“This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: THE HABIT LOOP”
― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
Develop simple habits that will reward you with better health. It all starts with a cue, a trigger, and creating an automatic response. Drink water upon arising, increase your activity level daily, express gratitude, and focus on a positive attitude. Remember, “healthy is a choice.” Here’s a great start with a simple workout and some great ideas to develop into new habits. Learn and experience the power of habit 🙂
“The attraction of New Year is this: the year changes and in that change we believe that we can change with it. It is far more difficult however to change yourself than turn the calendar to a new page. We are creatures of faith, like it or not.” ― R. Joseph Hoffmann
Many people are a little too exuberant when it comes to health and fitness goals for the new year. Although it’s helpful to be excited and motivated when setting weight loss goals, running your first marathon, or going after those six-pack abs; it’s important to put some thought into how to achieve those goals. If you’re not careful, you can end up with an injury that will put you on the sidelines for weeks or even months.
So go ahead and set those goals for the new year, but follow these tips to help you along your health and fitness journey.
Hire or consult a fitness professional if you are new to exercise or have existing medical issues. You can’t put a price on your health. Therefore, think of hiring a personal trainer as an investment in your health. A fitness professional can design an appropriate workout for your fitness level. Additionally, they can show you proper form, weight selection, and execution of the exercises in your program. This will provide you with a good base knowledge so that you can continue on your own and gradually build strength and stamina.
Make sure to include a warm-up and cooldown. It’s easy to pull a muscle if you neglect warming up when exercising. Muscles need to be prepared for work and the warm-up should be tailored to your workout. For instance, If you are running, it would be appropriate to walk on a treadmill and then perform some active stretching to prepare you for the run. If you are doing a weight workout, it’s important to warm up all the major muscle groups before lifting weights. Bodyweight exercises such as squats and pushups are great exercises to prepare the body for weight training.
Allow a recovery day. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much exercise. Overtraining occurs from a lack of recovery time and can result in injuries and hinder progress. Recovery is vital for repairing and building muscle. Therefore, make sure to schedule a rest day each week. Also, practice body awareness and if you are unusually sore or tired, consider adding additional recovery time before resuming your workouts
Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Per orthoatlanta.com “As your body loses water during physical activity, your muscles can become tense. This interferes with your athletic performance and can make you more likely to injure yourself.” Make a point to drink at least 20 ounces of water before your workout. Also, take breaks to hydrate during the workout, and fuel your body with a good protein and carb source post-workout. Great fuel options are bananas, nuts, apples, and shakes.
Change is never easy but it pays to be patient and take it one step at a time. Set small goals and stay consistent with your program. Before you know it, you’ll reach those goals and be ready to move to the next level.
“The natural desire of the human mind is to become special – to become special in the ways of the world, to have many degrees, to have much political power, to have money, wealth – to be special.
The mind is always ready to go on some ego trip. And if you are fed up with the world, then again the ego starts finding new ways and new means to enhance itself – it becomes spiritual. You become a great mahatma, a great sage, a great scholar, a man of knowledge, a man of renunciation; again you are special.”
Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special. Unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax.
“The place and the food should be appropriate. What we eat is very important. Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. Tell me where you eat, and I will tell you who you are.We are what we consume. If we look deeply into what and how much we consume every day, we’ll come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, and consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our body and our consciousness.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat
Day #1: (SUNDAY) Plan your workouts for this week and get them on the calendar. Set your alarm to get up early if you’re short on time. No excuses – just get your workouts in each day.
Set a reminder on your phone to remind you to drink 8 glasses of water per day
Try to set aside an hour on the weekend to do some of your holiday shopping online to eliminate stress, save time, and money
Avoid the holiday food traps in the grocery stores- just say no to candy, cookies, and desserts. Keep them out of the house so that you’ll be less likely to be tempted to snack on high-calorie foods. Splurge only during family get-togethers and be mindful of your serving sizes. The holidays are not an excuse to sit around and gorge on junk food and empty calories.
Begin to take time each day to be mindful of the true meaning of the holiday season rather than presents and unhealthy food.
I found these Belvita breakfast biscuits on my most recent trip to the grocery store. They are absolutely delicious. They come four to a package and I couldn’t resist having two biscuits before work with my morning coffee and the other two biscuits after my workout today. Although they are not on the top of my list for healthy snacks, (Tis the season for gingerbread), I’m happy to report they do not include high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. I like to pair the biscuits with raw almonds and a banana to make this a healthier snack. They are heaven with hot, steaming coffee. If you are a coffee lover, consider trying the bulletproof coffee recipe above with the optional add-ins.
Breakfast can be tough if you are short on time. I love to grab bars in the morning but it’s difficult to find any healthy options. These are delicious and a great bar to take with you on the run. Pair with greek yogurt or a couple of boiled eggs to add protein and have a healthier convenience meal on your way to work or at the gym.
Check this out! Ingredients you can read:
Compare this to other bars on the market that claim to be healthy:
And I love these Zone Bars, but check it out:
Although I love the Peppermint Bark bars for the holidays, I’m going to stick with the Cinnamon Raisin Lara Bars. Definitely a healthier choice. Make sure to take time to check ingredients when shopping even if you are short on time 🙂
“You cannot manifest thin from thoughts of I hate being fat. You cannot manifest purity from I despise being an addict. You cannot manifest health from I abhor being sick. In each of the above assertions of what you dislike, you are giving of your thoughts to creating more and more of the same. Since you become what you think about all day long, once again, the solutions involve a different level of energy to any of these and similar circumstances.” ― Wayne W. Dyer,
“You only get one body; it is the temple of your soul. Even God is willing to dwell there. If you truly treat your body like a temple, it will serve you well for decades. If you abuse it you must be prepared for poor health and a lack of energy.”
― Oli Hille, Creating the Perfect Lifestyle
Goals require positive thoughts that give you self-assurance to create change in your life. It all starts with a thought that leads to creating a plan and ultimately getting results. Positive thoughts can give you the confidence you need to help you attain your goals. All it takes is a well thought out plan, consistency, and action. You will be surprised at what one small positive thought in the morning can do…..
“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
― Samuel Smiles
So start today and consider your purpose in life. Set some goals and decide to take action. Try listening to motivational podcasts and daily affirmations. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you change the quality of your thoughts.
“SOW A THOUGHT……AND YOU REAP DESTINY”
Listen to this audiobook for positive motivation; it’s actually on record from the 1950s. It is amazing and offers advice that holds true to this day regarding a sure-fire way to live the life of your dreams.