Happy New Year! Happy New You!
Dec. 31, 2019
By Kenzie Bostick
This New Year’s marks not only the start of a new year, but also the start of a new decade. What better time to set some new goals to make you the best you can be?
Many people commit to New Year’s resolutions meant to make them healthier, such as losing weight, dieting or exercising more. While these are all great things for your health, it can be daunting when it’s time to follow through.
No matter how far you have to go until you reach your goals, the most important thing is to get started. Join a gym, find some healthy recipes, find some local fitness classes. Many people find “accountability partners” with similar goals to keep each other on track. These days, many people buy fitness trackers to assess their daily steps or calories burned. Seeing what you did that day can motivate people to be more aware of their activity levels.
One way to ensure that you are more likely to stick to your goals of being healthier is to think of it as a lifestyle change, not just a temporary change that will be over once you reach your goals. Learn to focus on how good you’ll feel with a healthier diet and frequent exercise, instead of dreading going to the gym or eating a salad instead of a fast food combo meal.
Another way to make creating healthier habits easier is to learn more about the unhealthy habits you currently have. Once you know more about what smoking, drinking, unhealthy diet or lack of exercise can do to your body, it will be easier to make better choices.
One thing to remember about becoming healthier is that what works for someone else may not work for you. Some people may love waking up at 4 a.m. and going for a run, while some prefer late night workouts. Finding something you enjoy will help ensure that you stick to it.
Personally, my resolution for 2019 was to quit drinking soda, juices, etc. and only drink water. It was difficult at first, because I always ordered Dr Pepper with my meals when I went to restaurants. After ordering water with my meals for about three weeks, I got used to it and didn’t want soda anymore. These days, Dr Pepper wouldn’t taste the same to me even if I wanted to drink it. Once you make it through the adjustment period, it will be easier to make healthy choices without even thinking about it.
One thing that helped me while I was trying to live a healthier life was following people with similar goals on social media. There are many Instagram accounts dedicated to weight loss tips, healthy recipes, workout challenges and more. Many people even start their own weight loss accounts to track their progress. Pinterest is also a very helpful resource for finding healthy recipes for any type of diet, whether it's vegan, keto, paleo, etc.
Imagine where you could be in your health journey by the end of the year or decade if you start today! Just remember that getting healthier takes time and that one week can’t undo months or years of unhealthy habits. Also, remember that there is a reason you made these resolutions, and think of that reason every time you feel like quitting.
Kenzie Bostick is a public information office intern at Monongalia County Health Department.