With a new year comes wanting to make resolutions, set new goals, and change habits.  To be honest I’m not one to encourage anyone to make New Year resolutions.  I find them often to be unrealistic and rather encourage setting small attainable goals that will eventually lead you to your resolutions.  But what’s a goal if you don’t have a plan or a way to measure your success…. is it just a wish?!?

I know many of you might have some great plans for 2018 like losing weight, start going to the gym, eat healthier, etc.  I think all these are great, but let’s take a moment to focus on some simple Healthy Habits for the New Year you can start to help to achieve any goal, yes ANY of your 2018 goals.

Healthy Habits for the New Year by Sweet and Strong Blog

Much of how you feel on a day-to-day basis depends on what you put into your body and how you treat it.  Mind AND Body. Therefor a happier more energetic you could lead to that job promotion you’ve been hoping for or finally dropping those pounds.  Start by establishing just one of these habits for at least two weeks and note how it makes you feel.

Eat More Vegetables

I just can’t tell you enough the power of eating a colorful diet.  Try to incorporate a fist full of vegetables at each meal.  Breakfast can be the trickiest meal to eat your veggies with, so read some of my tips and favorite recipes here.  Eat different colors for a variety of healthy benefits.  Maybe even start trying a new healthy food trend each week.  Have you tried replacing zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for pasta?  Or cauliflower rice for white rice?  Add kale or spinach into your morning smoothie or eggs.  And if the idea of plain steamed vegetables makes you cringe, try my Perfectly Roasted Veggies, you’ll be hooked!

How to add more Veggies to your Breakfast

Eat Real Food

10 years ago in college my diet mostly consisted of cereal or granola bars (which I thought were healthy), pretzels and peanut butter, and a daily serving of soft serve ice cream from the dining hall machine. Wow have I come so far since then.  Now I believe in looking at ingredients and eating real 100% real food.

Eat Real Food, Healthy Habits for the New Year

There are even plenty of pre-packaged products that now contain minimal and real ingredients.  Live by the rule if you look at the ingredients list and can’t pronounce something, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it.  This also goes for all labels that say something is ‘low-fat’ ‘gluten-free’ ‘all natural’ or even ‘organic’.  These labels don’t mean the foods are better for you, read ingredients lists of every food you put in your body.

RX Bars

Try a New Workout Class

 

Every year around this time the gym is typically overflowing with new members who are hitting the cardio machines and weights.  These activities are great for you and all, but who is holding you accountable?  If you start regularly attending a group fitness class and become friends with the people around you, they’ll notice when you’re not there.  I see it every week in my BodyPump class I teach.  Ask your local gym for a group fitness and/or spin schedule.  Consider joining Classpass if they work with studios in your area.  Or find an activity you truly enjoy such as spinning, pilates, barre, yoga, dance, etc, there are so many different types of workouts available now where you don’t need to motivate yourself, that’s the instructors job.

Flywheel Sports DC

Ditch the Soda and Sugary Drinks and Drink More Water

Read the labels of your favorite beverages and your jaw should drop when you see the amount of sugar inside each of them.  I’m all for adding a little sweetness into your life, but not excessive amounts everyday.  And most likely you grab that sugary beverage a few times a week.  Even if it’s diet soda that you enjoy.  I encourage you to find alternatives as many diet sodas have not so good artificial sweeteners in them that have many of the same harmful effects as sugar.

Drink more water, healthy habits for the new year

I aim to drink plenty of plain water throughout the day.  I don’t track it but I fill up a large water bottle  (this is my favorite bottle) for work and make sure I finish it throughout the work day.  When I get home if I’m craving something different I love sipping on a La Croix, Kombucha, or making a plain sparkling water with our Soda Stream (one of my favorite purchases we’ve made recently).

Get More Sleep

It’s recommended you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  Some tips to hit the pillow sooner are to; limit screen time, rather try reading a book or journal, if you write down your to-do’s for the day ahead you’re less likely to think about them over night.   Make the room dark by turning off lights.  And keep the room at a comfortable low temperature.

Relieve Stress

Many of us don’t get enough sleep because of stress in our lives.  I have found practicing self-care (read 20 self-care activates here) helps me deal with stress.  And I know many others who have turned to yoga or meditation to calm their mind.  My advice is to also take that vacation, spend time away from work, take time for yourself, sleep, and relax.  Allow yourself to do these things to relieve some of the day-to-day stress everyone has in life.

