Overall, I’m not a big fan of January. It’s cold and there are no sugar cookies that were such a big part of December. But I do love the chance to evaluate where I am in my life, and what I can do better. It reminds me of “Anne of Green Gables,” when Miss Stacy said, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” I always love an excuse to pull advice from the good folks of Avonlea…
A few years ago, I wrote a post about how to set goals for the new year (click here to read the post). I still stand by that post, but today I want to give you specific ideas of goals to set for the new year, and how to customize them to fit into your life.
Too often, we set goals like “lose 20 lbs,” or “increase business revenue by $20k.” While those goals may be good, it’s okay to set little goals you can achieve daily. These goals are ones you can achieve and/or recommit to every single day. Plus, they’re healthy no matter what your lifestyle.
Drink More Water
I recommend clients drink 1/2 to 2/3 their body weight in pounds, in ounces of water daily. This is a basic thing everyone can do to improve their health. Drinking more water improves digestion, skin, hair, immunity and increases energy. Increase water intake by:
- Taking a water bottle with you everywhere. I even have one in the cart while I grocery shop. This makes sure you always have access to water.
- Measure your water out the night before and keep it in a water pitcher in the fridge. This means you won’t even have to track your water because you just know you have to finish the pitcher.
- Drink a huge glass of water first thing in the morning. This is something I recommend to every client. This is GREAT for digestion.
- Consider jazzing up your water (please picture jazz hands here) with one of these ideas (click here).
Get Off Your Phone
Most of us could probably use more rules around phone usage. This is something you can customize to fit into your lifestyle but here are a few ideas.
- Don’t touch your phone until after a morning meditation
- Don’t allow phones at the dinner table
- Have a shut-off time for phones each night. This is especially important if you have teenagers in your house. Our kids are setting phone habits now based on what they see us do.
- Make rules for how much time you can spend on social media each day.
- Delete all games
Get More Sleep
If you struggle with sleep, consider using these tips to help you fall asleep and stay asleep (click here for tips). But it comes down to setting rules. Have a strict bedtime you follow. This may mean shutting your TV off, even if you’re left with a cliffhanger (this happens far too often!). Shut your book even if it’s getting exciting. And don’t mindlessly browse social media when your body needs sleep. Make bedtime an appointment.
This can look different based on what fits into your lifestyle. While I’m a huge fan of weight-lifting, there are so many ways to move each day. Go for a walk, ride your bike instead of drive, stretch or do Pilates while you watch your favorite show. If it’s hard to get motivated, consider enlisting a friend. Invite someone to go with you to the gym, a walk, or a yoga class. If you’re looking for classes, check out Fitness Blender. You can do a full-blown HIIT class, strength training, or even find stretching, abs, or Pilates classes for light days. You can even print the workouts so you can do them while listening to an audiobook, podcast, or watching a favorite movie.
Eat More Veggies
I recommend clients get at least 9-11 servings of veggies a day. The average person in the U.S. gets 1 1/2 servings a day. That’s CRAZY to me! Veggies aid in digestion, blood sugar regulation, weight-loss, immunity, skin health and cellular function. There are many ways to incorporate veggies, but here are a few tips I give clients.
- Have a veggie with every meal
- Blend your veggies in a smoothie
- Eat veggies in soups. You can even puree the soups if you’re not a fan of cooked veggies
- Swap out sandwiches for salads piled with veggies
- Consider a supplement like Juice Plus
Make Your Bed Everyday
This seems so simple, but it can make a huge difference. Starting my day with that bit of order makes it so much easier for me to concentrate. And as ridiculous as it seems, even if I have a hard time accomplishing much on a specific day, I know I’ve done something productive that day if I’ve made my bed.
Cook at Home More
This may not be something you struggle with, but I have a lot of clients who struggle with giving up take-out and packaged food for more cooking. I recommend keeping protein on hand at all times (baked chicken breasts, cooked ground beef, boiled eggs) to make putting together a meal easier. Don’t be afraid to utilize packaged leafy greens and frozen veggies. My favorite go-tos are stir-frys and soups. Set a goal to cook at home a specific number of times a week. Cook double and freeze half so you always have a homemade meal in the freezer.
Eat Breakfast Everyday
So many people skip breakfast. This leads to energy dips and blood sugar problems. Plus, eating breakfast is good for your metabolism. The problem is, we’ve been trained to start our day out with a big hit of sugar and carbohydrate in the form of cereals, bagels, donuts, muffins and other breakfast pastries. This is the last thing we need first thing in the morning. Rather, focus on fat and protein first thing in the morning. This can be in the form of a smoothie, an egg scramble or even a breakfast soup.
Get Outside Everyday
We need nature! The main way our body makes vitamin D is from the sun. Nature improves our moods, eyesight and overall health. It also helps us get a better night sleep. Walk outside, read outside, walk instead of drive, etc. If it’s too cold to be outside too long, keep it simple. Walk to the mailbox, shovel the driveway, or go sledding with your kids.
Personal Hygiene Goals
This one is going to be very specific to each person, but we probably all have something we can work on. I bet most dentists agree a lot of people need to set the goal to floss daily. This may also be committing to a better skin care routine. I admit there have been nights I’ve just been too tired to wash my face and I let the makeup cake my face overnight. Yep. It’s happened. Pick something you can stick to that will genuinely improve your life.
Whatever goals you set, make sure they are attainable, written down, and you check in on them regularly. I wish you all a blessed, happy, healthy, incredible new year, and decade. Happy 2020!!