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Year after year, so many men and women make “losing weight” their number one New Year's Resolution. We’re kicking that to the curb in 2019 and implementing strategies that will help achieve our health and fitness goals, both inside and out, without focusing on the scale. Here are ten ideas to get you started, and if you’re feeling bold, try them all!
Be your hype man.
Longing for validation from the outside world can be a toxic waiting game. Positivity has to come from within before you can ultimately attract it from someone else. Try to begin every day with encouraging affirmations. “I am strong,” “I am capable,” and “I am worthy” are all great places to start. You may feel a bit silly at first but you have to trust the process. By starting your day with these supportive words, you’re setting yourself up to approach every task you’re faced with with confidence, which will ultimately lead to success.
Most of us don’t even remember what life was like before a smartphone and that’s a very scary thing. We often find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through apps at our first inkling of possible boredom. Make an effort to re-center and get to know your phone-free self again. Take a break from negativity in the news. Write in a journal instead of on Twitter. Walk through the snow without taking a Boomerang. If going phone-free out in the world seems too daunting, at least try spending your first 15 minutes of the day without it.
Twist your words.
Many people have a tendency to speak negatively about themselves when it’s absolutely unnecessary. Try shifting your narrative to include more positive, or even neutral, statements. For example, when you’re in the dressing room and something doesn’t fit? Change “I look bad in this” or “This makes me look fat” to “I think something else would look better on me” or “I wish it showed off my *insert body part you love* more.” Not only is negative self talk detrimental to your own mental health, but it can actually affect those around you as well!
Put a filter on it.
Well, probably not the kind of filter you’re thinking of. Social media can be a fun, creative outlet for so many people but it can also be a dangerous black hole of comparison and negativity. Try only following accounts that bring you joy! If scrolling past a model in a bikini or a coworker on a private jet makes you question your worth, hit mute or unfollow! Don’t compare someone else’s highlight reel to your behind-the-scenes.
Take some time every day to do something that makes you happy. Read a book, meditate, take a bath, do a face mask, light a candle. These are just a few ideas of ways to reward yourself for just being you. Whether you had a particularly productive day or not, you survived it, and that deserves a little recognition.
Stop comparing yourself... to yourself.
We all have that dress in our closet that we hope will fit again one day. We all have old photos we look back on and think “I was prettier then.” We all critique ourselves more harshly with bare faces and natural hair than when we’re dolled up. Learn to love yourself in all of your forms: raw and curated, old and new. Try your best to stay in the present and focus on the amazing person you are now, and not the ideal you’ve created in your mind. You’re pretty darn perfect.
Learn a new skill.
If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, perfect the piano, or master a macaron recipe, now is the time! Acquiring a new skill, whether it be self-taught or in a class, will be a huge self-confidence booster. You’ll start to see tangible results that you can track and look back on that aren’t solely appearance based. Having fitness goals such as learning a martial art or getting a yoga certification are wonderful too, but try to focus on your discipline and new capability rather than your physical results.
Listen to your body.
Fuel your body with nutritious foods and you’ll start to love how you feel. Teach yourself how to make healthy food choices without restricting or overindulging (although a few glasses of wine never hurt anybody). An easy place to start is to begin eating intuitively. This means not eating based on a pre-planned menu or schedule. If your body is craving candy but you force it to have a salad, you’ll find yourself unsatisfied and probably reaching for sweets later. Whip up a fruit smoothie instead! You’ll get the satisfaction you were looking for in a healthier way and ultimately your cravings will start to shift. Not quite hungry for a full meal at dinner time? Choose smart snacks to keep your metabolism going without overworking your digestion. Get your body accustomed to nutrient-dense foods it responds well to and it’ll thank you.
Aim for activity.
Living an active lifestyle doesn’t always mean working out every day. Making the effort to move your body can flow into every aspect of your life. Take the stairs at work. Choose the furthest parking spot from the Target entrance. Suggest a midweek spin class with friends instead of Happy Hour. These little changes will lead to big results and will keep you out of a sedentary slump.
Focus on fun.
Less than 10 percent of people stick to their fitness resolutions for an extended period of time. Far too often people force themselves into activities that they think will get them fast results while neglecting to take enjoyment into consideration. Choose workouts you love. Focus on the deep stretch of yoga or the upbeat music in spin rather than which will burn the most calories. You’ll find yourself excited to attend class every day and it will be an integral part of your routine before you know it.
What are some of your New Year's Resolutions?