Happy New Year! Another year is behind us. The champagne has gone flat; the season of eating has drawn to a close. Now what? As per usual we’re cuing up that long list of resolutions we made in November: Join a gym, stop smoking, meditate, lose weight… This year let’s start small so that our goals won’t be orphaned by March. This year we make solutions not resolutions. Here are my top three solutions for 2015:
Old Resolution: “I want to lose 25 lbs.”
New Solution: “I’m going to lose 5 lbs.”
Keep chipping away in small increments until you reach your goal. Smaller, more attainable numbers will keep you rewarded and motivated throughout your process. When you feel like you’ve achieved success and you can get some “wins” behind you, you will be inspired to stay on track and reach the end goal. Gyms and money will never equal health and fitness. Surround yourself with people who will champion your goals and find activities you love to do and will actually stay with. Walking, running, hiking, and calisthenics all cost “FREE.99,” a price we can all afford.
Old Resolution: “I need to go on a diet”
New Solution: “I’m going to be conscious of what I put in my body”
I have diet fatigue and only counting calories isn’t the answer. If you want to count anything, count nutrients. Nutrient selection is the most important part of eating. Most of us under the guise of “being busy” eat unconsciously throughout our day. I had a friend write down what she ate for an entire week and she was shocked with the result. It looked like a diet plan handed down by Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. Yes, All those little treats really do add up. Not only do we overeat, we aren’t respecting our bodies or the food that goes into them. When we practice mindful eating, we end up eating less and the quality of our food skyrockets.
Start by choosing REAL foods that are nutritionally dense and loaded with nutrients, this way you remove the guesswork out of dieting. I focus heavily on the timing of my meals. I reserve my largest meal for the time of day when my body has been pushed to it’s physical limits, for me that’s post morning workout. Every meal after will gradually get smaller. I have a light dinner and then allow my body to take a break. Remember to be flexible to the needs your body has at any given time. Are you going to be sitting a lot today? Lower your carbs and sugars and overall calories that day. Training for a half marathon? Increase your carbs and overall caloric intake. This is when the numbers really do count.
Old resolution: “I’m going to meditate for 30 minutes everyday”
New Solution: “I’m going to unplug for 30 minutes everyday”
I love to meditate, but sometimes it seems like such a daunting task to sit still. If you’re anything like me you spend way too much of your time looking down. Living in NYC, I used to hate those people who never watched where they were walking, or constantly looked at a device during their dinner, then I became one. This year I am resolved to unchain my eyes and my brain from technology for at least 30 min. I have started a no technology of any kind an hour before bed policy. My wife and I are going old school and hitting the books before we hit the sack. In case you forgot, books are those heavy things with all the pages.
We all have it in us to master three small things. When you have success with those three, maybe add one more, by summer you could have three more brand new goals. Never stop evolving and continue to challenge yourself mentally and physically. I look forward to hearing about all your wins in the upcoming months and keeping each other motivated to make 2015 your best yet.