Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ideas for Creating Healthy "Resolutions"

“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” ~Winston Churchill

If you are like me, every New Year's Eve you create a list of resolutions where you make big plans for changes in your life. I almost always plan to exercise more, eat better, take care of those little chores around the house that have been piling up, etc. In the past I would always start with good intentions, but then I would often get sidetracked - sometimes almost before I have even begun! So, this year I decided not to put it all on the new year, but that I would start making small changes throughout the year - what I felt would be a more healthy way of creating resolutions - and see if I could keep up with them. So, here are some things that worked well for me throughout the year:

Changes in eating: While I don't particularly like non-fat foods across the board, I did find that there are some things that I don't mind the low-fat version of. For example, cottage cheese, milk, Greek yogurt, and sour cream are all things that the lower fat or no fat versions of taste fine to me. So, I have started working those into my diet. I also found that I actually prefer whole wheat pasta to regular pasta and rye bread to white bread. And, I found that there are a number of small meals that I like that are in the 200 to 300 calorie range. I keep these supplies handy for those times when I need to eat something, but I'm not feeling really picky about what I have. These make it easy to grab a lower calorie alternative. So, these are a few small changes to my eating that have helped me become a little more healthy.
Changes in exercise: This one I haven't quite mastered yet, but I am still working on it! I have found that I enjoy doing the short yoga sets of Namaste Yoga (about 30 minutes) and that if I don't have to go to the gym to exercise, I am more likely to do it. I found that heading out to the local park for a walk of about a mile and a half is something that I will actually do once or twice a week. Recently I have been experimenting with working in a mile or so walk during my work day. This only takes me about 20 minutes to complete, and if I keep it up throughout most of the week those miles will really add up!

Changes in getting chores done: I have been steadfastly working to fix up my home - my biggest chore. Each weekend I try to focus on one larger task, like painting a room, cleaning out my files, rearranging furniture, or deep cleaning. In addition, I have a list of small projects that will take from 15 minutes to an hour to complete - things like installing a door stop or changing out a sink sprayer hose. I purchased the supplies I need for those projects, so on evenings that I have some spare time I have everything I need to get a little something more done.
Wow! When I started writing this post, I wasn't really sure that my plan had worked out as well as I had hoped! However, looking back on all of this makes me feel kind of good! I didn't try to tackle all of these at once, but focused every month or so on trying something new and working them into my daily life. Some of the things, like painting a room, have shown immediate big results. However, the smaller things, like walking more or cleaning out all that extra junk in my office, have added up over time.

What tips do you have to share about creating healthy resolutions? We would love to hear your comments and ideas!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Did you know that walking in place is just as good as taking a walk. Well maybe not quite, but standing in front of your TV you can walk in place, keep your knees high and step side to side. Check this out at http://www.livestrong.com/article/343884-how-to-exercise-by-marching-or-walking-in-place/ and this will take you step by step. No more excuses about the weather or missing a show!