With New Years just around the corner, many of us feel the need to make some healthy changes to our lifestyle and diet- or just get back on track (a.k.a. the horse!)
This past weekend I was fortunate to spend a fun evening with friends enjoying one more super sized feast! But- we all agreed that in January something needed to change! Whether it is the extra sugar, lack of vegetables, or the workout routine gone south, many of us are feeling the effects and ready for a reboot in January!
According to Chinese Astrology, on February 19th, 2015, we will leave the year of the Horse behind, and begin “Spring” as the year of the sheep. The Sheep is the eighth sign in Chinese astrology and number “8” is considered to be a very lucky number. It symbolizes wisdom, fortune and prosperity. This year will be especially lucky and rewarding for people who are born in the Year of the Sheep or Goat! So make the most of it!
Being a horse lover and owner I know what it is like first hand to fall off, and yes, get back on again. And trust me as hard as it seems at the time, once you are back up in the saddle you are certainly glad that you did.
To help you get a head start and back on track here are my best 10 tips to a healthy 2015!
- Be consistent. Doing is becoming. The more consistently you perform your new behavior, the easier it is to make it a habit. Set a schedule, write it in your day planner or input it into your phone calendar.
- Be prepared. If you plan on exercising in the morning, have your workout gear ready to put on. If you are waiting for the evening, same idea but pack a bag with your necessary gear ready to go. Make up your water bottle and have a pre-workout snack packed the night before.
- Find a Buddy. Ask a friend or family member to join you in your New Years Reboot! You’ll both find it easier to stay motivated in the long term when you have someone to check in with.
- Be kind to yourself and start small. Implementing change can be stressful, so try adding in only a couple changes at a time and make those goals specific. For example, I am going to get up 30 minutes early Monday, Wednesday and Friday and do 30 minutes of exercise. This way you are much more likely to stick with your program and have lasting results.
- Track or journal. Wear a pedometer, fit bit, or go the old fashioned route and use a daily journal to log your food intake and exercise. This totally helps keep one accountable!
- Celebrate the small steps along the way. Treat yourself to a massage, pedicure or a new workout shirt or playlist to keep you motivated along each milestone you reach.
- Reduce your stress. Look for ways to reduce stress, as it will undermine your discipline and your health.
- Aim for 7-8 hours per night to wake up feeling rested and have the energy you need to get through the day, achieve your goals, and avoid cravings.
- Make it fun and try something new! Each week try a new green vegetable. Make Mondays meatless. Never tried yoga? Go for it. Sign up for a cooking class or set of fitness classes.
- Get support. Don’t be afraid to ask your family for support and to not sabbatoge your success with their choices. Same goes with friends who may not have gotten “back on their horse”. If you know that meeting with them in the pub is going to be too much of a temptation, opt for tea in the afternoon until you feel in control.
If you find yourself after some timely indulgences this past holiday season feeling like you have “fallen off the horse”- put those days behind you, set an intention and get back on again. Sure it will take a little adjustment, but in just a short time you will be on your way to better health and feeling in control again. I am talking about getting back to the gym, ditching the junk and processed foods, and crowding out those cocktails with H2O.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”