We are 17 days into the New Year and new decade. Fresh starts are refreshing and energizing with the thought of what is to come in this new year. They can also be frustrating and depressing if you have unrealistic goals for yourself. It is fabulous to dream big and I hope you work your butt off to get those dreams, it will be so rewarding in the end. But, we have to make sure we are setting ourselves up for success. For example, you dream of having your own business and so you quit your job to achieve that without money in the bank and no plan… the end result will be frustrating. Be prepared to succeed in all aspects of life.

For this new year/decade lets create amazing goals that can be achieved. Once you hit them, you can create a larger goal and so on. Becoming healthier is always a good goal, here are some tips to achieve that!

1. Don’t focus on the scale!

  • The number on the scale does not provide body fat %, which is a better measurement to determine weight goals.

Excellent body fat % for males: 10-15%

Excellent body fat % for female: 20-25%

2. Have flexibility in your diet

  • Eliminating food from your diet only prevents overeating.
  • Allowing yourself the foods you love, in small portion, will leave you happier and satisfied.

3. Make realistic goals

  • Check out an old post: How to make SMART goals

S-Specific: What exactly are you striving for, who will help, where will it take place, etc? Ex: gain arm strength, run a half-marathon.
M-Measurable: There should be a number involved to know when your goal is achieved. How much? How many? Ex: I want to curl 15 pounds, I want to make sure I eat 3 or more veggies a day.
A-Attainable: Look at where you currently are and ask yourself if that is a possible goal, work slowly towards your goal. Find your purpose with the goal— don’t do it for other— do it for yourself. Ex: Lose weight to get off a type of medicine.
R-Relevant: Is the goal realistic? Are you honest with your self about being able to work hard toward it?  Ex: Go to the gym 3 days a week and slowly increase.
T-Time: There should be a time frame so your unconscious mind will begin working on that goal. It is a good idea to sign up for a race or event that you have to train for. Ex: run the Philly half in September, increase my veggies to bring my cholesterol down by my next blood work in March.

4. Focus on the rest of your life; not just the year 2020.

  • Make this year a time to focus on healthy changes to make in your lifestyle.
  • Remember: you will have times that are hard or times that you will fall down. Get back up and focus on being healthy, don’t let the fall bring you deeper down!

5. Get more active!

  • You hear it all the time, but just 30 minutes a day has mental and physical benefits.
  • Get your blood flowing and feel good at the same time!
  • Improves confidence, self-esteem, better nutrition choices, improves sleep, gives you more energy, helps blood sugar control, and much more!

6. Do more strength training vs cardio this year!

  • For both men and women, strength training is so important. When building muscle, calories will be burning all day long vs cardio burning only at that moment.
  • Gain strength to do normal physical movements, for example: getting in and out of the car.
  • Reduces risk of osteoporosis
  • Increases lean body mass and reduces body fat

7. Monitor your progress

  • Find a pair of jeans or outfit that you want to fit into or don’t want to outgrow.
  • Log your food and exercise activity down for only a short time (not needed long term). MyFitnessPal is a great app!
  • Have someone join you in the process to hold each other accountable.

8. Find the right portion sizes for food.

  • Start using measuring cups and food scales to get portions right.
  • After a long time, you will know what 1/4 cup really looks like!

9. Make a healthy lifestyle a new habit

  • Start with small steps, like exercising 3 days a week for an hour, than increase your days.
  • Start packing your meals the day before to prevent a ‘quick’ meal, which are usually unhealthy options.
  • After a month or two of following a healthy lifestyle, it will become a habit.
  • You will not be upset when you feel and see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

10. Try a new healthy recipe each week

  • Make enough for leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Sweet and savory recipes are provided on my blog!
  • Snack healthy— look above on the snack board including:
    • fruit (fresh is best, if dried get unsweetened)
    • veggies
    • tortilla chips (keep it to the amount per serving= 7-10 chips)
    • hummus
    • cheese (limit the portion but it can be paired with fruit or a few crackers)
    • nuts

Have a great 2020! Don’t forget to keep checking for new recipes and healthy tips on this blog!