Happy New Year! Every start of the year feels like a new beginning ripe with possibility of change. Even if you don’t typically make resolutions, the New Year can be a fresh start for all of the things you want to achieve.
The most common resolutions have to do with health and fitness and most of them fail. So how can you successfully make healthier changes starting in this New Year?
1. Don’t make a resolution!
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful. That means over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail! Other sources say that over 80% of people don’t achieve their resolutions and stop trying by mid-February.
It’s not all or nothing. New Year’s resolutions have a way of making you feel like you need to go full-force on a goal or you may as well not do it at all. A better way to set yourself up for success might be to think of it as a goal or a new habit you are going to work toward rather than a resolution. Something smaller and more specific than a typical resolution has better chances of being completed. Instead of resolving to “lose weight”, set a goal of losing 5 pounds in the next two months. Instead of resolving to “be healthier”, set a goal to eat at least one vegetable with every meal. Instead of resolving to “go to the gym everyday”, set a goal to go to a specific exercise class twice a week.
Taking on too much all at once can be daunting. It can be particularly difficult because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time. Focusing your efforts on one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.
2. Why do you want to make this change?
The reason why you are making any change should be because YOU want the result. Making changes to our nutrition and exercising more (or at all) takes a lot of self-discipline and without your own intrinsic desire to eat more vegetables and take that group exercise class, you will probably go back to what you were doing last year as soon as a stressful situation hits. If you are trying to lose weight or get healthier because your doctor or spouse or someone else told you that you should, you most likely won’t keep up your new healthier habits.
Really think about why you want to make this change. Do you want to get off of medication for high blood pressure? Do you want to have more energy to be able to play with your kids? Make sure it is something meaningful to you. Whatever the reason, post it everywhere. Write it down. Remember it when your motivation lags. Because you will not always be motivated! Especially when everyone stops talking about resolutions in February and March and it is cold and dreary outside, you will probably have less motivation. This is when the people who made resolutions fail. But not you! You are making new habits and you know why. You must have the discipline to keep up with your healthier habits. The good news about self-discipline is that it can be made stronger like a muscle. The more things you achieve using your own willpower, the more self-discipline you will have in the future. It is easier to be disciplined when you know why you are making these new habits and are passionate about that reason.
I talked for years about wanting to be able to run. I had asthma when I was younger which made running difficult. I walked the mile in gym class. I was scared to push myself to try and run. It was hard and uncomfortable. I typically didn’t do things that didn’t come easily to me. I started to run a few times and then quit each time it got too difficult. I never got to the point where I could run a mile without walking. Then one year I decided I needed to prove to myself that I could follow through with something that seemed impossible to me. I had my why. I wanted to show myself I could achieve something that did not come easily. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Once I had that why, I pushed through the discomfort (mentally and physically!) and after a few months was finally able to run a mile without stopping. Six months later I ran a 5k (3.1 miles). I had to remind myself of my why many times. There were so many days I didn’t want to go out there and run and walk. But I knew I wanted to show myself that I don’t give up when things get hard. I remembered my why and was disciplined to go out anyway even when I didn’t want to. I’m so glad I did.
3. Small Steps
Think about the things you'd like to achieve this year. Be realistic. If you think of a large goal, like running a marathon or losing 100 pounds, think of the milestones along the way. If you are not currently running regularly, a marathon is a huge task to undertake. A first goal could be to train for a 5k, the next step would be a 10k and then a few more steps until a marathon. Breaking down a large goal this way not only better prepares you, it gives you wins along the journey that should be celebrated and will keep you motivated.
If you have weight to lose, break it down into manageable goals and keep them realistic. Everyone is different, but in general, a good rule of thumb is to lose one pound a week. Don’t set yourself up for failure with an unrealistic goal. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in a month, you may not achieve that goal and then will be frustrated and may not continue with your weight loss journey. That’s a lofty target. Start with a goal of losing five pounds a month and be proud each time you reach that monthly objective. Before you know it, 20 pounds will be lost.
Research shows goals are reached more often if the progress is measured in some way. Track your progress on a calendar or in an app. MyFitnessPal is a great app to track your food intake and weight.
Be sure to take time to review your progress at certain points. If you have a monthly goal, check your progress weekly to see where you are and if any changes need to be made. The more frequent the check in the better.
