Do the words “New Year, New You” make you want to gag?
For years now, I’ve watched women everywhere create unattainable goals and set themselves up to fail by picking one of the toughest times of the year to start a diet/health regime/fitness program. And the most common problem with these goals it that they’re an all-or-nothing endeavour, like “I’m going to stop drinking” or “I will quit sugar.” Or worse still, the goal is not clearly defined, like “I’m going to get fit” or “eat healthy.” (What does “fit” or “healthy” even mean to you?)
I’m calling it – New Years Resolutions are a complete crock
This is not the most convenient time of the year to set strict goals. Think about it – January is full of BBQs, school holidays, beach days, travel, cricket, Australia Day, movies, Sunday afternoon sessions… the list goes on.
Why would you choose this exact time of year to test your willpower and resolve? Hellooo… increased stress levels! (It would be a bit like the time I decided to do a sugar-free anti-candida diet over Easter… but that’s another story, haha…)
What if instead, we waited for things to calm down just a bit? Till our lives return to their usual routine. Till there are less temptations on the horizon.
So, I have a radical new plan (call me crazy!):
I hearby declare Feb 1st as the NEW New Years Day. It’s a much better time to start afresh, don’t you think?
I know, I know… Feb seems so far away though. And you had a bit of a blowout over Christmas and want to start feeling better SOON, am I right? But, instead of going all out, why not make small, meaningful adjustments during January? Think of them as new years in-roads – kind of like pre-season training before the main event. The trick is to pick lifestyle adjustments that set you up for success down the track. Here are a few suggestions to help get you brainstorming:
Only drink alcohol if it’s a social occasion
That comfy, cosy habit of wine every night on the couch? Yeah, I know it well. Starts with just a few here and there, and pretty soon your alcohol-containing days are vastly outnumbering your alcohol-free days. Here’s a great way to start cutting down: No alcoholic drinks on the couch, unless you have friends or family visiting. If you go out, or you’re having dinner or drinks with friends – that’s totally fine. Just start reeling in those “I’ll just have one glass – oops we drank the whole bottle” Netflix sessions, mmmkay? P.S. I know it sounds a bit boring at first, but Netflix and herbal tea is totally the new black! And if it’s too hot for tea, make an chilled version like my hibiscus iced tea instead.
Curb the post-dinner sugar fix
If it’s not wine on the couch, it’s desserts. And in particular, that block of chocolate that calls your name… “But it’s dark chocolate, so it’s good for me, right?” Ummmm… it’s probably got a fair bit of sugar in it, and that sugar adds up fast. Instead, switch to a flavoursome, great quality, raw dark chocolate (my favourites are Loving Earth and Pana Chocolate) – you don’t need to eat as much to feel satisfied (plus I find that at the $7 or $8 price tag, it tends to last a lot longer, as I deliberately stretch it out and only have a couple of squares per night!). Yep, it’s my hot tip – save money on chocolate by spending more, but eating less. It’s a thing.
Start on some gut-healing supplements and probiotics
If the festive season turned into a bit of a gluten/dairy/sugar/alcohol/processed food fest (eek – or all of the above!), it’s important to repair the damage to the gut sooner rather than later. If you ARE planning a detox sometimes soon, it’s always wise to do some gut healing first to minimise the chances of nasty side effects. Detoxing with a leaky gut is a sure-fire way to have headaches, nausea and other undesirable “detox” symptoms (er, loose bowel motions, bloating and gas, I’m looking at you!). Speak to your naturopath or local health food store about gut healing remedies like probiotics, glutamine and slippery elm. There are a fair few all-in-one products out there these days, so chances are you’ll only need to purchase one thing.
Support your body with foods that are nutrient rich, and avoid processed junk
Swap out foods in your pantry and fridge gradually before you start your big health kick (which is happening in Feb now, remember?). It’s a great way to remove the temptation from the house down the track. Got leftover white pasta? No worries – eat it now. And don’t replace it with more pasta. Replace it with brown rice, quinoa, or something equally detox-worthy. Got sugary snacks lying around? When you run out, replace them with nuts, seeds, and nibble mixes. The more healthy swaps you make now, the more nutrients your body gets. It’s win/win!
Ease into that new exercise regime
Planning to smash it out at the gym in 2018? No worries – sounds like fun! But… consider starting a little more gradually. Going from zero to hero leaves you more prone to injury and burnout. Instead of trying to crank out a lung-busting run after being away for a while, why not try one of those running apps (like Couch to 5K) that help you to increase your fitness gradually over time. Or if you’re coming back to classes at the gym, throw in lots of low impact and stretching sessions (like yoga and pilates) to get your body used to moving again, before hitting the high impact stuff.
Set yourself up for success
Making small changes frequently really adds up fast, and easing into it gives you the flexibility to indulge over January on occasion, without feeling like you’ve fallen off the wagon. After the stress and busy-ness of Christmas, don’t you owe it to yourself to have just a teensy bit of breathing space and gentleness, rather than just smashing out new goals for the sake of it being Jan 1st?
And now a little heads up…
I’ve got something really cool coming up for you in Feb that will help you to detox and refresh your body for the year ahead. So don’t stress… I’ve got your back! Stay tuned, and sign up for my newsletter here if you want to me the first to know when it comes out.
Note: None of the above links are sponsored in any way – any products mentioned are listed simply because I love them… but I am definitely open to accepting ALL donations of raw chocolate!!! 😉
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