challenge you. Sometimes that challenge is in the form of questioning why you are changing your eating, and try to shame you for it.
- You may hear comments at the gym or see posts on social media about how crowded gyms are in January, and how 3/4 of that dies down by February, unknowingly calling others a failure and using statistics to prove their point. Don’t let them get to you, and don’t allow them to discourage you (see my Instagram post today)
- Surround yourself with like-minded people who want to see you shine, and even have the same goals.
All-in-all I like setting intentions for the new year, rather than resolutions. Small changes each day, set with good intention, lead to big changes in the long run. Commit to them, be patient and forgiving of yourself if you have a set-back, and keep moving forward.
Let me know how I can help you … I am thinking of hosting a FREE group on Facebook. Anti-diet, pro-healthy intentions in all areas of life. We can motivate each other! I know there are many changes I want to make in 2018. Lots of things I want to let go of, and other things I want to fill that space with.
Let me know what motivates you to make changes, and what intentions you have for this year.