I’m a list-maker. Type A to the core. I truly enjoy organizing. That friend who has scoured the entire menu and decided what wine, appetizer, entree she’s going to order and requests a specific table with the best ambience before she even gets to the restaurant. I’m aware this is both helpful (I’ve obviously been asked to be a bridesmaid a lot) and also mildly annoying. With this nature comes the desire to want to be the best version of myself that I can be, while still allowing room for a little (planned) fun 😉 So when I approach a New Year I like to think of ways I can improve both body and mind. Feel comfortable in a crop top, have less panic attacks, hike a few more mountains, ya feel me? If you’re looking for a few ideas on how to get things in gear this year, here’s 10 tips, starting with the hardest:
1. Drink Less.
I know. This is truly devastating. Listen, we’re not asking you to give up your Monday night rosé during The Bachelor, but you’re unfortunately do have to cut that 2 glass a night habit. I like to look at the week ahead and plan what days I’m gonna open my fave Miraval. I know I need a glass or two on Monday nights and usually like to go out with friends on Saturday. When I’m being super good, I’ll keep my alcohol consumption to those two days. And I truly sleep way better and my skin is clearer when I’m drinking less, so there’s definitely some motivation to stay on track.
2. Speaking of drinking – Drink More Water.
I know. Boring. But staying hydrated is super important, especially in the dry winter. Water helps maintain balance of body fluids, helps control calories and keeps your skin looking great! Make your water more appealing by combining fruits in a jar/pitcher and letting them sit for a day. Examples of combinations: orange and blueberry, cucumber and mint, kiwi and cucumber and strawberry, lemon and basil. I fill a huge swell bottle and sip on it all day.
Women, pick up a dumbbell. Pick up several. Pick up a heavy dumbbell. You won’t bulk. I repeat: YOU WON’T BULK! You want a summer body you can show off? I suggest the next time you exercise, you grab a pair of dumbbells that challenge you.(Which rules out the 2lb dumbbells). Beyond aesthetics, being strong is such a kickass feeling.
4. Interval Training.
Busy schedules (or restless minds) call for short, intense exercise sessions, which burn calories like crazy (my heart rate monitor is valid proof). Think short bursts of exercises that would make you want to flip out on everybody (example- sprints, burpees and running up stairs), followed by rest periods. Repeat multiple times! A program I really like when my knees aren’t too achy is BBG by Kayla Itsines. 28 minutes workouts seem really easy to squeeze in and feel less daunting.
5. Love Yourself & Get Comfortable.
Deciding to make a change means you love yourself enough to realize you need to let go of and/or develop certain habits. Get comfortable with the body you have now – it’ll fuel the journey towards the body you could potentially have. Like we said last earlier in the week, it’s not “New Year, New You.” It’s onward and upward!
6. Tag A Friend.
Accountability partners are so needed! Report when you’ve dipped in the cookie jar one time too many. Tell him/her how much you hate ab work. Get guidance, advice, and when necessary, reprimanding. Laugh about the silly things. Plan your workouts. Cheer each other on, and celebrate the little victories. Pro tip: Go for a walk around the neighborhood to catch up instead of going to dinner. Love this one.
7. Eat this, not that:
All calories are not created equal. Foods that are the same calorie content can be processed MUCH differently in the body. So just because that over-processed snack bar has the same number of calories as that bowl of greek yogurt with almonds and strawberries, does not mean you should make that choice. An account that show really great swaps on IG is Amanda Meixner.
8. Group Classes & Outdoor Activities:
It’s very easy to get bored and lose motivation. Switch up your workouts up by taking group classes like spinning, yoga, HIIT classes, barre, etc. Class Pass is great for this. Also, participating in outdoor activities (like my personal favorite, hiking!) feels less like exercise and more like fun. A friend of mine just went kayaking over the weekend with friends – he kayaked for FIVE MILES! Not only did he have a great time socializing, he was burning calories doing so. Bonus: Bring a picnic to enjoy after!
9. Don’t forget to breathe.
Eating right and working out are just part of the equation. Personally, I struggle daily with anxiety so adding some mental health exercises into my routine are key. A few things I’ve found that really make a difference: Daily meditation with the headspace app. A gratitude journal (write down three things every day that you’re thankful for). Reading a book before bed and first thing in the morning (before reaching for my phone). Tidying each night so I wake up to a clean house with a fresh start to each day. These little tactics are HUGE for me. Would love to know what you guys do too!
What are you waiting for? They say summer bodies are made in the winter, but more importantly healthy habits created now can make a lifetime of impact. You got this girl. Go forth and love yourself!