I originally wrote this blog post a few days past the start of the New Year. January is long gone but these “resolutions” still hold up for anyone seeking to start anew and put some sound mind and body changes into practice.
Get yourself into the gym, on the street or into a Pilates studio. Whatever activity you choose, make sure you schedule the time right into your Smart Phone. Make it fun and sociable to make it stick. Grab a few like-minded gal pals and vow to go to that high-energy Pure Barre class with the bumpin’ tunes every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night. After keeping your deal for 3 straight weeks, head straight to Lulelemon to buy some cute new yoga pants. Schedule a hike or dog run followed by lunch with your significant other on Saturday or Sunday mornings.
Practical tip: Make sure you have a plan at least 5 days a week and then keep a bag with your sneakers and lulus in your car (or at your office if you commute). This way you never have an excuse to say no when one of your friends calls for a last-minute aerobics class.
This is the most important meal of the day. I know you’ve heard this all of your life, but still you don’t listen. All the reasons you’ve heard are true. It gets your metabolism started, it gives your body fuel and it gets your digestive system moving. But it’s also an important habit to keep you on track.
Practical tip: If you start your day with a green juice or a brown rice protein smoothie before you leave the house, you’ll be much less likely to buy anything other than black coffee or tea at Starbucks. Studies show that starting the day with a healthy breakfast finds you to be less likely to make poor eating decisions the rest of the day.
Keep snacks in your bag. Nuts, granola bars, a piece of fruit—all of these will keep you from making bad decisions on the run. If you’re really serious about staying on track for the rest of 2013, pack your lunch and all of your snacks. If you avoid the heavy lunches and mid-afternoon treat, you have more leeway at dinner.
Practical tip: Plan out your “menu” for the week on Sundays and hit the store to buy what you need to prep lunches for the whole week. It’s easy to pack some hummus and veggies, an apple and almond butter, and a salad or veggie wrap for lunch. Look to Pintrest for inspiration for “Mason Jar” Salad recipes. Homemade jarred salads stay fresher longer and are fun to look at and feast on.
Start your day with a glass of water with fresh lemon, and carry a bottle of water with you all day. Not only will your skin and body thank you for it, you’ll stay more full and satiated all day long.
Practical tip: These Camelbak bottles with the bite valve and straw have been proven in studies to help you actually drink more. Keep one at your desk, one in your car, one by your bedside, etc., so you’re always stocked and don’t have to lug one bottle around.
It’s not cool anymore to be sleep deprived. It does not mean you’re busier, more successful or more hard-working than other people if you’re pulling an all-nighter and buzzing into work the next morning jacked up on caffeine. It just means you’re stupid.
Practical tip: Eat and booze well before bedtime to avoid interrupted sleep patterns. Hit the sack progressively 10-15 minutes earlier each night until you’re clocking in an extra hour or so of sleep.