As we swing into January many people are asking “what is your new year’s resolution?” The most commons answers usually have something to do with food, fitness, family and fun. But how do you make those last longer than a few weeks? Here are some tips that may help you make it a year long tradition, verses another resolution gone wrong. (Please make sure to scroll to the end, as there is one IMPORTANT resolution that keeps getting forgotten.)
Food: instead of going on a crash diet by restricting calories or cutting all carbs, why not try a healthier approach, such as making a lifestyle change with your eating habits? This can be something as simple as taking local cooking classes, joining a program, researching new methods for eating or signing up for a delivery food service. There are also many apps available that help you log your food throughout the day, which will help you stay on track. A few random examples from all categories are listed below. The key to food is making sure you find something that works for your body, your lifestyle and your schedule. If you have a large weight loss goal, make a healthy plan as to how to get there, it won’t happen overnight and needs to be a yearlong shift verses a one-time loss. Set realistic goals, schedules and work with something that is not drastic or too demanding on your mind or body. One of the best things you can do is have a proper support group, find a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member to hold each other accountable and work together for this change.
Programs: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig
Eating: Whole30, Mediterranean
Delivery: Hello Fresh, Blue Apron
Apps: Loose it, Noom
Fitness: After spending the holidays eating lots of high carb foods and relaxing with friends and family, don’t plan on jumping straight into a full stream fitness program, because your body may not be ready. Instead, if you want to join a gym, try to find one close to home or work, plan to do it with a friend and schedule it onto your calendar. If you want to exercise at home, purchase some videos or print out plans off Pinterest and schedule it into your day. If you want to start walking, go with your spouse or neighbor and plan a time that works with what you want to start with. If you own workout equipment, make a rule that whenever you watch a movie or listen to music, you are on the treadmill or lifting weights. The key to fitness is making sure you are starting at a pace that your body can manage and to slowly build up to what you are wanting. 30-day plans are great, they ease you into workouts on a proper schedule. Apps and fit watches are great, they can remind you to move, track your steps and keep you motivated. As with food, one of the best things you can do is have a proper support group, find a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member to hold each other accountable and work together toward this change.
Gyms – Research locations, costs and features available. Lifetime, Golds, Snap Fitness
Videos – Body Groove, Beach Body, Pilates, Yoga
Pinterest – 30-day abs, 30 day total body, 30 min stretches, etc.
Family: If you are seeking more quality family time, please read my previous blog on unplugging and make sure to include family with your food and fitness plans. Setting a healthy schedule that works for everyone is something that should be a priority for the new year. Eat dinner together, visit your aging parents, grandparents and extended family. Set up pen pals between children, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. A great gift for family that lives far away is a mini iPad so that you can facetime and see each other all year long. Make a note on your schedule to do this monthly and if you live close to each other, schedule face to face time to catch up. Everyone has time in their day, prioritize your schedule, stick to it and everything will flow much easier. Do little things like chores and errands on a schedule so that everyone is involved and helping out. Unify your family and make more memories each year.
Fun: If your resolution involves doing more fun things, there are a lot of options for every schedule and budget. If you don’t have children take a new class, visit some parks, people watch, learn a new hobby, make a bucket list on Pinterest and do something new every few months, make a goal and schedule it into your life so that you have time to plan, save and do it when you want too. Google 100 Bucket list ideas on Pinterest. If you have children, plan a vacation or stay-cation during school breaks. These can be as simple as themed days that involve cooking, games, I-spy, or scavenger hunts for new businesses and place to explore around your city. There are free museums, zoo’s, picnics etc. Many places offer discounts or coupons depending on the time of year and number of people. Buy some cheap fishing poles off amazon and go visit a lake to relax. The ideas are endless, google 100 Fun Ideas for families and explore what there is to do!
No matter what you are looking for, having a budget will help keep the money portion of food, fitness, family and fun at a level that is reachable and with very little stress. Even children can contribute by saving change in a change jar, teens who work can set aside 10% for vacations or spending and save the other 90%. It will add up and won’t break you while you save. Be money smart and work together to reach new goals, baby steps and be patient…nothing happens overnight.
Important Resolution: So What are we missing?
The one thing that most people forget about, but should be at the top of their list, is their mental health. The most important thing to remember for the upcoming year is that your mental health should be your top priority. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body and soul. Make time for you, meditate, pray and pay attention to how you feel each day. Learn to recognize anxiety and depression symptoms and what helps to heal them, not what can distract them and push them aside. They will come back and how well you take care of yourself now will benefit you the entire new year. Journal, practice deep breathing, use positivity sticky notes and really be aware of your thoughts and emotions. If you need help to figure out what will work for you, please seek out a counselor who can give you the tools to work through things that will benefit you for a lifetime.
Selena is currently completing her Masters of Science Degree in Counseling from Crown College. She obtained her Bachelors of Science degree from Crown as well, with a double major in Educational Studies and Christian Studies, and a minor in Psychology. Selena’s professional experience has included a wide array of educational and personal growth mentoring with children and adults of all ages, and in a variety of settings and levels.
As an intern, Selena utilizes strategies that fit each individual personality and situation. She believes that everyone has their own unique way that they understand, behave and process emotions. This helps her focus in on specific areas for each client, so that they may experience personalized growth and understanding. It is Selena’s goal to foster a safe, trusting and supportive relationship with each person that she works with.
Selena has interest working with those impacted by or experiencing the following:
- Anxiety/Panic disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Self-esteem Issues
- Relationship Conflict
- Parental Conflict/Concerns
- Divorce Conflict/Concerns
- Life Transitions
- Sauk Rapids ( Saint Cloud Area)