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Revitalize Your New Year’s Wellness Goals

Revitalize Your New Year’s Wellness Goals

At the end of December, I graduated from college and could not have been more excited to have more “time” on my hands. I could finally make it to the gym, have time to make dinner every night, and take better general care of myself.

Reality hit me hard very quickly.

I may not have been taking 18 credits and working full time, but I now had two jobs plus being a mama (so that makes three). Time is still not on my side, so my new year’s goals, admittedly, have suffered. These goals, like for many people, reside in the health and wellness sphere. Juggling all of that while making sure that I am eating healthy enough to get all the micronutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle is an endeavor in itself.

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By this time of year, most people have lost the enthusiasm they had when they were with friends counting down the seconds to ring in the new year. It’s only natural.

Setting new year’s goals we can keep is difficult. We get back into the swing of everyday life and self care falls to the wayside. In addition to other tips out there on the web — like asking specific questions to define your goals — here are my tips to help resurface the commitment to yourself that you had at the beginning of the year. They take a bit of a different perspective than the usual “Just do it” standards that have become common to give you that extra motivation.

Make a Vision Board

If you are a visual person, vision boards are perfect for you and the effort it takes to create the board will resonate with you for a while. If you have any old magazines, newspapers, even books you’d be willing to take apart lying around, sift through them and cut out pictures and quotes that reflect the goal you are attempting to achieve and create a collage with them. Not only is this very creative but it is a successful form of motivation.

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Write it Out

For those of us who are typically detail-oriented, nothing gets done without a plan set in place. Sit down and create a plan of attack. How are you going to achieve this goal? What are you going to do daily to make sure that it is achieved? Spell out the what, when, where, why, and how of it all.

Then print it out and put it somewhere you will see it daily. Also add the details and times, if this applies, to your calendars.

For me, that means my Google calendar that sends me notifications and my physical calendar at home. Constant reminders are key. Set notifications to be sent to you daily or weekly while at work or once you get off during those times when you know you’re going to be craving a cigarette or want to stop at that fast food restaurant on the way home.

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Try the Buddy System

There’s nothing quite like someone you know in your ear reminding you how badly you want and deserve to achieve this goal. Even something as simple as a call every two weeks within the buddy system is shown to increase the likelihood of staying on track by 78%.

Most of us know someone who is right there with us and feeling a little discouraged, so why not buddy up? There are also countless support groups at gyms, and tons of message boards and forums online with people right there with you attempting to quit a bad habit or focus on healthier living.

Keep it Positive

Write positive, helpful notes to yourself. Yup, I said it: notes to yourself. It sounds silly but it is effective and helpful.

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Take sticky notes and write out reasons why this new goal is important to you and place them in places that you will see every day. They could be as simple as stating the actual goal and placing them in places you see daily or could be things like, “because I want to be able to keep up with the kids,” placed on the refrigerator door or, “Summertime in my little yellow polkadot bikini!” on your bathroom mirror.

Place them in places that you see every day — your car visor, bedside table, a note in your wallet, on the cupboards. Remember to keep them positive. Who doesn’t love a little extra motivation? Make a few of them affirmations as well, like “Because I am worth it,” or “Yellow looks great on me,” or simply, “I am remarkable and I deserve the best.”

Conclusion

You are remarkable and you do deserve the best — even though we all sometimes forget it because life becomes too busy. In the crazy connected world we live in, everything moves so quickly and seems so urgent that there seems to be no time for self care. In reality, this thinking is very backwards. Without proper health and wellness, your mind and body are operating on less-than-excellent conditions, leaving you fatigued and, in some cases, depressed. Time to return to your earlier new year’s enthusiasm and revitalize those wellness goals with determination, support, and a positive attitude.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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