How’s your 2017…and those resolutions going so far? Have you been sticking to them? If not, no fear, everyday is an opportunity to get back at it, or just even start. If you’re ready to step it up and see a positive change in your day-to-day check out my 7 simple steps below to get 2017 started off right!
1. Set Some Goals
This is where it all begins. Everyone has something or some things they want to improve upon, learn or change in their life and though it’s true you can start at anytime, the new year gives us a little more momentum to put thought into action. Start by making a list of all your short-term and long-term goals, then pick the top 2-3 that are most important to you. It’s important to keep a tight list, the longer the list the more you divide your focus, and the less likely you’ll be to follow through on anything. Stick your list somewhere visible; I suggest changing its location every once in a while so it doesn’t become part of the background. Refer to these goals everyday to keep you eye on the prize.
If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any.
– Jim Collins
Congrats, now you’ve got your goals. Remember, these goals are your daily priority so you must commit if you want to see results. The road to change requires discipline and the little things you do everyday will lead you one step closer to reaching your goals. You’ve got this! Below are some tips to help you stay on track:
Plan your routine. Want to a sick body? Choose your workout days and stick to them. #noexcuses. Want to feel well rested? Pick your daily bedtime and wake time and stick to them. #dedication. Need to save money? Choose an amount to set aside each week or month and stick to it. #smallstepsbigchange.
Keep yourself accountable by reflecting daily, be honest with yourself, are you spending your time productively and making choices that align with your goals? If you want it bad enough you need to cut down on or just plain cut out what doesn’t serve your goals. Junk food, Netflix, social media, friends who drain you, etc.
Track your progress by writing it down. Have a notebook handy during your reflections or use a goal setting app to see if you are meeting your daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
Readjust. If you miss a workout or end up binge watching Sense8 all weekend instead of reading Tools of Titans don’t be too hard on yourself, slipping up is going to happen. No need to give up completely. The important thing is that you get yourself back on track and pick-up where you can.
Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.
– Zig Zigler
3. Get a Blender
Everyone could use a few more fruits and vegetables in their lives. One of the easiest ways to fit vitamins and minerals into your daily routine is to blend them up in a smoothie. You don’t need to start fancy, any blender will do, of course the better the blender the smoother the blend. No need to follow a recipe either, if you’re just starting out keep it simple, have fun, and feel free to get creative. My suggestions on what to include are below, and if you wanna kick it up a notch check out the No Meat Athlete’s Perfect Smoothie Blueprint.
- Greens: choose any one or a mixture of the following – a handful or more of spinach (you can’t even taste it!), romaine lettuce, beet greens, kale or arugula (these both have strong flavors, use sparingly at first, a little goes a long way). I sometimes also add a bit of cilantro.
- A base: bananas are perfect or an avocado works well too
- A liquid: water, fresh fruit juice (orange, apple, pineapple), chilled green tea, or an unsweetened milk substitute
- Fresh or frozen fruit: fruits are filled with vitamins and antioxidants but are also high in sugar so don’t over do it, use in moderation: strawberries are my personal favorite, peaches, mangos, blackberries, or raspberries
You Can’t Exercise Your Way Out of a Bad Diet.
– Dr. Mark Hyman
4. Move Your Body
The beginning of a year often inspires some toning-up, calorie burning, and taking better care of ourselves. However for many of us our motivation slowly slips away as the days and weeks pass. Want to make this year different? The key is to pick something that works for you and start small. Not everyone likes to run, can handle a spin class, or wants to spend hours at the gym, and that’s ok. There are plenty of ways to get fit and with the Internet you can simply start moving from the comfort of your own home. The most important thing is to START. Some of my faves:
- Workout apps: This year I started using the 7 Minute Workout Challenge and I’m pretty darn happy with it. Nike has a workout app with great reviews (I haven’t tried it), but if you just take a look online you’ll find plenty of options to fit your needs.
- Meet-up.com: If you’re not familiar with this worldwide network of like-minded people, then click on the link to get in the know. Whatever you’re interested in – running, yoga, hiking, volleyball, boot camps, pilates, soccer, salsa, etc. – your city probably has a group that that works for you. Best of all it’s FREE.
Good things come to those who sweat.
– somebody awesome
5. Learn How to Cook
Ok, we’re not gonna revamp your cooking skills in this post. But if there is 1 thing you should learn how to make and incorporate into your diet this year, it’s QUINOA. It’s been a hot topic for the past few years, and for good reason. It’s highly nutritious, considered a superfood, chock-full of protein, fiber, and minerals. Best part is that it’s SOOO quick and easy to make. Use it as a rice substitute, add it to a salad (the more the better), or even add it to your yogurt or smoothie. Cook before eating! *Here’s a little help if you’re still unsure of how to say it, it’s “keen-wah”, now go on out there and ask for it with confidence.*
- 1 part quinoa grains (any color quinoa will do)
- 2 parts water or vegetable stock
- add salt to taste
- *Optional* Rinse quinoa in a sieve or coffee filter. I never rinse quinoa but some say it can have a soapy taste if you don’t give it a rinse before cooking.
- Combine quinoa, water, and salt in a pot
- Bring to a boil on medium-high heat
- Once it comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer
- Cook until water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes
- Remove from heat and set aside for 5-10 minutes
- Fluff with a fork
6. Practice Gratitude
A daily focus on the abundance we already have in our lives can improve our entire experience. Sounds too simple to actually work? Practicing gratitude is like working out, if you are consistent you’ll start to see results. When you focus on what you’re grateful for you begin to see the gifts, beauty, and magic in everything. A hot shower in the morning, leisure time after work, your perfectly beating heart, a good hair day, feeling the feels, or just laughing till you almost pee your pants. It’s those little things in life, which we often take for granted, that we should actually be focusing on to live a life of genuine happiness. Because in many ways, with hindsight, it’s quite clear that the little things in life end up being the big things.
My new method for practicing gratitude is writing in my Five-Minute Journal. However there are other ways to keep track of all your good fortune: keep a gratitude journal or create a gratitude jar. I suggest writing 3 things you are grateful for each night before bed.
Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly.
– Tony Robbins
It may sound like the new fad but this stress-busting “secret” to inner peace and clarity has been around for over 2000 years. People do it because it works, so go ahead, give it a shot. Many people have misconceptions about mediation – it requires a spiritual or religious belief, they won’t be “good” at it or do it “right”, or maybe they’ll have to sit still for hours on end. Not true. Anyone can do it, even you! What is true is that when we start to meditate, everyone has a monkey mind, thoughts constantly jumping all over the place, that’s normal. Even if you’ve been meditating for decades your thoughts will still wander, like I said it’s normal. It’s your daily practice that will allow you to come back to the present, reel those thoughts in, and find the space between your thoughts. Your inner silence. Learning this skill can positively impact all aspects of your life. Control your thoughts, control your life. Start here:
- Headspace: “Meditation made simple.” This is the perfect app for newbies and long-timers alike. Your own guided meditation with a free 10-day trial and you only have to dedicate 10 minutes of your day.
- Insight timer: This is what I use. A free and simple meditation app where you can set the duration and soothing background sound of your choice. It also has a selection of guided meditations.
The thing about meditation is…you become more and more you.
– David Lynch