5. Know Yourself
Everyone is unique so the steps we each take to reach our own goals can be very different. Don’t force yourself to do something a certain way because it worked for someone else. If your friend lost 10 pounds by taking a Zumba class twice a week but you hate dancing, don’t make yourself go to Zumba. If you hate it, you most likely won’t stick with it. Find a workout you do enjoy. It may take some trial and error but taking the time to nail down what you don’t absolutely hate doing will help you keep more exercise in your life.
Are you a person that can have just a little bite of a chocolate cake or do you eat the whole giant piece just because it is in the same room as you? Typically people fall into one camp or the other, either you can’t have the food anywhere around you or you will overindulge or you have to have just a little bit once and awhile or you will go nuts wanting it. Know yourself so if you are hoping to lose weight you know if you need to clear your house of all the junk food or you need to keep a little bit of dark chocolate around because you will eat too much if you feel like you are being denied.
Keep your goals for the New Year manageable, measurable and tailored just for you. Change is hard. A healthier lifestyle should be a permanent change for the rest of your life. There will be ups and downs, setbacks and difficult times. There are no failures, start back right away when you experience a setback. Don’t give up on your goal, remember why you want these healthier habits and be disciplined. You can do this!
Topics: LivRite News
It’s time to ring in the new decade, 2020!!
As is common for the new year, we make resolutions for personal growth and well-being. One of the most common resolutions for Americans is improving health. With the noble resolutions to eat healthier or lose weight, so too come the not-so-noble fad diets.
Fad diets are popular for a period of time, without having standard dietary recommendations, and often promising unreasonably fast weight loss or nonsensical health improvements. They are often unfounded in science, set the dieter up for failure, and may even be harmful to long-term health.
Here are 10 important signs of fad diets to watch out for (and alternatives to try instead) before jumping on the bandwagon to try the latest trending diet.
10 RED FLAGS of FAD DIETS
Sounds too good to be true. If a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no magic fast and permanently effective solution for weight loss.
→ The key to sustainable weight loss is small, manageable lifestyle changes.
Promises fast results. Avoid diets that promise rapid weight loss exceeding 1-2 pounds per week; drastic weight loss is not healthy, and you will most likely end up gaining that weight back as soon as you go off the diet.
→ Instead, focus on eating in a way that helps you feel nourished, satisfied, and energized.
No exercise component. Nutrition and physical activity are the two key components of any weight-management plan. They go hand-in-hand; ignoring one will not lead to lasting results.
→ The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy; aim for 30-60 minutes of activity on most days of the week (150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week).
Restrictive; limits food groups. All food groups offer healthful, nutritious options; unless you have a medical need to limit a certain food group, there is no reason to banish an entire food group from your diet.
→ Focus on a variety of nutrient-dense options from all food groups.
Lists “good” and “bad” foods. The only “bad” foods out there are ones that are spoiled or will make you physically ill if you eat them. Yes, there are foods that are more nutrient-dense than others, but restricting certain foods and labeling them as “bad” can lead to cravings and an unhealthy relationship with food.
→ Enjoy all foods in moderation. Make indulgences occasional and in small portions so you won’t feel guilty about treating yourself.
Specific food combinations. There is no evidence that combining certain foods or eating foods at specific times of day will help with weight loss. Eating the "wrong" combinations of food doesn't cause them to turn to fat immediately or to produce toxins in your intestines, as some plans claim.
→ Aim for a balanced meal from a variety of food groups at all eating occasions.
Expensive “miracle” products. Don’t buy into gimmicks. There is no magic diet pill, meal replacement smoothie, or elixir that will exclusively make you keep weight off. These also often lack scientific evidence and are not proven to be effective.
→ There are plenty of nutritious options that can fit into your budget at the grocery store Check out December’s Blog on How to Become a Grocery Guru: There is no need to waste your money on expensive supplements or shakes.
Claims based on before-and-after photos. Ads that rely solely on weight loss photos to sell their product likely do not have real science to back their claims.
→ A successful diet plan is one that is extensively studied and supported by sound, reliable research.
Based on anecdotal evidence or celebrity endorsements. These endorsers probably get paid to advertise. Moreover, just because a diet worked for one person does not mean it will work for you.
→ Follow your own plan and what works best for you.
