POST-HOLIDAY SUCCESS STRATEGY
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to sift through magazines all day in order to pick up ideas on how to renew and refresh in the new year. I’m lucky if I can find the time to sit back and write down my new year’s resolutions. That’s why I’ve condensed it for you!
If you are truly committed to self-improvement in the new year, here are some ways, that I've found, to increase my overall energy, health, and well-being. By sticking to an enjoyable routine, one that doesn't totally cramp your style, you can make subtle changes that will be easy to adapt to, instead of going off-course.
If one of your goals is to exercise more often, and you have gotten out of a routine, don't over-do it because you will likely get frustrated and give up.
- Start slow, and consider hiring a trainer for a few sessions, just to get you back on track
- Avoid peak hours at the gym: fighting over exercise machines can be frustrating, plus most gyms limit your time on machines when the place is full.
- Avoid injuries by warming up and stretching properly
- Add a new playlist on your I-Pod with fresh tunes that will get you pumped up during your workout.
- Stash an extra set of workout clothes, shoes, a towel, and baby wipes in your car, so that you never have an excuse. (baby wipes are a great shower-substitute, if you don't have time!)
- Try a new sport, or even a new workout class: cardio kickboxing, spinning, hiking, or swimming. Using different muscle groups will boost your metabolism and help with overall fitness.
It's tempting to go on some crazy diet where you'll lose dozens of pounds per month. But if that diet isn't realistic for the long-term, once you start eating regularly again, you'll likely gain back all the weight you lost. Here's how to avoid the yo-yo diet effect:
- Make a list of the foods/beverages for which you have the most weakness. Don't eliminate them immediately, but allow yourself to have them on special occasions, in small quantities
- Eat filling foods that are good for you. For instance, start your meal with a big salad with lots of veggies and low fat dressing before digging into the main course. Chances are, you'll be full way before your main course is gone.
- Try snacking on healthy foods throughout the day that are high in protein, but not high in fat: hard-boiled eggs, edamame, turkey slices, or low-fat protein shakes. It may sound weird to first-timers, but it helps stave off hunger, and also helps to avoid blood sugar crash.
- Don't keep food in your house that you know you'll pig-out on. Instead, stock your fridge with fresh veggies, fruit, low fat soup, or anything healthy that doesn't take a lot of time to prepare.
When the holiday decorations are put away, and the house is stark, your clothes feel tighter than usual, and it's freezing and gray outside, it can definitely throw a person into a depressed state of being. Don't fret! Follow these tips to make it through the gray months:
- If you're having Christmas tree withdrawal, find a nice tall houseplant to fill its space. Any Feng Shui expert will tell you that having live plants in your home will bring a sense of harmony.
- Put your "skinny clothes" out of sight, until you're ready to try them on again. While you're at it, donate any clothes you haven't worn in a few years.
- If you think your blues are caused by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), consider one of the many light therapy options, and possibly seek the advice of a professional. Or simply bundle up and go for a walk on a sunny day.
- Book a vacation and go someplace sunny and warm. If you're short on cash, consider a weekend road trip somewhere, just for a change of scenery.
- Treat yourself to a massage. Let someone else work out all the stress in your body!
Lastly, embace the season! Do things you could never do during the summer, like: curl up by the fire with a good book, make a snow angel, go ice skating, sport your favorite winter clothing, boots, and accessories, or enjoy a hot bubble bath after a long day at work.
I do hope that these tips will help improve your life, and increase your happiness. Please do not hesitate to share your own "post holiday survival" tips below!
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