We all want to eat better and make smarter choices. If these are your New Year’s resolutions, keep reading for 7 ideas that will keep you on track! Then just check out the ONE thing you need to do this year that will help you stick to ALL of your goals.
Stay Healthy This Year With Great Resolutions
Did you know that the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions fail before we even hit the end of January? True story! The problem is that we view them as absolutes. If we slip up once, we consider it a failure and think, “well, there’s always next year!” What if, instead of trying to stick to strict resolutions that are all about denying ourselves (no sugar, no caffeine, and so on), we just set some really simple low-pressure goals?
I know that sounds confusing. Resolutions are goals, just with a fancier name, right? Well, sort of. I personally find goals a little less stressful. Rather than telling myself that I can’t have one thing or must do another, I set up reasonable steps that continually push me towards my own personal “finish line.” Still confused? Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Plus, stick around for ONE thing you can do this year that will make you happier, healthier and an all-around better person.
7 Simple Goals That Will Make Anyone Healthier
You want to loose those extra pounds you gained during the holidays and improve your diet overall. You really want to try and get healthier in 2021. Remember that being healthy doesn’t mean being skinny. By improving your diet you will naturally loose weight but you need to learn to eat right. Being healthy means eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. You also need a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep a day to stay healthy.
Let me tell you a little secret. Your resolution is easier to keep if you’re constantly getting rewarded with delicious food. That’s right! To get healthier you don’t need to eat less, you need to eat better. Knowing where your food comes from, choosing organic, and avoiding GMOs are all on the list for your to get healthier this new year.
1. Cook at home
This truly is the single most important resolution for anyone’s overall good health. If you cook your own meals you know exactly what goes into them. You can choose good quality ingredients and a healthier method of cooking like steaming or baking. Making food from scratch is not that complicated and your meals will be healthier and tastier. Check out my recipes for ideas. Most of them are ready in less than 30 minutes.
Now, this resolution doesn’t mean you can never eat out or order takeout again. Just make home-cooking a priority. If you’re worried that you’ll feel deprived, allow yourself one “take out” night a month. Don’t schedule it for a specific date. Just save it for a day when you’re really not in the mood to cook at all.
2. Drink purified water
Water makes up to 70% of our bodies. Eating real food made from fresh ingredients is extremely important, but what about the water you drink? Most sources of water contain hundreds of chemicals and your body absorbs them way more easily than from the food you eat.
Are you drinking clean water? You can find more information in my post Do You Know What’s In Your Water? and also find a good filter. The great thing about this goal is that it’s super low-pressure. Basically, just install your filter and use it! Set a reminder to swap out it out as needed. If you’re not really a fan of plain water, add a fresh lemon or lime to give it a bit of flavor.
3. Avoid processed foods
We are eating more processed foods than ever before and it is making us really sick. Foods that have been processed are nutritionally depleted. They are loaded with extra calories, chemicals and dangerous additives. Most processed foods also contain unnecessary added sugars, salt, fats and for the most part, now processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables instead for a healthier you. For more information read 7 Ways To Avoid Processed Foods.
4. Limit your sugar intake
If you truly want to change and improve your eating habits you need to start by limiting your intake of sugar. Sugar is high in calories and contains no nutrients. Eating too much sugar is so bad for the body and can contribute to many diseases including diabetes and cancer. For many decades people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease, however, new studies are showing that sugar may be the leading cause.
Note the word “limiting.” I’m not saying you can’t eat any sugar at all ever again. Just make smarter choices when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth. For example, swap out the sugar in a recipe with stevia or another all-natural alternative. When you do eat sugar, make it a special indulgence. Use real maple syrup on your pancakes instead of the fake maple-flavored stuff, or enjoy a piece of rich dark chocolate.
5. Swap ingredients for healthier options
Research better alternatives to unhealthy food options. You can make pasta using spaghetti squash or a delicious risotto using cauliflower instead of rice. You don’t have to sacrifice taste if you switch to healthier ingredients. In fact, you will be adding more flavor and your food will taste way better using natural products that are also good for you. You can see my post 5 Ingredient Swaps For Healthier Eating for more ideas.
6. Buy organic
Organic food contains more nutrients, which will transform in a healthier and stronger you. A stronger immune system will be capable of fighting diseases better. It will also decrease your risk of cancer by avoiding dangerous chemical pesticides, fertilizers and GMOs. Buying organic food is so worth it. Please see my post Is Buying Organic Worth The Higher Price? for more information.
7. Make your own junk food
One way to stay on track and feel good about what you are eating, is to make your own junk food. I have pretty good ideas like Turn Junk Food Into Healthy Food and Sweet Treats You Don’t Have To Feel Guilty About. Don’t worry, it may seem like a lot of work and time, but the recipes are pretty easy and won’t take longer than 30 minutes. Choosing good ingredients and cooking from scratch will turn junk food into healthy food.
The ONE Goal That Will Help You Meet All of Your Others
Whether you’re a resolutions kind of person or not, there’s really just ONE thing you need to do, one goal to make that will encompass every other resolution on this list…and then some. Are you ready for it? Here goes: BE KIND to yourself.
“Wait, what? Be kind? How does that help me eat better, lose weight, exercise more, and so on?” If that was your first thought, hear me out.
Being kind to yourself means treating your body and mind with the respect that you deserve. It means knowing your own self-worth and not letting anyone undermine it…including YOU. It also means not beating ourselves up or berating ourselves when we take a wrong turn on our journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
Would you tell a friend that she’s a failure because she drank a cup of coffee after swearing off caffeine for the year? Unless you’re a really mean friend (which I’m confident you’re not), the answer is “no.” Instead, you’d tell her that everyone makes mistakes, that she should pick herself back up and just keep moving forward. Right???
Well, why not show yourself that same level of kindness and compassion? If you cave and eat fast food on a busy Friday, don’t consider yourself a failure and ditch your healthy eating goals. Instead, just renew your goal and keep moving forward.
As the quote below says, Kindness is all about lending someone your strength rather than reminding them of their weaknesses. Never forget that you are “someone,” too. Give yourself that same strength that you’d lend to a friend.
Remember that by making little changes you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. It is not about a temporary diet that will make you loose some pounds temporarily. It is about creating new permanent healthy eating habits. You will see that it is easy, realistic, and the best option you can choose for you future health. Take the challenge and see the wonderful rewards.
Have a happy and healthy 2021!