January is about creating new habits—and committing to small changes that will add up to a healthier you. Ingrained habits and busy lives can get in the way of reaching healthy goals, so we’ve put together some tips and resources to help.
Get healthy in the kitchen
Healthy living starts with smart food choices. Challenge yourself to make simple changes in the kitchen and make good eating a habit:
- Add more seafood. The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating at least two servings of a variety of seafood per week. Opt for a quick and tasty lunch with Tuna or Salmon Salad Sandwich Thins or bring some bold Southwest flavor to dinner with a Santa Fe Tilapia Bowl.
- Switch to whole grains. You’ll get more nutrients and more fiber, plus whole grains will keep you feeling full longer (a bonus if you’re trying to lose a few pounds).
Get a little better everyday
The path to good health is more of a marathon than a sprint. Crash diets and crazy workout schedules are easy to abandon, so get creative with small changes that build success and heathy habits over time.
- Start the day off right. Set aside ten minutes every morning to think about what’s ahead in your day and imagine at least two healthy choices you’ll make—like drinking more water, making a healthy lunch, or playing basketball with the kids after work.
- Build movement into your life. It’s hard for many of us to find the time to get to the gym every day, but you can commit to 15-30 minutes a day just by incorporating exercise into things you already do, like biking to work, taking the stairs whenever you can, or walking the kids to school instead of driving.
Make a real commitment
Ready to take on something bigger? Then it’s time to challenge yourself to accomplish that big goal you’ve been meaning to tackle.
- Give it up for good. Thinking about quitting smoking, giving up sugary desserts, or losing a significant amount of weight? Set yourself up for success by creating a plan that includes how you’ll get to your end goal—and how you’ll get on track if you slip.
- Sign up for a stretch activity. Committing to a class or event can be a great way to find motivation and a reason to keep going. You don’t have to be perfect to sign up for a 30-day boot camp, a half-marathon, or a dance class…you just have to keep showing up.
Gear up for success
Now that you have some great ideas for committing to better health in 2016, here are some tactics that will help:
- Find inspiration in other people’s stories. The Internet is full of personal stories and positive examples that can motivate you to keep going, whether you want to lose weight, stop smoking, or encourage some other healthy habit.
- Enlist technology. It’s easier than ever to get support and track your progress. The wearable Fitbit wristband can track your activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns. The Lark app will send you text messages with advice about your diet and fitness goals. The Lose It app and website offer calorie tracking and peer support.
- Don’t go it alone. Whether you’re motivated by peer pressure, a sense of support, healthy competition, or all of the above, it’s definitely easier to stick to goals when you make them public and ask friends and family to join you and help keep you on track. (And it’s more fun, too!)