Self Care Activities

Clean, Get Rid of, and Organize

Anyone else feel so good coming home to a clean house?  I try to do a weekly cleaning on our three-story townhouse, which is so fun, not.  But I find myself always needing to go through and clean out, get rid of things, and organize all the closets and storage.  The New Year is a great time to go through clothes and organize the kitchen cabinets and storage areas.  Having everything organized and in an easily accessible place just makes life so much easier.

Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

This past year some of my loved ones have been facing some health issues mostly because of their genetics and age.  I have tried to encourage them to look into eating an anti-inflammatory diet as inflammation is a big cause of some of their health concerns.  What’s inflammation?  That bloating, discomfort, swelling you experience throughout your body is part of your bodies immune response and is inflammation.  For anyone with an autoimmune disease or other health issues it can cause other problems in their body.

Make Ahead Blueberry Lemon Oatmeal Bake with All Whites 100% Liquid Egg Whites

An Anti-Inflammatory Diet eliminates foods that are common food intolerances such as gluten, dairy, and all processed foods.  And rather incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods such as kale, turmeric, blueberries, and all real foods.  I’m not saying you need to eat like this everyday, because hello doughnuts.  But limit intolerant and processed foods for a few weeks and see how you feel.

Move More

I know many of you sit at a desk all day then when you get home from work all you want to do is relax.  But I encourage you to think of ways besides exercise that can get you moving.  While at work take a five-minute break, get up and walk or walk somewhere during lunch.  At home clean the house, take a walk outside, even spend time cooking a meal which allows you to move around the kitchen.  When running errands choose a parking spot that’s further away from your destination.  Use a device to track your steps and set a goal each day.

Billy Goat Trail Great Falls MD, Move more in 2018

Limit Meals Eaten Out

When you have a busy work/home life making meals at home can be tough.  I know how much easier it is to go through the drive through rather than spend the time cooking.  But try to limit meals eaten out to once or twice a week.  Most restaurant meals are much higher in calories and sodium than anything you would make and eat at home.  To make life easier try prepping some items on Sunday or Monday for the week.  And on the weekends try recreating some of your favorite restaurant meals at home.

Homemade Salmon Cakes with green goddess dressing

Find Balance

The perfectionist in me wants to tell you it’s possible to eat healthy, exercise, practice self-care, spend time with family, sleep, and have an organized house all the time, but it’s impossible.  When you learn to accept that you’ll then find where you need balance.  Maybe one day you skip a workout for an extra hour of sleep because you’ve been feeling tired.  Or you have resisted sweets for a while and really want that piece of cake at a party.  Or rather than finishing the chores you sit down and watch your favorite tv show.  It happens, we’re not perfect.  You know what’s best for your body.

Wishing you a Sweet and Strong 2018 😉

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Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud. Be sure to read other Healthy Lifestyle Posts Here.

Questions of the Day:

What’s one healthy habit you’re incorporating in 2018?

Which of these healthy habits do you need the most help with?

What are your 2018 goals?

26 Comments on Healthy Habits for the New Year

  1. Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    January 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm (5 months ago)

    What an AWESOME post! I was nodding along to every one of these! One of my newly enforced health habits is walking more. I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I try to get around 10k steps, which I have found to be a solid number for feeling like I moved some. I def need the most help in the sleep arena, especially now that I have a few days of 8am classes ugh.

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 18, 2018 at 11:45 pm (5 months ago)

      Oh yes a fitbit is so great to track your steps. I know a lot of my co workers do competitions to see who gets the most steps each day. And yes aren’t we all always struggling to get more sleep. Definitely try a few of those tips and find what works for you to hit the pillow a bit earlier.

      Reply
  2. Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real
    January 18, 2018 at 2:18 pm (5 months ago)

    I love having a giant water bottle at my desk throughout the work day. It makes it so easy to get water in. I love having seltzer after work for a nice change though.
    One healthy habit I’m working on adding to my life this year is strength training. It’ll help me achieve larger goals and get me moving more too!

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 18, 2018 at 11:46 pm (5 months ago)

      I am the same with water! Plain water during the day, then I crave some bubbles after work 🙂 And that’s a great healthy habit goal to start strength training. I myself used to only be a runner but lifting weights has truly changed my life and I now love it. I hope that can happen for you too Maureen 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby
    January 18, 2018 at 5:28 pm (5 months ago)

    Those takeya watter bottles are awesome! And PS you ate healthier than I did in college lol

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 18, 2018 at 11:47 pm (5 months ago)

      Haha, gosh college was just a disaster health wise for everyone right. And YES love those bottles!

      Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 18, 2018 at 11:47 pm (5 months ago)

      It’s such a simple concept and it really does go a long way and help solve so many health issues.

      Reply
  4. Samantha
    January 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm (5 months ago)

    One healthy habit I’m incorporating this year is trying to get more sleep and one habit I think I need the most help with is relieving stress.

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 18, 2018 at 11:50 pm (5 months ago)

      Getting more sleep is a great habit. I do find even if I get 7-8 hours I’m still sometimes tired, but I know it helps in the long run. I hope you find something that works to help you hit the pillow earlier Samantha.

      Reply
  5. Sara @ SaraLizabethFitness
    January 19, 2018 at 12:36 am (5 months ago)

    This was a great reminder that I need to schedule in more time to take care of myself. I’m great about making time for everything else, but self care always falls to the bottom of the list. Almost like I don’t deserve it until everything on my todo list is done.

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 19, 2018 at 12:27 pm (5 months ago)

      I’m the same way Sara. But this year I’m committed to scheduling time for it and I hope you do as well! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy
    January 19, 2018 at 12:45 am (5 months ago)

    Love these habits – very similar to how I live my life! Also, I’m with you girl – ALL processed granola bars and snacks during college. And I’ve been eyeing the soda streams because I’m obsessed with sparkling water – do you love it??

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm (5 months ago)

      OMG Sarah you MUST get a soda stream if you love sparkling water. You can control how fizzy it is and our tank lasts us a little over a month. I exchange them out at Target and you get 50% off when you exchange, so they’re about $15. Let me know if you get one, we’re obsessed.

      Reply
  7. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups
    January 19, 2018 at 12:06 pm (5 months ago)

    These are great, attainable goals! I am pretty good about drinking water, but love sparkling waters to mix it up.

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm (5 months ago)

      Yes I’m the same with water Emily. Sparkling water is a great way to get the bubbles without the added calories or artificial ingredients of soda.

      Reply
  8. Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    January 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm (5 months ago)

    Great tips! More veggies are the way to go. I also try to cook more at home too. Hope you had a great weekend.

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm (5 months ago)

      Yes to all the veggies and finding ways to add them to your diet 🙂

      Reply
  9. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
    January 22, 2018 at 6:02 pm (5 months ago)

    Yes to all of these! I find that cauliflower rice is such an easy way to add veggies to any meal. 🙂 And YAY for group fitness!

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 23, 2018 at 1:38 pm (5 months ago)

      I totally agree, cauliflower rice is a great way to sneak in some veggies. I always buy the pre-chopped rice though, so messy making your own!

      Reply
  10. Chelsea
    January 22, 2018 at 6:34 pm (5 months ago)

    I love all of these!! I feel like they’re all on my goal list for 2018 too! I just took my first spin class at a new local spin studio that I’m going to be working at and I LOVED it!! It was so nice to change up my routine and try out a new class! It was an amazing workout and I can’t wait to start doing it weekly!

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 23, 2018 at 1:39 pm (5 months ago)

      I love the rush after trying a new class. And yes to spin! I used to hate it, but with all the fun new studios opening up I’ve been obsessed. And yay for starting 2018 on the right foot 🙂

      Reply
  11. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
    January 23, 2018 at 6:12 am (5 months ago)

    These are all such great goals! I need to work on the sleep thing. I’m the worst about working half the night!

    I LOVE the anti-inflammatory suggestion. We’ve done that a couple of times and I’m always amazed at the difference it makes.

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm (5 months ago)

      Sleep is definitly a tough one, especially because I feel like no matter how much sleep I get it never feels like enough. And yes I’ve really tried eliminating certain foods and incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and feel totally different! Amazing what food does for your body.

      Reply
  12. Erinn
    January 23, 2018 at 5:33 pm (5 months ago)

    Great list of goals! I am with you on eating real foods and limiting going out to eat 😉

    Reply
    • sweetandstrong
      sweetandstrong
      January 24, 2018 at 11:11 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks Erinn. And yes that’s always a good one to follow. Meals are much better for you when they’re made at home.

      Reply

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