New Year, New You in 2013

It happens around this time every year. You make a promise to yourself on Jan. 1, but in weeks, your New Year’s resolution is usually broken or brushed aside for next year.
We all have high hopes; maybe it’s losing a substantial amount of weight or making smarter, healthier decisions when it comes to food. Whatever the case may be, we all want to achieve these goals quickly and when we don’t see those results as fast as we would like, we give up.
First thing that you should do this New Year is get rid of that mindset.  Remember the saying, “slow and steady wins the race”? Take note of that teaching and apply it to your resolutions. If making a change in your life happened overnight, resolutions would be obsolete and everyone would be walking around with a perfectly ripped body.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, so the only thing left for us to do is try our very best and push towards bettering ourselves this year.
In order to make big changes in our lives that will last, we need to start small. Perhaps it is drinking water, rather than sugary soft drinks, or opting for a side salad instead of fries. Small lifestyle adjustments can lead to big changes in 2013. For a little inspiration, take note of these five resolutions to kick start a healthy New Year:
Pledge to get fit – This may be the age-old New Year’s resolution; however, this year, make it stick. Make small, attainable goals that will keep you motivated to achieve them. Perhaps it is to do more push-ups or walk 10,000 steps a day. Whatever it may be, make specific goals that will motivate you to achieve more.
Eat healthy – Portion control, healthy food swaps and smart meal choices are just a few of the ways that you can improve your diet. Contrary to popular belief, having a healthy diet does not mean that you must restrict yourself from the foods you love. Just like everything in life, a little moderation will go a long way and keep you on track to reach your health goals this year.
Lose weight – Many of us have high hopes at the beginning of the year. We feel as though it is a clean slate and our year to shed those unwanted pounds. This year, instead of vowing to lose a drastic amount of weight, start small. Setting small weight loss milestones will help you avoid giving up and will keep you motivated to reach your target weight.

Catch some zzz’s – Between countless tests, staying up late to study and of course spending time in the Southside on the weekend, you may have forgotten what it was like to have a full night’s rest. It’s now time to reintroduce rest into your life by pledging to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Getting an adequate amount of sleep will help you reach your other goals, such as losing weight. In fact, studies show that sleep loss could reduce your body’s ability to regulate hormones that control hunger, which in turn, leads to a bigger appetite and cravings for high-carbohydrate foods.

Avoid roadblocks – Just like every resolution, roadblocks will arise and could derail your efforts if you aren’t prepared. That is why you should create a list of back up plans for when your original plan fails. If you pledged to get fit and the gym is closed, work out at home with the assistance of a fitness DVD. Maybe your friends ordered a College Special from Milano’s; bring along your own healthy snack instead. Being prepared for each situation will help you to stay on track to improve your health and lifestyle in 2013.

–Maria Londino

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