10. Based on a single study only or misrepresented scientific studies. Just because a singular study concluded merit to a certain diet, does not mean it is so in every case. It is important to cross-check multiple studies, since scientific studies may be misrepresented by the media.
→ It is important to examine all claims critically. Consult a dietitian to help determine the best plan for you.
In 2020, set yourself up for success, not failure by fad diets. Best strategies for healthier diets include those that are sustainable, balanced, inclusive, feasible, enjoyable, and holistic.
For more information on successful diet strategies, don’t miss out on the FREE nutrition seminar, Diet Distress, Tuesdays at 6 PM in LivRite University (Fishers location).
Author Greg McKeown warns, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”.
It is the simple notion that others are vying for your time, talent and resources by constantly telling you what should be important to you.
If you are a goal-setter or desire to become one, January is the annual kickoff of renewed determination to achieve goals.
I like having goals. I encourage clients to set them. However, without first establishing priorities, we can set goals that distract us or even be set by the voices of others in our ears telling us what is important.
A priority is simply something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first. I heard it said that many of life’s disappointments come from dealing with second things first.
How we spend time is how we choose our life. Our priorities can put us in either positive positions or unpleasant predicaments. Thinking first about our priorities will help us choose our goals wisely.
Without understanding the “why” behind our priorities, it is easy to slide into spending time on the wrong things. It can even be good things but done at the wrong time. The goal is to work on the best things at the right time.
Establishing priorities takes work. John Maxwell suggests you begin with the Three R’s: what is required of you, what gives you the greatest return and finally, what gives you the greatest reward.
The thinking process goes like this: there are many things that are required of us which are things only we can do or should do. Therefore, we must do those things first.
While we seek to do those things with excellence, we should seek activities that give us the best return for the time we invest.
In other words, make us more effective in doing what is required. These activities are usually within our strengths and natural gifts. Once we are effective with what is required, then we should consider what in life is most rewarding, that is, gives us the most personal satisfaction.
As a father, I believe I am required to help my young son to know Jesus personally. I love the clarity and simplicity of what Jesus said as quoted in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
There are many goals I can set to fulfill this requirement. I can make sure my son is in church and involved in youth group. I can teach him how to read the Bible. There are many options. Along the way I need to pay attention to what helps my son the most, giving the best return on the time spent.
My son enjoys working with the production team at church. He is surrounded with wonderful, young, godly leaders who pour into his life. Therefore, my wife and I are very intentional in creating opportunities for him to serve in those areas. This is one of our priorities.
Beach vacations bring me personal satisfaction and can reenergize me. However, if I am not effectively doing what is required of me in all areas of life first, then any renewed energy or enjoyment I received from the vacation will evaporate quickly once I return.
I want to be satisfied with my life, don’t you? Therefore, I try to pay attention when Jesus reminds me, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
Welcome to 2020!
Take some time to evaluate your priorities by starting here: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Hindsight is 2020. Don’t spend the beginning of the New Year wishing you hadn’t let your health and wellness slide during the holiday season! Finish 2019 strong to set yourself up for a successful 2020.
Staying committed to your workouts and healthy nutrition is especially difficult this time of year with busier schedules, travel and extra temptation.
It’s hard but not impossible. The holidays don’t have to equal weight gain and lack of exercise setting you up with bad habits to break starting January 1.
If you are traveling this holiday season, you don’t have to completely abandon your regular nutrition practices when you are away from home.
Go into the trip with a plan so that you enjoy yourself instead of feeling guilty, sluggish and burnt out.
Every time you travel, aim to implement a bit more of a healthy nutrition routine; the more you do them, these practices become less overwhelming and require less thought.
Here are a few tips to keep your healthy habits through the end of the year.
1. Bring healthier food choices with you when you are on the go. Such as:
· Yogurt or cottage cheese
· Portable fruit like bananas, apples and oranges – Clementines are easy to eat on the go
· Cut fruit or veggies
· Hard-boiled eggs
· Trail mix
· Protein bars
· Dried fruit
· Raw or lightly seasoned nuts and seeds
· Grass-fed beef jerky
· Individual nut butter or hummus packets with cut veggies
· Oatmeal cups (you can ask for hot water to fill the cups from your flight attendant if you are on a plane or use hot water in your hotel room to make)
· Sandwiches you made at home (I’m partial to an almond butter and jelly sandwich when traveling since they don’t have to be refrigerated and travel well.)
