Health

6 Ways to Make Your Health a Priority This Year

Because it’s the start of a new year, I’m sure that you’re trying to follow through those health and fitness goals you recently made. But, if you want to make sure that you’ll be committed to these goals for the rest of the year and beyond, then you need to start making your health a priority. And, here’s six simple ways you can achieve that!

1. Identify your why.

Your why is that personal motivation that lies deep down within you. By finding your why you can become clear on what you want to achieve and how to get there. For example, if you’re only motivated to lose weight because you hate your body, you’re not going to succeed.

I know that this is common among us women since we’re constantly wrecking how we feel about our bodies due to social comparisons, being judgmental, and believing that we’re overweight. But, that’s not going to keep us motivated when it comes to our health.

Instead, think about why your health is important to you. Is it because you want to have the energy to keep with your kids? Is it because you always wanted to compete in a marathon or wear a size 6? When you do, you’ll be more motivated and committed to your health since there’s an actual reason behind it.

2. Take one small step at a time.

As a I recently discussed, New Year’s resolutions don’t work because they’re too ambitious and broad. When it comes to our health, we try to change everything at once. We’re eating a completely different diet. We’re trying to visit the gym five days a week. It can be overwhelming. And, since we resist change, the chances of succeeding become less likely.

Don’t shock your system. Take baby steps and make small, incremental changes. For example, if you’re stuck inside an office this winter you could do things like;

  • Parking as far away from your office so that you have to walk more. You could use start taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Investing in a yoga ball or standing desk so that you’re not sitting all day.
  • Suggest having walking meetings with your colleagues — this also sparks creativity. If you have a conference call, stand while you’re on the phone.
  • Do some exercises in your office, such as stretching, push-ups, and squats, when you have a 10-minute break.
  • Swap out sugary drinks, like soda and hot chocolate, for water and herbal tea.
  • Pack your lunch so that you’re not tempted to eat unhealthy take-out options.

3. Create habits, not changes.

While making those small changes in your life is a great place to start, the key is to actually make them stick. And the only way to do this is by doing things that you actually enjoy.

For example, if you hate running but love walking your dog or riding your bicycle with your kids, then do more of that instead of forcing yourself to fun. Can’t stand kale? Then don’t it eat. Try out other leafy greens like spinach, arugula, collard greens, or bok choy that you want to eat.

4. Be a little selfish.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but mothers have a tendency to put ourselves last. After all, there’s always work, our kids, partners, and household chores that are pulling us away from our own self-care. But, how productive do you think you are at work or home if you’re unhealthy both mentally and physically?

I am giving you permission to start prioritizing yourself over others. That may sound awkward and you may feel a little guilty about it. But, you need to start putting yourself first. Does this mean that you can call in late to work or ask your kids to find their own way home from school? Of course not! It means carving time out for yourself to focus on your health. For example, I wake-up early every morning before the kids are up and go for a run. I not only love running and being outside. I also cherish the time to myself to clear my head.

5. Change your environment.

We are products of our environment. So, if you have a kitchen that’s stocked with junk food, then how can you become a healthy person? In this case, go through your kitchen, pantry, and cabinets and separate them into healthy and unhealthy categories and then get rid of the unhealthy options. Now, the next time you go to the store, you’ll only purchase healthier snacks. Does this mean that you can never treat yourself? No. I mean l love ice cream, but I don’t have any in my freezer. Instead ice cream is a rare treat that I may get when I’m with the kids on the boardwalk.

Besides your diet, if you can’t exercise at home, then you may want to join a gym so that you can get motivated by other gym members. You could ask your partner or best friend if that want to go for a hike in a park that you’ve never been wanting to visit. Or, you could try playing a new game with your kids after dinner. Simply put, shake things up this year. Besides encouraging to be physically, it gives you something to look forward to, which will motivate you to stay committed.

6. Forgive yourself when you slip.

We all make mistakes. And, there will be times when you’ll take a step back. Maybe you had too many sweets at an office or birthday party. Maybe you were running late to work and had to take the elevator. Don’t beat yourself! Just get back to your healthy routine as soon as possible so that these unhealthy habits don’t stick.

Are there any ways that you’ve made your health a priority? If so, please share them with us by leaving a comment.

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