10 Tips To Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution
Chances are at some time in your life, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. Here are ten tips to help you get started.
1. BE REALISTIC
The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.
3. OUTLINE YOUR PLAN
Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.
4. MAKE A “PROS” AND “CONS” LIST
It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5. TALK ABOUT IT
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
6. REWARD YOURSELF
This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.
7. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.
8. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.
9. STICK TO IT
Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!
10. KEEP TRYING
If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track
7 Reasons To Make Time For Morning Exercise
Yes, really. Your mornings are probably crazy—involving a lot of drinkable food, dry shampoo, and outfit changes. But your day will be so much better if you make time for a morning sweat session. Here’s why.
1. You’ll be more likely to stick with your exercise routine.
No surprise here: trudging to the gym after hours of work is a pain. You can spend your entire day dreading the deadlifts to come. Plus, excuses build up: a friend invites you over for drinks, you have to stay late at work, etc. Morning exercise ensures that life’s pesky distractions don’t interfere with your fitness goals.
2. You can use it as an excuse to drink more coffee.
Studies show that caffeine consumption before exercise can up your workout speed and quality, and it can even help you power through a tough sweat session. Ergo, you deserve one or two cups of coffee before your morning exercise.
3. You can humblebrag all day long.
Trust me—talking about your workouts will make your co-workers love you. You can say something like this, for example: “Sorry I’m late! Getting to work on time is a bit harder when I run my morning 10k.” #sorrynotsorry
4. You might just shed a pound or two.
One study suggested that you can burn up to 20 percent more fat by exercising first thing in the morning, before you’ve eaten breakfast. Surprisingly, researchers found that this didn’t increase participants’ appetites later in the day.
5. You’ll probably eat healthier for the rest of the day.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel extra virtuous after working out. No way am I going to ruin that feeling by sneaking snacks from the office cookie jar. Research also confirms that morning exercise curbs your daily calorie intake more than afternoon exercise.
6. You’ll sleep like a baby.
Working out increases your alertness, warms up your body, and speeds up your metabolism. That’s fantastic in the morning. But in the evening, right before bed? Well, some people find that they toss and turn more after invigorating evening exercise. Most research, however, concludes that regular workouts in general will do wonders for your shuteye.
7. You’ll start the day in an awesome mood.
The link between exercise and mood is hardly new. Even five minutes after your workout, you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the day. Plus, daily movement is one of the best things you can do for your stress levels. Research even shows that people who find time to exercise tend to feel that they have better work-life balance
Healthy Living Tip
Replace saturated with unsaturated fat
Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:
- We should limit the consumption of total and saturated fats (often coming from foods of animal origin), and completely avoid trans fats; reading the labels helps to identify the sources.
- Eating fish 2-3 times a week, with at least one serving of oily fish, will contribute to our right intake of unsaturated fats.
- When cooking, we should boil, steam or bake, rather than frying, remove the fatty part of meat, use vegetable oils.
Butternut Squash With Whole Grains
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup uncooked whole grain brown and red rice blend
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
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- In a 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 8 ingredients. Stir in broth.
- Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until grains are tender. Stir in spinach before serving.
Note: This recipe was tested with RiceSelect Royal Blend whole grain Texmati brown and red rice with barley and rye. Look for it in the rice aisle.
3/4 cup: 97 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 252mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 4g fiber), 3g protein.