· Whole-grain crackers or popcorn
· Electrolyte drink mixes (just mix with cold water)
2. Eating out? Check out the restaurant menu before you leave to decide on a healthier option.
3. At a holiday meal or party at someone else’s home? Don’t feel like you need to try everything or have seconds. Fill your plate with mostly vegetables and lean proteins. Eat half a serving of anything you’d like to try.
4. Keep your workouts in your schedule. These are appointments you can’t cancel! If you need to reschedule, do find another time to fit it in, but don’t cancel your time to exercise!
5. If you do need to reschedule your workout and have limited time, don’t worry! A short workout is better than no workout. A high intensity interval circuit is a great option for an awesome workout in a short amount of time. Need some ideas? Ask a trainer!
6. Have family or friends visiting? Have them join you to exercise. Find an activity that would be fun for everyone. Try a new workout class or gym. Find a workout video to do together at home. Go for a hike or walk and catch up.
7. Walk after your holiday meals. If you can, it is great to socialize with friends and family with a walk after your meal. It aids in digestion and adds some movement in your day.
8. Remember you are in control of what you eat and drink. You CAN be stronger than temptation. Choose your treats wisely. The holiday season is a few weeks long, you do not need to overindulge the entire time! Choose one or two celebrations to enjoy your favorite treats and then get right back to your normal eating habits.
Also, if you haven’t started eating healthier or an exercise routine, you don’t have to wait till 2020, start to tackle your goals now. End the year strong! Sure, there are lots of temptations this time of year, but you are stronger than that! Enjoy a holiday meal, don’t overdo it, then get right back on track the next day. Start implementing new healthier habits slowly in small steps will help you sustain them.
Finish 2019 strong to set yourself up for a successful 2020.
Have questions? Want help? Check with a LivRite trainer for more information on how to make your 2020 your healthiest and strongest year yet!
Topics: LivRite News
I came across a prayer I thought I would share with you.
So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or self-indulgent. I have not whined, cursed or eaten any chocolate. However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen.
That’s both hilarious and accurate. You know it’s true. Your list of struggles may be different in your prayer but we all have issues we would love to master; to gain victory. I believe a great strategy includes the right attitude.
According to Webster, “Attitude” is a feeling or way of thinking that affects your behavior. It is a mental position.
In other words, everyday your attitude will affect you and influences the people around you. Your attitude will be either an asset or liability. This is no small matter.
There is a secret to having a great attitude: it should be part of preparation, not something that is adjusted during moments of adversity.
Several years ago, I worked for a dear friend and mentor who was in the process of building a new business and money was very tight. Due to budget constraints, he drove an old car with many miles and it had problems. During a busy work day full of important appointments, the great beast broke down on the interstate. When I asked him about his challenging day, I was blown away by his response.
He said it is God’s money and time and if He wants to spend it this way, he was fine with it. I know this man well and this is his genuine attitude. His attitude during this circumstance was already in place long before that day. He was prepared knowing true contentment is generated internally, based on attitude. It’s not what happens to you that matters, it is what happens in you.
So, how do you prepare your attitude? It starts with placing a high value on people.
Author John Maxwell summarizes it this way, “You can’t dislike people and have a good attitude at the same time. Have you ever met anyone who always treated people badly but had a positive attitude?”.
It almost seems natural to get frustrated with people. I recently saw a t-shirt that said, “The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.” If fits the narrative that life would be easier if we did not have to deal with people.
Yet, the Holy Spirit tells us “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves…You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had…He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” (Philippians 2:3-7)
God has placed the highest value on you. So much so that He sent Jesus to reveal the Father’s love for you by becoming a servant continually focused on the needs of others. Jesus was always about His Father’s business.
Just like my friend’s car, people are going to let us down. But my friend’s heart is always in his Heavenly Father’s business, not his own. Because he was prepared, he knew God would use even this circumstance to do something important. This attitude is only humanly possible when Jesus is living in us and through us.
I hope this Christmas season when you see a manger scene, you will see the baby Jesus with fresh eyes. Seeing Him as One with the attitude of a humble servant Who has come with you in mind.
That IS why He came.
He came because you are valued and loved by God. Just accept that love by asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.
I can’t think of a better Christmas gift from us to God and to others than to have the same attitude as Jesus.