Text by Kelsie McKenzie, Health Coach at the Benefis Weight Loss CenterEach year, people all over the world make New Year’s resolutions to “give up” eating junk food or sweets and find little success. This year, the Benefis Weight Loss Center wants to challenge you to “take up” a healthy habit, rather than give one up. Here are four healthy habits that you can take up in 2016 to help you on the journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Take up: Positive AffirmationsInstead of feeling guilty for skipping the gym or eating a donut the day before, start every day with a positive affirmation. You can make up something specific to your goals and personality, such as “Today is going to be great. You are awesome, and you are going to make awesome choices to fuel your body.” If that particular sentence doesn’t fit your fancy, there are plenty of books and apps that will give you a new positive affirmation every day. Focus on being positive, and you will be surprised how unsatisfying that donut starts to look.
Take up: Moving MoreInstead of giving yourself an unrealistic workout goal, commit to moving more every day. This could mean parking further away at the grocery store or work, taking the stairs, or happily running all the way down to the laundry room to get socks for your kiddo. If you can make it to the gym, fabulous – but, don’t let not having enough time to get to the gym everyday get in your way. We all wish we had more time, but the secret to success is making the most of the time we do have. Remember, every moment counts. Figure out how to get “burst exercises” into your day. Take a walk during your lunch hour, or do 60 seconds of squats at your desk every hour. Get yourself a pedometer and tap into your competitive side to beat step goals.
Take up: SimplicityInstead of focusing on a strict, very specific resolution or a laundry list of ways you are going to improve yourself, simplify and focus your mission by picking one word as your goal for the year. So whether the word is health, kindness, joy, determination, or courage, write it down and take a step each day to execute on it. It’s easier to stick with a broad concept that can be achieved in a variety of ways than to give yourself an unrealistic goal that will almost certainly lead to defeat.
Take up: CookingInstead of giving up sweets and carbs, start cooking healthy and wholesome foods with your family. If you focus on cooking fresh meals that make you feel good, chances are you will make healthier choices, such as including more vegetables and lean protein, by default. Have recipe contests with your kids or extended family. Get creative! Healthy eating is so much more than chicken and broccoli.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to achieving a healthier lifestyle. For more information and support in meeting your weight loss goals, contact the Benefis Weight Loss Center at (406) 731-8690.