The Ground Hog just came out of his man cave to check in, so how are you doing? Did you step out of the shower and see your shadow? The year is 1/12th of the way done, how are your resolutions going?
Hopefully by now, you have made some positive adjustments in your lifestyle. You’ve started bringing your lunch to work several times a week to cut down on your portions and caloric intake and you’ve made it to the gym! When you go grocery shopping, you feel more observant, you’re checking out the labels and are buying more whole foods and less sodium-packed frozen things that pose as healthy meal alternatives. You’ve cut back on sweets and alcohol and are even trying to get to bed earlier.
Good! You’re getting the gist of it! Your awareness has increased causing you to make healthier choices, you are on your way, baby! Are you pleased with your progress? Do you think, “I’m starting to get there, but I’m not seeing the results that I want yet.” If this is you, then this is normal.
The year is young and you are just getting started. They say, whoever “they” are, that it takes 21 days to begin a new habit. I contend that it takes more than 21 days to solidify a habit so that it becomes automatic and ingrained and you don’t have to think about it. Chances are that you are not where you want to be just yet. That is okay, really!
The important thing for you at this point is not to give up! If you are a list person, then write down the things that you are doing right and congratulate yourself on those and then make another list of the things you want to change and begin working on that list. I can’t emphasize enough how slowly refining your eating habits will bring you better results. With each refining tweak you make, the results will improve because you find out what works for you. I am several years into this and am still tweaking. In fact, I am considering making a rather large tweak, which is going Vegan, because in so many ways, I’m already half way there, so it could be the next logical step.
What can you improve about your exercise program? A few more minutes of cardio? Increasing the sets or weights on the exercise floor? Taking a new class for the fun of it because you want to do something different? My next tweak is to discover additional ways to stretch to make sure I get a comprehensive post-work out cool down in place. It will be a challenge for me because I’m always in a hurry and am not that interested in stretching; however the more I read up on it, the more necessary I see that it is. One article I read today talked about a middle-aged person who had aches and pains that they considered to be part of middle age, but when they stretched properly, many of those aches went away. It is definitely worth pursuing!
The first month of the year maybe history now, but it’s early in the game of healthy living. Your success towards a healthy lifestyle isn’t decided on how far that you got in January, rather your success towards that healthy lifestyle does depend on whether or not you started in January. So whatever you are doing, keep up the good work; see what changes you can make in February to make it even better.