The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on the past and look for ways to make the coming year better. As you might expect, weight loss is the number one New Year’s Resolution. 2020, however, has not been a typical year. Should our resolutions be typical? Instead of focusing on dropping pounds, consider striving for a healthier lifestyle. Making slow gradual changes takes time and discipline but it is sustainable, effective and rewarding.
How many resolutions are broken before January even ends? Becoming sustainably healthier does not happen overnight. That is why it’s so important to start by setting realistic goals. Strive for small weekly milestones. Walk around the block, drink more water and substitute fries in favor a salad. Slight changes over the course of a year can lead to big changes and improvements in your health including weight loss.
So how do you get started? Plan ahead! If you are living with diabetes, regular doctor visits should become a part of your routine. Plan a yearly schedule to see your primary care doctor, a dentist, eye doctor and any specialists. Planning and scheduling appointments early in the year is an easy way to set yourself up for success and achieve your healthier lifestyle goals. Scheduling walks, getting a water filter and having fresh produce on hand will help you to reach your weekly milestones. Short-term and long-term planning can really help you to achieve your goals.
A smarter, healthier lifestyle starts with a nutritious clean eating whole food-based diet. For people living with diabetes clean eating can help to control blood sugar. Trying a few new veggie inspired recipes is a good way learn to eat clean. In a ‘normal’ year, the holidays are full of gatherings, sweet treats and delicious temptations. This year will likely be very different. Take advantage of the COVID restrictions and slowly start working on making changes to your diet. No need to make all the changes at once. Start by swapping one consistent meal a week like Meatless Mondays dinners for example.
Lastly, discover what motivates you to be engage in physical activity. Is there an activity you want to try like a spin class? Maybe a boot camp with a support group will help you stay motivated to stick to your plan. Enlist friends and family to go hiking or trade one zoom happy hour a month for a zoom yoga session. Share recipes and plan small Zoom dinner parties featuring the recipes to help you stay connected. Staying connected is also an important part of being healthy.
A healthy active lifestyle can be rewarding, fun, invigorating and loaded with flavor. Once simple goals become a part of your routine, they can quickly become lifelong habits. Don’t fall into a diet trap, take steps towards a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. Why wait? Start making changes today and you can strut into 2021 with some success already under your belt!