By Ru Ekanayake
We’re one month into the new year and while studies show that over 80% of resolutions focus on health and wellness– just 8% of resolutions are actually kept.
Don’t lose hope though! As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we think now is a perfect time to keep the healthy, active lifestyle going. Here are our five favorite tips to have lasting impacts on your wellness in 2017.
1. Set realistic, specific goals.
We’ve all done the thing where we promise ourselves: “I’ll go to the gym every day, and only eat healthier choices moving forward.” Setting the bar too high may lead to failure, discouragement, and eventually, giving up. Plus, these goals are way too general. Don’t fall into this trap! Set small, quantifiable goals that you can actually achieve. For example: instead of saying “I’m going to stay more hydrated”, decide “I’m going to hydrate before every meal/snack.” You’ll be surprised at how quickly these small steps will add up!
Meditation is a great way to sift through your thoughts, relax and get into a good head space. Set aside just five minutes a day (my favorite time is right when I wake up) to decompress your body and still your mind. An easy technique is to inhale for four counts and exhale for four counts.
3. Squad up and sweat!
Exercising is always WAY more fun with your friends. You can motivate each other and spend some quality bonding time! I’ve made some great memories jogging with my girls, struggling up hills and enjoying the view at the top–not to mention the endorphins! If running’s not your thing, sign up for a Zumba class, or grab a ball for some pickup soccer–anything that gets your heart rate up is golden.
4. Plan ahead.
We don’t always make the best decisions on an empty stomach–so plan your meals/snacks beforehand! I like to cut up a bunch of veggies and keep them in the fridge in snack-sized portions. That way, when I’m busy, I can just grab a bag and head out the door. Fresh fruit is also a great option–apple slices with peanut butter is a personal favorite!
5. Cut yourself some slack.
Nobody’s perfect. Never beat yourself up if you miss a workout or eat a little more than you should. Plus, treats are important! Change isn’t easy, nor is it quick. Know that you’re taking small steps towards a better, healthier you, and as long as you keep working at it, 2017 will be your healthiest year yet!
2016 4-H Youth in Action National Winner
Ruwanthi “Ru” Ekanayake is the 2016 4-H Youth in Action Healthy Living and National Winner. She launched the first-ever 4‑H Healthy Living blog, allowing 4‑H’ers to share their stories, build bridges and create national discussions about health. As a member of the National 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador Team, she is committed to helping people like their best lives by advocating a more holistic approach to healthy living that includes healthy nutritional habits, as well as mental and emotion well-being.
For more healthy ideas to kick off your healthy, active 2017, take a look at these other articles from Together Counts!
- Staying Active during the Winter
- Incorporating Greens in to Your Kid’s Diet
- Four Steps for a Healthy and Happier Home