Studies show that only 8% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them all year and 80% will fail by the start of February. Clinical Psychologist Joseph J. Luciani, Ph. D, says most resolutions fail due to sabotage caused by a lack of self-discipline.
Another reason people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because their goals are too vague. It is easier for the excitement of a new goal to wane when it is not specific enough. ‘I want to get healthier,’ and ‘I want to drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water every single day,’ are two different things. One is vague, one is very specific. Vague resolutions can be compared to placing a shingle atop a roof and hoping it will remain in place. Specific resolutions are more like placing a shingle atop a roof and following up with a nail gun.
I’ve never been a fan of making New Year’s resolutions. There, I said it. Now I would agree that there is something about the turn of a calendar. New year. New beginning. Fresh start. I get it. I really do. But I am more likely to get excited about the beginning of a new week, which offers the same opportunity to re-claim and re-ignite one’s plan and passion, but perhaps there is less pressure to make multiple life-altering changes simultaneously.
Reclaiming health by eating healthier, losing weight, and exercising more are among the Top 10 most popular New Year’s Resolutions. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and one who has worked in the health and wellness industry for 16 years, I am eager to share my favorite F I V E (5) tips for reclaiming health.
1) Incorporate more whole foods by crowding out processed foods.
Cooking promotes comfort, nutrition, and the cozy atmosphere of home. Busy living creates a false sense of ease geared toward fast food and dining out. Home cooked meals are generally more nutritious than restaurant meals where portions are often over-sized and compromised by excessive fat, salt, sugar, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. Cooking at home allows for inclusion of fresh organic produce, free-range meats, and whole foods appropriately portioned.
Shopping for ingredients will rescue your food budget and help you develop skill to identify competitive pricing, shop seasonally and locally, or shop the local farmers’ market.
If your family finds it difficult to purchase and consume a wide variety of vine-ripened fruits, vegetables, and berries, learn more about my families nutritional back-up-plan at www.sharina.juiceplus.com.
2) Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
There are notable benefits to drinking water. Proper hydration can increase energy & relieve fatigue. Because your brain is composed of 73% water, drinking water helps you think, focus and concentrate and be more alert. Drinking water also promotes weight loss, flushes out toxins, improves skin health, and maintains regularity.
Here are 3 simple tips that will help keep you hydrated.
I) Purchase a water bottle that you really like ❤. (Straw, no straw, flip top, glass, stainless steel…)
II) Don’t leave home without a water bottle!!! Having water with me reduces my chances of picking up a less healthier drink option while I am out running errands.
III) Infuse your water ?. I put lemon, mint, and/or cucumber in my water DAILY. Tasty fruit infused water might even become your choice drink as it promotes hydration and is a good source of Vitamin C. Improved digestion, skin health and fresher breath can be bonus benefits.
3) Move your body.
Very few lifestyle choices create as much positive impact as physical activity. Physical activity does not require a significant time commitment, level of intensity, or even special equipment. Very simply, the best form of exercise is the one that you will do. Creating time for exercise and movement can enhance your ability to function and improve quality of life. Moving the body frequently boosts mood and energy, creates greater productivity, and reduces anxiety and depression.
Commit to the number of days per week and the duration you will move your body. Schedule it on your calendar as you would an important meeting or appointment.
Rest is imperative for restoring balance and is a necessary component of living well. Sleep is a casualty of the ‘busyness’ of today’s society.
Monitor the quality and duration of your sleep. Caffeine and consumption of fluids 1-2 hours prior to bedtime can disrupt sleep. Create a bedtime routine. Achieve a healthy rhythm by going to bed and waking on a consistent schedule. Relax your mind in the evening. Take a hot bath. Read a book. Write in a Gratitude Journal.
You may forfeit sleep for various reasons, yet the benefits derived from sleep are rewarding and indisputable:
⦁ Increased energy
⦁ Strengthened immune system
⦁ Increased alertness, focus, and creativity
⦁ Enhanced mood by reducing irritability, mental exhaustion, and anxiety
5) Frame Your Life with Gratitude by Implementing a Writing Practice
2020 was full of uncharted stress and disappointment, but I am learning that a consistent gratitude writing practice can promote positive thinking, allowing an opportunity to reflect on and record the things for which we can be grateful.
Gratitude is the foundation from which we envision all manner of possibilities. Research documents gratitude as a practice with numerous physical and psychological benefits including well-being, improved relationships, increased resilience, reduced stress, lower blood pressure, better sleep, and a stronger immune system.
Just as you exercise your body for physical benefit, you can exercise your mind to perceive the world in new and exciting ways. A simple gratitude writing practice can build neural sensitivity to promote positive thinking and contemplation of all favorable aspects of your life.
If you want to incorporate a gratitude writing practice in 2021, I recommend a delightful journal created by yours truly. The creation of this journal was both a labor of love ❤️ and a recognizable gift during an unprecedented year. To learn more, go to www.sharinamcmahon.com/gratitude
By incorporating my favorite F I V E Tips for reclaiming health, you and your loved ones can make the decision now to reclaim your health in 2021. These five small shifts reveal the Power of Possibility for a healthy life, deeper love, and greater influence.
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