Many of us make a New Year’s resolution to be happier and healthier. Sadly, however, most of us never reach our goals. Why? How can we stack the odds in our favor?
The University of Scranton determined that only 77% of people who make resolutions are still going strong a week into the new year. And after six months, the percentage drops to forty. Bad habits sneak back into our lives within days of having grandiose ideas about how the next twelve months will be different.
Here are a few tips and tricks to lose weight, get in shape and be happier:
Peel off Pounds – base every meal around vegetables. Yep. Even breakfast. Take a look at those morning smoothies you think are healthy. The average fruity drink contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar. Yes, I know, naturally-occurring sugar from fruit is supposed to be healthy, but starting off your day with mostly sugar (in any form) can send you crashing into fatigue within an hour. Try juicing your morning beverage instead of blending it. My favorite is made with spinach, beets, carrots, kale, ginger and green apple (less sugar than red). And if you’re serious about losing weight, eliminate soda, candy and cake. Sorry.
Workout More Effectively – If you’re used to working out three days a week, taking the same Zumba or Spinning class, running or swimming, throw a brand new workout into the mix. Your body will eventually adapt to the stress placed upon it as a means of survival if you choose the same activity, the same way week after week. By increasing the intensity, duration or frequency with which you work out, you will confuse the muscles and make them stronger. More muscle means more calories burned at rest. Plus, you may discover a new exercise you love! After teaching group fitness classes for more than thirty years, I realize that by adding kickboxing and yoga into my weekly or monthly fitness routines, my body is more flexible and stronger too!
You can’t just say you’re going to be happier without having a plan. We all have stress. So, how do you minimize it? Try this: Add mindfulness and a mantra to your day. Set your phone alarm to alert you at random times throughout the day to breathe deeply and to remind yourself of something positive. When the mindful alarm rings, slow down whatever it is that you’re doing. If you’re eating, chew slower. If you’re sitting at your desk, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Do a mental body scan. In which areas do you hold more tension? Breathe.
At the beginning of each week set random affirmation reminders about those things in life you appreciate: family, health, a job, a car, the sunshine. It can be something big or small. Something that brings you joy.
I hope you can Reboot Your Resolution with these tips and tricks. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a few days or a week. Tomorrow is another day.
Order Shemane’s new best-selling book, “4 Minutes a Day, Rock ’n Roll Your Way to HAPPY” at http://www.amazon.com/Minutes-Rock-Roll-Your-Happy/dp/1504326059
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