While we all have an opportunity to improve our habits every day, many of us take stock of our habits during New Year.
And being healthy is important. Not in a YOU AREN’T VALUABLE IF YOU’RE NOT SKINNY way, but in a keep your energy up and live longer kind of way. But there’s not a lot of good advice out there for how to change habits. USA Today did a pretty good list that I’m gonna paraphrase below.
Don't wait until the New Year
There's no better time to start your new healthy journey than the present.
"It takes time to break and build new habits, heading into the new year with momentum from the last days of 2018 will position you to better succeed," said Osamoje Imoohi, a certified personal trainer.
Write your goals down
Tuekeha Huntley, who's been a personal trainer for 2 years, recommends writing down your goals and then writing down specific plans for your goals – basically, make plans for your plans.
Don't neglect your diet
Charity Faye, a chef and wellness expert, recommends that you remind yourself that you are a valuable human being and that you matter and to treat yourself that way by eating foods that will make your body feel good – like fruits and vegetables.
"Our diet is critical to our ability to have good moods, to think clearly and to rid ourselves of illnesses and diseases and other factors that prevent us from having the willpower to go work out and take care of ourselves," Faye said.
The wellness chef adds that you should listen to your body when it comes to food. some days you may need to eat carbs, so go ahead and eat carbs and another week you may not need to eat meat, so go ahead and skip the steak for dinner.
Huntley also agrees that you can't just work out and not change anything about your dietary habits. She said that in addition to writing down your fitness plans, write down your dietary one as well. Keep a food journal; that way it will be easy to track how many calories you're consuming and then you can slowly cut from there.
Don't buy into the trendy diet or workout fads
We're constantly bombarded with new dietary fads or workout trends, but fitness experts recommend to steer clear of those.
"If you say I’m going to do the keto diet for 30 days because it’s a trend you’re going to fall off," said Faye. "Don’t set a goal for the next 30 days – say today this is what my body needs therefore this is what I'm going to give my body."
Huntley agrees that one of the most important parts about achieving your goals is being consistent and staying on your own path and buying into this fads will distract you from your own personal journey.
"I feel like everyone knows the recipe to lose weight and be fit is to exercise and eat right but they don’t have a connection with being consistent or the ability to follow through," said Huntley.
Consistency is what will help you achieve your goals for the long term – not fad diets.
It's not going to happen over night
Starting a new fitness routine and committing to eating healthy is not a small feat and that's why most people think of it as a lifestyle change instead of just dieting and exercising. These new changes to your routine will take time to adjust to and it will take time for you to reach your goals.
"A lot of people start a journey focusing on the big picture saying I want to lose 50 to 100 lbs instead of focusing on the day to day work to reach that, said Wiley.
Find someone to hold you accountable
Grab a friend, a trainer, your neighbor, someone or anyone to hold you accountable to your goals.
Huntley believes that accountability is a major factor in sticking to your new plans. She advises getting someone that will check up on you and ask if you've been to the gym today or ask what you had to eat.
Imoohi agrees that you need people in your circle who also want to see you succeed. He recommends surrounding yourself with people that share the same values and goals as you.
"Your tribe determines your vibe," Imoohi said. "Having a supportive community makes the journey a bit more bearable and less difficult."
Plan, plan and plan some more
Make your new goals a priority in your life.
Faye said that people should plan their meals the same way they plan on going to work or hanging out with friends.
"We will stick to our health commitments if we plan it in our day to do so," said Faye.