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5 Guaranteed Tactics for Reaching Your Health Goals

What are your health goals this year? Is it weight loss? Is it decluttering your house? Entertaining more (totally health- socialization is important)? Whatever you've decided to make your goal this year, you need a plan of action that becomes part of your morning routine the moment you wake up. And as a relatively type-A planner, I'm sharing my 5 tactics and what I do to reach my health goals and it all starts with getting my morning energy. As for my personal goal in 2015, we're looking at a big dose of building strength with my noodle arms paired with intentional simplicity for less stress and a more zen mind.  

Those goals by themselves are so lofty and vague that for success, they really need some specificity and planning (if you want to read more about setting SMART goals for success here's your example from UVA!). Throughout the next year here's how I'm breaking down each of these goals:

Strength building

Back in middle school and high school I did archery. Yes. Like Pre-Katniss-Hunger-Games archery. It was awesome for building upper body strength, especially as I moved up the poundage that each bow could handle (and therefore power an arrow further). Um, but since then lifting anything heavy immediately causes me to breakout in uncomfortable laughter because I cannot hold this very heavy thing long at all and the situation is freaking me out. Needless to say, I'd like to get stronger. First, with house restoration, I actually do lift a lot of heavy stuff. Mainly because I'm the only other human option nearby when the husband has to lift up a couch or wood or a lot of plaster. One of the other things I'm doing is adding 'lift arm weights' to by daily list (I use To-Doist) as well as working in some body weight based yoga (P90X freaking insane yoga) every Sunday with the husband and even jump roping. To keep myself entertained I've started listening to podcasts...or even nutrition webinars (I kid thee not) while making it happen.

5 Guaranteed Tactics for Reaching Your Health Goals

intentional simplicity

This is a huge one and it definitely is a process. I've started cutting out things from my life that don't add value. Whether it's stuff in my closet that's bad quality and I never wear, or it's projects I've been doing for a long time that aren't benefitting my life any more. Part of me intentionally simplifying a cultivated life is being more mindful (I downloaded Insight Timer but everyone raves about the app Headspace). That means starting to meditate, being able to 'turn off' from my email until mid morning so I can do things that matter instead of baby sit my inbox. It also means daily gratitude journaling, planning with my Day Designer and GSD notepads and just some daily pondering.

5 Guaranteed Tactics for Reaching Your Health Goals

5 Tactics for meeting your health goals

1. Have Breakfast:  This is not an option. This is a demand. Skipping breakfast is not a good way to start the day from a nutrition, weight loss, or planning perspective. Get it together ladies. By starting strong, or just improving to having something,  you can stay active and accomplish those goals throughout the day. Some of my favorite options are Icelandic yogurt with fruit and nuts, a smoothie, a protein packed bowl (recipe soon) and oats. If I'm on the run I like easy to-go options like fruit or little Belvita Bites, a recipe from the blog, or V8 Veggie Blends (1 full serving of veggies in every glass and heck yes 60 calories or less). My personal V8 fave is Purple Power which has beets, purple carrots and some other produce thrown in for a balanced blend. 

If you're not sure which is the flavor is the best option for you run to Target 1/24 for a sampling event. You can also get some discounts on the BelVita product and V8 (this one starts 1/25, this one starts 2/23) through the Cartwheel App. Side note: can we talk about how brilliant Target is? New year, new you specialty section with great branding? And of course I couldn't leave without snagging a new jumprope. One stop shopping. #TargetDoesItAgain.

2. Schedule your goal time: I mean this two ways. First you need to schedule time to set goals. It takes time for self reflection or even your 'goals' for the day. Being intentional about what you want to do or accomplish vs 'should' takes thought...so schedule it to make time to think happen. The other part of this is you need to literally schedule time to do the tasks to make your goals happen. That means booking time at the gym or with your yoga mat to exercise. If you don't add it into your schedule, it's way less likely to happen!

3. Figure out barriers: If you really, really want to accomplish this goal, you may have dabbled in making it happen before. Why didn't it work before? Like seriously, why? Not " I didn't have time". I want " I felt guilty for taking time for myself because I feel overwhelmed with daily tasks between work and my personal life.". Get specific! You can't fix what you haven't discovered. 

4. Make mini milestones: Let's just call this progress not perfection. If you are going to nail this goal immediately after setting it, I'm shocked. You probably didn't dig very deep for that 'goal' and it was more of a task list item. Realistically, your goal is a little scary and will take work. Work means time. And time...well, if you're a little impatient (totally me), setting mini markers to meet is very motivating. 

5. Reward yourself: I'll admit that this is a little bit bribery but it's for a good cause...your health! The one thing to remember about dangling that little baby carrot in front of you as you work on meeting your health goals is your 'carrot' should NOT be part of your problem. What I mean by that is if you want to lose weight so your clothes from last summer fit better, I do not want your 'reward' to be a palate of cupcakes. It should not be a reward that is detrimental to reaching your goal. And besides! You know how I feel about 'off limits' foods...there aren't any! That's not sustainable anyway. Instead, make the reward something like a pedicure, or a new nail polish, or a magazine subscription or a plant for your desk! Little luxuries, not problems. 

What are your goals this year? How will you meet them?

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.