The new year is just around the corner and resolutions are top of mind for most of us. Thinking about our goals; where we want to be, what we want to look like or feel like, accomplish or overcome.
The conversations I have frequently with health coaching clients, coworkers, friends and family usually circulate on health. The word feels big. Maybe because health can be defined so many ways. And it should be, because while healthy habits are clear, your health is personal.
Today, I want to share some simple steps that are tried and true healthy habits that help me year after year. Health is a huge passion of mine and I love sharing that with you!
1. A refillable water bottle. It just makes sense, really. You know you should be drinking more water. You know that draining countless disposable bottles of agua isn’t all that great for the environment (or your wallet). So take the leap and become one of those people who totes a big refillable water bottle everywhere they go. Staying well hydrated is a terrific way to keep yourself out of the trap of feeling hungry when you’re really just thirsty. And that will keep you away from unnecessary munching. Look for one that you love so you’ll want to keep it nearby. Aim to consume half your body weight in ounces (ex. A 200 lb. person should drink 100 oz. a day).
2. A food scale and journal
If your current eating habits are stalling your weight-loss efforts, it may be time to look at how you measure your food. A food scale is what you really need in order to clock your food intake with precision. When it comes to meat and nuts, it’s a must.
I don’t use the scale every day, but check in with it for a week or two. Once I have portion sizes in check, I’m good.
A food journal is another fantastic tool to jumpstart your health. I journaled everything, everyday for a year and it provided a clear view of what I was consuming, when, and how I felt. A journa is a great start towards intuitive eating, something I’m wildly passionate about!
3. A step counter
This can be as fancy or as basic as you like. Take the plunge, and finally one-click that Fitbit you’ve been eying; or just pick up a simple pedometer. Heads up: You might already have a step counter and not realize it! Have an iPhone? Look for the Health app. It automatically counts all the steps you take when you have your phone with you.
Move, move, move! Aim for 10,000 steps a day. Find a way to add in movement with extra walks, 10 extra minutes during your workout, or clean the house. Who knew vacuuming could be something you look forward to?!
4. A buddy
Workout friends or accountability partner is a secret weapon. Having someone to support your journey, or go along with you, is a great defense against weak moments. And you will have them. Think, wanting to throw your healthy eating plan out the window after a week or skip your workout. If you are meeting your workout friend at the park for a run, it is a lot more difficult to skip. Or, if your partner is also eating healthy, you can cook together. Don’t go it alone.
Partnering up with my best friend a few years ago was a huge motivator! Katie and I started by running after work. I’d never run before, and it was hard to keep up with her, but I never missed our dates. Soon, I ran a 5k. Three years later, a half marathon. I lost weight, improved my health, had a strong relationship and reached new goals.
5. A snack stash
Uh, before you take this as a license to clear out the grocery store’s middle aisles, let us clarify: Smart emergency snacks are excellent weapons against poor food choices. Rather than grabbing a muffin at the coffee shop, you’ll break out the apple packed neatly in your bag. Instead of hitting the drive-thru frantically during a too-long errands run, you’ll break out your just-in-case protein bar. Check out my list of 61 awesome, healthy snacks and on-the-go options!
6. A prep day
This is ESSENTIAL, especially if you tend to get busy and fall prey to fits of “There’s nothing to eat in the house; bring on the takeout!” Designate a day of the week to do your grocery shopping and prep your food for the week. Cook up make-ahead recipes (like these breakfasts) and versatile proteins (think hard-boiled eggs, roasted sweet potatoes and grilled chicken). Plus, cut up fruit and veggies so that they’re snack ready. Anything you can do to make your life easier later in the week will do wonders for your stress and waistline. Here are some of my favorite ways to save money, too!
7. A plan
Whike a journal captures what you did, it’s important to have a place to plan. Write out your grocery list, write in workouts, and your meals. Ten minutes a week can be the difference between success and failure. It’s amazing how powerful this tool and habit can be. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Put yourself and your health at the top of your priorities. Make it a daily thought and effort. Once you get one habit in motion, add another and then another. Keep working. Living a healthy life is not a diet, there is no end point. Keep going, find workouts you love, foods that fuel you, your favorite water bottle with cucumbers and mint to hydrate you. You can do this.
If you’re interested in talking about your goals and any struggles, check out my contact page. I love working with clients to help them reach their healthiest selves!
Tell me, what are some of your healthy habits, goals for 2017? What’s your biggest challenge?