After a busy holiday season, many people head into the new year with intentions of being healthier, happier, and less stressed. Unfortunately, by March, that motivation usually starts to fade. It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you’re feeling weighed down and burnt all. Luckily, there are strategies that can help keep you going in the right direction. Let’s review 7 ways to get your health back on track and start feeling great again.
1. Identify Your Triggers And Barriers
Start by taking a look at the things that tend to derail your healthy habits. Maybe you work from home and snack mindlessly all day.
Or maybe you travel a lot and feel like you don’t have enough time to exercise or prepare healthy meals. Identifying these triggers and barriers will help you find ways to avoid them before they start to sabotage your success.
2. Find Your “Why”
Finding your motivation can be a very powerful thing, especially when you’re constantly being enticed. Whether it’s donuts for a coworker’s retirement party, cake on a friend’s upcoming birthday, or decadent dinners on a family vacation, temptation is everywhere.
Determining why you want to be healthy is an excellent way to stay motivated and avoid giving in to the compulsion.
Maybe you want to get healthy so you don’t feel tired all the time. Or because you want to chase your grandkids around. Find what drives you and use that to fuel your fire.
3. Prep For Success
There will always be bumps in the road that can throw you off track. With a bit of preparation, though, you can set yourself up to handle those situations with ease.
For example, when hunger strikes, you’re likely going to grab whatever is available (especially if you’re already exhausted). This usually means you’re going to reach for that bag of chips staring at you right when you open the pantry.
Take away the temptation by keeping healthy snacks on hand, and make sure you’re storing them front and center where they’re easily visible.
4. Don’t “Wait Until Tomorrow”
Oftentimes when people say they want to get back to being healthy, they end up stopping themselves before they even have a real chance to begin.
Let’s say you want to eat healthier, but one morning you grab a chocolate donut for breakfast. Don’t just give up on the day and continue to eat poorly. You have the rest of your day to make healthier choices.
You’re never going to be perfect, so stop “waiting until tomorrow” to be mistake-free. Start now.
5. Plan It Out
You probably shiver every time you hear the words “what’s for dinner.” It’s one of those things that can seem so overwhelming after a long, exhausting day. Planning out your meals, though, is a great way to have one less thing off your plate each week. Not to mention, you’ll waste less food in the process. It’s a win-win!
Start by creating a list of 5-10 meals that your family loves. Refer to the list as you plan out your meals for the week. Try picking easier, less time-consuming meals for the days you know you’ll be extra busy or tired. You can also use this list when you’re headed to the grocery store so you know you’ll have all the staples on hand.
Taking a few minutes each week to plan your meals will help take the pressure and guesswork out of cooking. You’ll know exactly what (and when) you need to thaw and defrost ingredients. Plus, you’ll be less likely to resort to ordering takeout when you already have the healthier homemade option ready to go.
6. Move Your Body
It’s easy to think of reasons to skip the gym, especially if you have a long day ahead. Getting your body moving doesn’t only have to happen inside the gym, though. Whether you’re at home or in the office, take a break every 20 minutes or so to get up for a short walk. Take your phone calls on your walk too.
Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator. And choose a parking spot slightly farther away than you normally would choose. This is a great way to easily get some extra steps in just a few minutes’ time.
When you’re at home, try doing some exercises during your favorite TV show. You can even start out by only doing them during the commercials. Slowly work up your endurance and you’ll start to notice a difference in no time.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is one of those things that you know you should do, but isn’t always fun or easy to accomplish. After a while, water can seem bland and you start craving something with flavor. Try squeezing lemon or lime into your water. Or you can even use flavor enhancers, like Mio, to give your tastebuds a kick.
Make sure to bring your water bottle everywhere you go. This means everywhere. When you constantly have access to water, there’s no room for excuses not to hit your hydration goal. Plus, it’s a simple reminder to take a sip every time you look at the bottle.
Try setting a goal that you must finish your entire water bottle before drinking coffee or pop. This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite beverage while still being accountable for your daily water intake. Click here to learn about sneaky signs that you may be dehydrated.