How to Have a Healthy New Year
Like usual, the end of this year feels a lot like the end of a long work day – albeit, the craziest, most hectic work day. You’ve put in a lot of hard work, now feel drained, and lack motivation for anything else: to eat healthy, to exercise, to get chores done, etc.
I wanted to share all the ways I’ve been getting re-inspired by fitness. I’m now at the point where I’m tired of feeling blah, of eating too many Christmas cookies, and of taking too many rest days. I don’t know about you, but I feel wayyy better when I have a healthy routine, full of nutritious foods and regular exercise.
Yes, 2020 was the worst. Many former priorities fell to the wayside in light of just surviving the year. But we all know that caring for our health should always be a priority. So let’s stand back up, dust ourselves off, and get to it!
Please note: Check with your physician before starting any exercise routine or starting any particular diet. See this Disclaimer for more details. This post may contain affiliate links. For details, please visit my Disclosure page. Thank you!
5 Ways to Have a Healthy New Year
1. Don’t just make a healthy new year goal – make a PLAN
Ever get caught up in the dream of a New Year’s resolution, without the follow-through?
That’s because you made a goal, but never made a plan for HOW you’d achieve it. And planning is absolutely key to having a healthy new year.
For example, say your New Year’s goal is to work out 5 days per week. That’s a great goal, but how are you going to achieve it? More specifically:
- What time of day are you going to work out?
- What types of workouts are you going to do?
- Will you be working out at home or going to the gym?
- Does a 10 minute workout count?
- Are you going to aim for 5 days right away, or work up to it?
- Is 5 days actually sustainable for you?
Working out 5 days a week is a wonderful goal to strive for, but by not asking yourself these questions you’re not setting yourself up for success.
Instead, come up with a specific and realistic goal, and then literally write out how you’re going to make it happen.
For instance, if you think your after-dinner sweets are hindering your weight loss aspirations, your goal and plan may look like:
Goal – For the next month, only a healthy dessert alternative after dinner.
Plan – If hungry after dinner, I’ll eat one of these healthy dessert alternatives:
- 1/2 frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate and nuts
- Small bowl of banana “nice-cream” mixed with frozen cherries
- Slice of homemade low-sugar pumpkin bread
- Chocolate protein powder smoothie with peanut butter
- Apple slices dipped in peanut butter and a few coconut flakes
If I’m STILL hungry after that, I’ll eat an additional piece of fruit.
A goal that is super specific and truly plans ahead will set you up for success!
YOU NEED A PLANNER
No matter how organized you are, if you don’t write down your plan (workouts, eating habits, etc.) you’re automatically set up for failure. Planners are the best way to (ahem) plan ahead and hold yourself accountable!
I recently discovered the world of Erin Condren planners and am – to put it lightly – obsessed. The wellness planners are amazing and highlight just what I said above: goals are great, but a plan is really what you need.
Check out this Erin Condren planner that I’m hardcore crushing on:
2. Do something different this year
Did you spend time on your fitness goals this year but not see results from the effort?
If this is you, there’s one big piece of advice I have.
DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
Whether the lacking results were because you weren’t consistent or because of some unknown reason – SOMETHING needs to change. Don’t just keep plowing on and getting frustrated. Evaluate and figure out what you can do differently.
Even if your health efforts are fairly consistent, some common reasons why people never see results include:
– Not properly decreasing their calories for fat loss
– Not properly increasing their calories for muscle gain
– Not varying their sets and reps
– Not varying the types of exercise they’re doing
– Not progressively increasing the amount of weights they lift
– Not exerting themselves enough during exercise
– Not creating a PLAN for success
See something on the list that could be the culprit? Address it and you’ll be wayyyy more likely to see the results of your hard work in the new year.
3. Get family/friends involved
We all know that social support is vital to any new endeavor.
Yes, some people make it on their own, and I’m absolutely not saying you can’t. But having a support system to cheer you on and even pursue healthy goals right along side you makes it so much easier.
The Mayo Clinic breaks down fitness social support into 3 different types:
a. Emotional Social Support
- The type you probably first thought of
- Someone to talk to about your struggles and feelings as you make big, healthy lifestyle changes
- i.e. A friend, significant other, or sibling
b. Practical Social Support
- Someone who helps make your goals easier to reach, logistically
- i.e. A babysitter to watch the kids while you’re out on a run OR a friend who lends you their dumbbells 2x a week
c. Inspirational Social Support
- Someone who inspires you on low-motivation days
- i.e. Exercise partner OR personal trainer
As you can see, each type of social support makes your new year health goals much easier to attain.
4. Surround yourself with motivation every day
Speaking of inspirational social support, there are other ways you can position motivation all around you to encourage a healthy new year.
Frame printables with motivational quotes and wear tanks with uplifting words (my fav says “Fierce Fearless Female”). Set your home up for success by keeping fresh fruit in a visible spot on the counter and all your veggies in the top shelf of your fridge.
RELATED POST: 8 Sure-Fire ways to Stay Motivated to Work Out
I also love using movies, shows, and YouTube videos for further motivation. If you’ve followed me for a little while, you may know I’m a HUGE fan of muchelleb, a YouTuber all about productivity, living intentionally, and self compassion. I’ve been watching her videos a lot lately and highly recommend this one on resetting your life for 2021:
5. Invest in yourself
Lastly, a wonderful way to prep for a healthy new year is to invest in yourself and your goals. No, you can’t buy your way to weight loss or a healthier body/mind, but you can work with trained professionals who will help you get there.
Full disclaimer: I am a personal trainer – which means I know just how much value a personal trainer provides their clients.
Ask yourself this:
- What would it be like to have a trainer make you a workout plan that takes the guesswork out of achieving results?
- What would it be like to have freedom from obsessing over calories or what to eat?
- If you had more efficient workouts, what would you do with all your extra time?
Personal trainers, registered dietitians, and therapists aren’t fairy godmothers, and they don’t take all the hard work from you. But they can make achieving your healthy new year goals much simpler, more attainable, and way less stressful.
Likewise, courses and ebooks on exercise and proper nutrition can also be the difference between attaining your goals or saying, “Well, there’s always next year.” They’re also a great low-cost option.
And of course, a good planner is always a game-changer.
Investing in your health is a very worthy use of your time and money.
Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog. Follow me on Instagram for more fitness tips!