We all do it. We all make the solemn vow to eat better and exercise more. In 2013, let's make a slight addendum to that resolution. Take baby steps! If you go full tilt on January 1st, you're less likely to achieve your goals. However, If you can achieve one small goal in 30 days you're going to form 12 new great habits by the end of the year. Good luck and have a happy and healthy 2013!
January: Eat Breakfast
It's the most important meal for so many reasons. If you already eat breakfast every day, make your goal to eat within an hour of waking up.
February: Count Calories
Don't adjust your diet, just count what you intake. Make yourself aware what your body intakes. There are tons of sites and mobile apps out there that can help you tally.
March: Make A Calorie Goal
Now's the time to hold yourself accountable for what you eat. Whether you choose to count calories or Weight Watchers points, set your daily goal and stick to it.
April: Drink 64 Ounces of Water
Find out what it will take to get yourself in the habit of drinking water. Do you like it with ice? A straw? Experiment until it's second nature.
May: Eat 6 Times a Day
This is going to be the toughest one yet. Pack snacks the night before. Bring food to your meetings. Set reminder alerts. Do what you need to do to reminder yourself to eat. You need to feed your body to keep it healthy, not starve it.
June: Cut Something Out of Your Diet
You probably already know what this is. It's that one item that you've found a way to fit into your daily calorie count. It's time to cut it or limit it to once a week. If you can't think of anything that you eat regularly, then it's time to substitute. Switch to whole grain breads or go one day a week that's vegetarian.
July: Get a Pedometer
You did it! You took six months to get here, but now you have fabulous eating habits. Let's move onto exercise:
Similar to what we did all the way back in February, get a pedometer to make yourself aware of your activity level, but don't adjust anything. Most sites say that you should be taking 10,000 steps in a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Start mentally preparing on how you can improve your numbers.
Before you get in the shower in the morning, take 15-30 minutes to stretch. Popping in an AM Yoga DVD will also work. Believe it or not, this is going to give you a burst of energy to last you the day.
It's time to get out there and pound the pavement! It can be as fast or slow as you like just as long as you get out there and do it for at least 30 minutes.
October: Make an Exercise Schedule
Before you ask, your 30 minutes of walking and 15-30 minutes of stretching don't count as your exercise routine. This is in addition to. Take the month to set aside time for what will become your workout schedule. Aim for three times a week, but don't beat yourself up if you don't hold to it. October is for getting you in the mindset that you DO have time to exercise if your MAKE time.
Taking what you observed in October, now's the time to hold yourself accountable. Aim for three one hour workouts a week but no less than two. Throughout the month, experiment. Do you like Zumba? Do you like swimming? Do you like plain old treadmill with your music blasting? Try all forms of exercise to see what's going to be fun to make it seem like less of a chore.
December: Add Weight
With all your monthly resolutions, you should be feeling great. Now that you've figured out a good exercise routine doing activities you like, it's time to add in weight training. If you haven't been able to add in three workouts last month, this month your going to need it. Your workouts should consist of 30 minutes weight training and then 30 minutes cardio.
You did it!! Take January to reflect on what you could do better and make a new monthly schedule.