Ah, the New Year. The notion of a fresh start – I mean, what’s the best time to start on a new path than the very first of a new year? I’m the same way. I thrive on the thought of the ultimate start. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ll start fresh on a new week and a new month too! However, I love setting goals and resolutions for the new year. I think the most common types are health and fitness goals for the new year.
We’re all aware that gym memberships spike in January and then wind down in February and March. That doesn’t stop you, me or anyone from continuing to set health and fitness goals for the new year…and, it shouldn’t! The key to setting achievable resolutions is to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based). Check out 6 health and fitness goals for the new year to add to your resolution list.
Health and Fitness goals for the new year…
#1 Follow the 80/20 rule with food
Instead of telling yourself you can’t eat “bad” things at all, try telling yourself that you can have a few “bad” things. Whether it’s a Reese’s peanut butter cup or a slice of cake, as long as the “bad” item is less than 20% of your day or week’s food intake.
What about the other 80%? You guessed it…it should be healthy food. Fruits, vegetables, protein, and nothing processed. When you give yourself a little wiggle room to enjoy life, you are less likely to binge-eat a tub of ice cream!
#2 Vow to fit into an old pair of jeans
We all have that one pair of jeans that we refuse to give up – knowing darn well that we can’t fit into them at our current weight. I’m right there too. In fact, I have a few pair of jeans I refuse to give up. Back in August, a month before my 30th birthday, I went on a diet. I was able to lose enough weight to fit into a pair of cute white jeans I hadn’t been able to wear in years. It felt SO GOOD! I still have another pair I’m working to fit into!
My point is that we should focus health and fitness goals on the way the results will make us feel, as opposed to a losing weight or being skinny. I may never get to that other pair of jeans, but I can tell you that the progress I’ve made thus far has made me very proud. Set goals that will make you feel good and recognize your accomplishments.
#3 Don’t focus on the number on the scale
Similar to the goal above, don’t focus on the number on the scale, focus on how you look and feel. Naturally, when you work out, you will build muscle. Muscle can be heavier than fat.
This means you may not see the number on the scale go down, but you are losing fat. Leverage clothes to see your progress, or measure your arms, legs and waist. You may be building muscle, but belly fat can be shedding at the same time.
#4 Make your meals colorful
Imagine eating the same fruits and vegetables every day? How boring would that be? More importantly, think about your likelihood of throwing your diet out the window and getting a cheeseburger! Some people associate “healthy” with the most popular vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, etc.), however there are a variety of fruits and vegetables in an even bigger variety of colors.
Get creative with your fruit and veggie options. Be open to trying new ones and try to hit each color of the rainbow. You can find a lot of great recipes on Pinterest. This will make your healthy eating fun and exciting! Check out 10 Healthy Foods to Eat Regularly for a list to start with.
#5 Ease away from fast or processed food
As I mentioned earlier, cold turkey isn’t always the best approach. It leads to intense cravings that most people can’t ignore. If you are used to eating fast food, or quick microwavable meals, start cutting back now. You don’t have to stop eating that type of food altogether, but ease away from it. Those types of food are filled with sodium, not usually healthy, and contain preservatives.
If you’re worried about the time it takes to prepare meals, start focusing on healthy meal prepping. You can also research meals that are healthy and quick to prepare. You don’t have to settle for fast or processed foods, you just have to put in a little effort for some alternatives.
#6 Start tracking your movement and steps
Invest in an Apple Watch for the new year, or start taking your phone with you everywhere you go. Even if it’s just walking around the house, your devices will monitor your steps and activity.
You can use this information to keep up an active pace and challenge yourself to do better. It’s also good to see what a normal day looks like (with or without working out) from an activity perspective. Think about how much more active you’ll be when you add working out to the mix!
Related: 5 Fitness Habits to Establish Now
The new year is steadily approaching! Start thinking about your health and fitness goals for the new year now, so you can start preparing for them! Do you have any health and fitness related goals that you want to work on next year? What tips do you have for sticking to your goals? Leave a comment below to share!