Lifestyle: Six Tips For a Happier and Healthier 2016

It’s a new year and many people find that it’s the perfect time to create resolutions. The word resolution, according to the dictionary is defined as a FIRM decision to do or not to do something. FIRM? That’s exactly why we don’t like resolutions. We are only setting ourselves up for disappointment when we can’t remain firm.  It’s impossible to be perfect, so this word “resolution” has given us no room for balance, trial and error, or misstepping during the entire year. Let’s face it, we’re all human and we are going to fault at some point.

Instead of setting resolutions for this year, we teamed up with Ashley Haag from fASHionablyfit to share a few tips for a happier and healthier year. We hope that these tips help you develop your best self in 2016. We all know that knowledge is power, but that is only true if you actually use the knowledge. So with that said, read these tips as a useful guide to make some changes, set some new goals and get into the mindset of creating and seeking new habits that will benefit you and make you feel great this year.

Here are Ashley’s six tips:

6. Patience

Please understand that you need to be patient with yourself. You didn’t gain weight overnight, therefore you won’t lose weight overnight. You didn’t buy a shopping mall in one night, so you won’t have an entire wardrobe of your dreams in one night. You won’t feel great every single moment of every day, so don’t expect that either. Change takes time. As a personal trainer and coach, I have seen people give up on themselves too easily. They are sore, they’re not seeing results fast enough, or they move towards goals with an all or nothing mentality. Great change takes time and you are great and worth the wait. So be patient, it will pay off.

5. Bouncing back from fault

Be kind to yourself when you make a mistake and don’t stand strong with a new change, goal, or habit you are trying to implement into life. Don’t be hard on yourself and get down. It’s ok! Just get back up and continue on, not tomorrow, not next week and not next year, but the very next chance you get. Life is filled with moments and as each one passes, you are presented with another. Let the mistake go and improve yourself at your next opportunity.

4. Sleep

Sleep is so important, but everyone’s idea of what’s needed is different.  I hold myself accountable for a minimum of 7 hours, but some people do better with 9-10. It’s a common misconception to think you can catch up on sleep. When you’ve missed your chance, it’s gone. Your body responds best to routine. I recommend finding a bedtime ritual to help get you into the routine of getting ready for bed. A few ideas: Sip a cup of herbal tea, take a hot shower, do some light stretching, or journal about what you’re grateful for each night.  Preparing yourself for the rest and rejuvenation that is about to take place will make it that much easier to fall into the sleep you need. And be sure to turn off your electronics before bed, too.

 

3. Nutrition

Food is fuel. You wouldn’t drive your car on empty so how in the world do you think your body can operate on empty? Your meals should be a balance of the essentials: protein,  fats, and carbs. Listen to your hunger signals. Your body is so smart and is designed to tell you when it needs something. Think of your hunger as the gas light – more car analogies! Pay attention to how you’re feeling as you eat and STOP BEFORE your tank reaches capacity.

In addition, aim for at least ten 8oz glasses of water a day. Start your day with a full glass of room temperature water. It detoxifies and gets things moving!

2. Exercise

Schedule workouts as appointments in your calendar and don’t miss them! I recommend doing 3-4 workouts per week. There is a lot of confusion out there on whether cardio, strength training, or interval training is better for you. Think in terms of working out for the best results. Strength Training comes first, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is second. Sorry “Cardio Queens” but you can get so much more for your time and for lasting results if you follow this routine. If I plan for four workouts during the week, I’ll do two strength workouts and two HIIT. I would rather get my heart rate up and burn fat than spend ample amounts of time on a boring treadmill.

1. Mental Health

The most important thing you should take away from my fASHionablyfit knowledge bombs is that all of the above will get you nowhere if you lack the MIND SET! Just because you can’t see it right now, doesn’t mean the path is not there. Keep taking steps. Be kind to yourself and appreciate all that you have, all that your body is capable of and be grateful for it. Just believe in yourself. I like to create a mantra and put it everywhere around me. This way I am constantly reminded of it and conscious of my goal. Put it on a 3×5 index card and tape it to your dashboard. Make it your home screen on your computer, the background of your phone, put it in your medicine cabinet, in your wallet, or wherever you will see it everyday. It’s your constant reminder that you are worth self love and all the effort that is needed to make a change this year

So remember, as you implement changes this year, keep in mind that sleep, nutrition, exercise, and your mental health are related and go hand-in-hand. They are pieces that make one full creation of your true self. So I hope you take a little something from all of these areas and make them useful to you and your goals. They will help you to be your best self in 2016. Follow me on social media for more guidance to living #fASHionablyfit, and don’t be shy! Reach out! I’m here for you and believe in you! Are you ready to believe in you?