With January 1st right around the corner, it seems like everyone is talking about the resolutions and lifestyle improvements they want to make in 2018. It’s awesome to hear so many people interested in bettering their health, but what I’m most interested in is sharing tips and tools that will make those goals feasible and enjoyable! Today we’re highlighting resources and key areas we suggest focusing on as you begin the new year with health on your mind. Above all what we hope you take away is that a journey towards improved health and physically fitness is a marathon, not a sprint!
To prepare yourself to succeed in 2018, you’ll want to be intentional, well-prepared and educated on what works… which is where HonestlyFIT resources come in! Here are the areas we think deserve the most attention:
- Set goals for your performance not appearance – Studies show the importance of focusing your energy on smaller actions and performance metrics (aka process and performance goals) if you want the best shot at achieving your grandest goals. By concerning yourself most with those types of goals you stay on track because they are highly prescriptive; you stay driven because you see more consistent wins; and you stay engaged because tracking milestones educates you on specific, actionable ways you can improve. See this post for more details on why this is an effective approach and examples to get you started!
- Get enough sleep – At this point the research is just undeniable, getting enough sleep is a critical part of our bodily health and wellness. I know it’s hard to get 8 hours of sleep each night but it’s 100% worth the effort. Sufficient sleep is linked to a multitude of benefits, including better mental and athletic performance, lower rates of disease, less overeating and improved mood. Try preparing yourself for an earlier bedtime by: eliminating afternoon caffeine; taking melatonin; no TV or screen time for the 1 hour prior to bed (go for a book or magazine!); and setting your technology to start dimming when it’s time to tuck in for the day (iPhone nighttime setting or for computers, use f.lux).
- Know when to take a day off – There is some method to the madness of ramping up your workouts and it’s important to know when to take it easy (after really intense exercise) and when it’s okay to sweat on back-back-back days. See Yes, Rest Days Are Important for general rest days rules that are scientifically backed and work for our bodies.
- Find apps and technology tools that support your healthy habits – You’re not in this alone! Many people have found great support from Facebook, studio groups and apps, so be open to joining a new network and using tools to track your progress. We profiled our favorite, low cost fitness apps here and will be sharing more inspirational accounts and resources in the weeks to come.
- Eat smart – The old adage, “abs are made in the kitchen” is annoying but true! Also true is that it’s really important to prioritize nutrient rich foods and be open minded to trying new things until you find the balance that is right for you. For some, this means exploring the world of herbal supplements, for others it means eliminating gluten or dairy, and for others it’s about learning to cook so you can prepare your own healthy food more affordably. No amount of exercise can undo the effects of poor diet on a body’s vitality, so it is a great idea to commit to being intentional about your nutrition, and listen to signals around food and drink. Our Well category can be a go-to destination for your recipe needs and wellness trend information, especially since we’ve got a lot more coming in 2018! If you want a nutrition plan to hop on starting January 1, we are fans of the Whole30 program.
- Be patient – Everything takes time. Don’t give up if you don’t feel and see positive results immediately. Slow and steady wins the race and is 100x more sustainable in the long term, which is what living FIT is all about!
Good luck and happy New Year!
Images by Andrea Posadas for HonestlyFIT