New year, new you: Get your good habits back on track

The post-party holiday season is a prime time for a start-of-year assessment on how you might achieve better health in the new year. That’s why so many of us make new year’s resolutions. In fact, 48 percent of people resolve to lose weight while 50 percent are determined to get more exercise in the coming year. 

But the best of intentions can be waylaid by winter — the cold weather keeps us inside, making us feel sluggish. Shoveling out the car to head to the gym can seem like just too much effort. 

That helps explain why less than 10 percent of us keep our new year’s resolutions. 

There are a few things that separate those who are able to refocus their efforts in January from those who never drop the extra pounds they might have gained or the fitness ground they’ve lost.

Here are 5 healthy habits they cultivate:

  • Trying something new: A different kind of workout can be motivating. If the cold is keeping you from venturing outside, try an indoor activity such as pickleball, Zumba or swimming laps. Alternatively, try embracing winter by investing in a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis to burn off calories and enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Scheduling the time: Make yourself as big a priority as work tasks and family obligations by scheduling the time for your health — whether it’s blocking off a half hour a day to exercise each morning, go on a weekly hike with a friend or dedicating Saturday mornings to a yoga and meditation session. Use your phone to set reminders to yourself.
  • Using the buddy system: It’s far more difficult to reach our goals on our own than with a friend. Enlist a supportive person or two with similar goals to work alongside you to achieve better health — whether that’s by exercising together or cooking healthy meals together. Consider getting a group of friends and neighbours together for a weekly hike to connect socially and boost your fitness levels at the same time.
  • Track your progress: Studies show that self-monitoring your nutrition and fitness goals serves to increase awareness of what it is you hope to achieve and can help you lose weight and exercise more. (A few top apps to try: FitBit, noon and Nutrition Coach.)
  • Staying focused on the big picture: Losing weight and getting healthier doesn’t happen overnight – it takes commitment and determination as well as patience and forgiveness if and when you get sidetracked. Consider where you want to be at the end of 2022 in terms of how much you weigh and how often you exercise — and remind yourself that you are in this for the long haul.

Happy new year and good luck with your goals for 2022!

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash