Small Changes = Big Results
Every year it’s the same thing – we say we don’t believe in making New Years resolutions but then we go right on ahead and do so. They’re usually quite lofty goals even if they seem like easy changes. We promise ourselves starting January 1st that we’ll eat better ALL the time, find more time for self-care (including sleeping that ever-elusive eight hours a night), and work out more so we get six-pack abs (this will be the year, right?!).
What works best, though, is making a few small changes.
Eating healthy meals means planning healthy meals
This means more than buying those “easy and healthy recipe” magazines while standing in line for groceries. I’m the worst for this; I’ve bought so many of these along with magazines that promise a “firmer, tighter tush in six weeks” and then never read them. I feel as though the act of buying them is an accomplishment in itself. Gah.
Begin a diet change with stocking up on healthy foods. When grocery shopping, plan for at least three days’ worth of meals and snacks (some people manage to shop for the week but I like to stock up on fresh veggies and fruits regularly). Set aside some time when you get home and rather than shoving all the fruits and veggies into the fridge where they might never see the light of day again, wash and chop them up so they’re ready to go. If I’m organized enough and do shopping for a week’s worth of meals, I’ll put some of those veggies and fruits into portion-sized containers and freeze them. Prep makes cooking so much easier, whether it's for a quick stir-fry or shake. It also staves off the excuse of “having nothing to eat so let’s order in pizza/sushi/Chinese.”
Even a little bit of exercise can do a world of good
I still have a gym membership even though I visit once every three months. Wishful thinking, eh? However, I do some light workouts at home three times a week and, when I’m feeling up to it and have the time, I’ll go out for a run. It’s important to do something that works for you. Sure failure happens when you push yourself into doing something you hate and/or something that simply doesn’t fit with your schedule.
Wake up with push-ups. This is a great way to get the blood moving when you roll out of bed. Start by kneeling on the floor (if you don’t have carpet, use a mat as hardwood floors are not fun for the knees). Push your hips up and behind so your body resembles an upside-down V shape. Then shift forward and bend your elbows into a full pushup. Look ahead rather than down as it will helps with your push-up posture. If you are a push-up newbie, then keep your knees to the floor. I do this routine for two minutes.
My second go-to morning exercise is a squat. Squats are so great for hip stability while strengthening your calves, quads, and hamstrings. Stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower yourself down as if you were going to sit in a chair. I do three sets of 12 squats to start the morning.
As with anything, please check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Schedule in you time
Your own time can be an aromatherapy bath once a week with SeaLuxe’s wonderful bath salts or even a Do-Not-Disturb hour to read once a week. Again, whatever works best for you. Just remember - you deserve taking a moment in the week for your own time out. Your mental health will thank you.
You might be surprised at the big effects small changes can have.
Happy New Year to all of you!