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Happy New You

A weight loss or fitness-related New Year's resolution is a powerful first step in the right direction, but remember that it's just that — a first step. Extra effort will be required to stay on track.

Cassie Carriger
Betsy Dutcher
January 29, 2018

A new year brings with it an overwhelming excitement to get back on track. So, what happens as the temperatures continue to drop and motivation begins to fade? Suddenly, warm comfort food and cozying up inside sounds more appealing than that list of intentions you set for 2018.

By February the majority of people have already given up on their resolutions. It is important to remember it is a journey, not an overnight fix, especially when it comes to the most common of resolutions, weight loss and exercise. It’s helpful to envision your overall goal, but putting one foot in front of the other is easier than jumping in with two feet.

Also keep in mind that studies show that only about 8 percent of people who make resolutions actually find success sticking with them.

And if you’ve already thrown in the towel on your resolution and are looking to get back on track, you’ve come to the right place. Forgive yourself for your missteps, re-evaluate and perhaps even adjust your goals, maintain a positive outlook on the future, and try the following tips to get back on the path to success.


Simplify your kitchen
The information regarding proper nutrition is endless, which can make eating healthy confusing. You should feel empowered, not overwhelmed by food and nutrition.

Yes, there is simplicity over the superfood craze. Here is the truth: simple, whole food ingredients are equally powerful as superfoods. There is no need to over-complicate food or your grocery list. A nourishing, healthy meal does not need to break the bank with a lengthy list of ingredients you cannot pronounce.

Here are the four categories to live by, whether making a smoothie, a hearty home-cooked dinner, or eating out: fibers, fats, proteins, and greens.

Fiber: Moves food through our digestive system. Fiber helps control sugar levels, removes toxins from the body, helps maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol, has anti-inflammatory properties, and aids in achieving a healthy weight.

Fat: Necessary for brain function, hormone balance and production, and cell development. Fat curbs cravings, which will help you feel full between meals. Consuming fat maximizes loss of stored body fat (ketosis), hydrates cells, slows digestion, increases satiety, makes us feel calmer and more relaxed.

Protein: The building block of your muscles and other cells. A source of amino acids, contains B vitamins that aid in overall food absorption, and signals to your brain that you are full.

Keep in mind that studies show that only about 8 percent of people who make resolutions actually find success sticking with them. (Photo: Betsy Dutcher)
Keep in mind that studies show that only about 8 percent of people who make resolutions actually find success sticking with them. (Photo: Betsy Dutcher)

Greens: Produce antioxidants that repair environmental cell damage. They also serve as anti-inflammatory and detoxification agents as well as offer medicinal properties for healing and overall gut health.


Simplify your workout
This year is all about getting back to basics, and ditching the workout drama. Enough already with the fitness apps and trackers.

Here are some helpful guidelines:

  • Focus on fitness routines that require little to no equipment. Yoga or high intensity interval training (HIIT) are simple. HIIT workouts consist of short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by a short period of rest, or recovery, and can take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Join a group exercise class. Exercising together beats exercising alone. Working toward a common fitness goal can make a big difference in being able to stick with a routine.
  • Plan your workout days ahead of time. Determine the days and times that best fit your schedule. It is easier to stay consistent in reaching your fitness goals once you have incorporated your workout days into your weekly schedule.
  • Keep your gym bag packed. Whether working out at home or in the gym, keeping everything you need packed and ready will eliminate searching for headphones, gym shoes, and fitness gear, which can put you behind schedule and cause you to lose motivation.


Simplify your schedule
Create space. Do not overload your calendar or fall victim to the desire to fill the blank spaces in your schedule. Leave that space as “room to breathe.”

Set realistic intentions, include a time frame, and write them down. Keep your goals simple and attainable. Goals should still be goals — things you strive for and push yourself to achieve. But setting realistic goals will help you manage your own expectations and build self-confidence.

Set aside time each month to re-evaluate your goals and track your progress. Goals change, and it is important to remember that your intentions are not a rigid list to follow. By identifying your goals, following up in ways that are attainable, you will be taking micro steps toward creating lifelong habits.

Pushing yourself to achieve goals is a great way to building confidence and boost your self-esteem. Any time you show up for yourself, it is a small win, and will motivate you to keep moving forward. Each time you move forward toward your goal is a massive victory.

The Fencerow
Get more grounded, simple and uncomplicated views and thoughts on food, fitness, style and beauty, lifestyle, and more from Cassie through her personal blog, The Fencerow.