The start of the new year has millions of people resolved to finally reach their health goals These physical health goals are highly fulfilling, yet the journey can be disheartening. Progress can be gradual, exercise might be discomforting, and cravings for certain foods might prove overwhelming. Oddly enough, the pathway to realizing your health aspirations could lie in adopting a more forgiving approach toward yourself.
Defining Your “Wellness Why”?
The concept of a “wellness why” is explored in Nourished by Nutrition. Essentially, it’s your underlying motivation for pursuing wellness. While many individuals make New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and improve their diet, often aiming for weight loss or muscle toning, these surface-level outcomes. While these are beneficial, they can lead to disillusionment if solely focused on. Embracing a healthy lifestyle transcends mere outward appearance; it encompasses your overall well-being. Nourishing your body with essential nutrients and engaging in regular exercise enhances your quality of life, potentially extending its duration. Moreover, it clears your mind, enhances focus, boosts energy, reduces stress, and triggers the release of endorphins. As you experience an improved sense of well-being, you may find your preoccupation with appearance might naturally wane.
Cultivating Like-Minded Connections
Having a workout partner significantly increases the likelihood of consistent exercise. Knowing someone is counting on you for gym sessions or morning runs serves as a potent motivator. Forge connections with individuals who can introduce you to new exercises and share healthy recipes. Alternatively, join groups of individuals who share your recreational preferences. If health issues or injuries make exercise challenging, consider exploring support groups for those with similar setbacks, and learning about their preferred recreational activities. You need not embark on your journey alone. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals who cheer you on without imposing negativity will greatly enhance your chances of success.
Rejecting Monotony in Meals
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be dull. Many people associate healthy eating with unsatisfying salads and bland grains. However, incorporating healthy fats and spices can elevate the flavor of nutritious foods. It’s also essential to realize that what works for someone else might not be suitable for you. If your diet primarily comprises carbs and you abruptly transition to the Keto diet, your adherence may falter. Instead, consider gradually reducing carb/sugar intake, replacing chips with carrots and hummus, or trading desserts for fruit. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessitate forsaking sweets or indulgent favorites entirely. In fact, professionals like @dietitian.hannah caution that complete restriction of specific foods can lead to binge eating. Rather than vowing not to consume sugar for a year, opt for moderation. A single treat is less detrimental than devouring an entire pack of Oreos after daydreaming about them.
For some healthy, tasty recipe ideas, check out our blog.
Realistic Goal Setting
Set achievable goals and avoid overly ambitious targets. If you’re new to the gym, committing to five days a week may not be realistic. Begin with one or two days, progressively building up. Even incorporating walking into your daily routine can make a significant impact, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Walking is an effective method to burn fat. Although patience is required, gradual progress, coupled with consistency, is more effective in lifestyle changes than sudden intensity.
Navigating Setbacks Gracefully
Remember that you’re human and bound to stumble. You might diligently attend the gym for months, only to experience a week where motivation wanes entirely. This is normal. Lapses will occur, but preventing them from becoming relapses is key. A single week’s lapse doesn’t equate to complete failure. Simply resume gym visits the following week, picking up where you left off. The same applies to healthy eating. Occasional indulgences are natural, and occasionally, you might find yourself unexpectedly consuming more than intended. This shouldn’t result in starving yourself the next day. Resume your healthy eating approach without self-condemnation. Embracing self-forgiveness maximized the likelihood of sticking with your goals.
What are your aspirations for the new year?