It doesn’t need to be a new year to make healthy resolutions (and stick to them).
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, New Year’s resolutions are a way of solving a problem. Making a resolution is easy. Making it stick? That’s where it gets hard: you need to focus on goals that are challenging but achievable, meaningful and aspirational.
My resolutions almost always centre around mileage and nutrition. Last year, I nailed my goal of running 2016 miles (3225.6km). But this year it’s time I focus on strength and flexibility in order to fend off injury. I plan to make the most of every workout, both physically and mentally. Nutritionally, I plan to be mindful with each forkful and close down the kitchen after dinner. No excuses.
Unsure of how to approach 2017? I’ve got you covered. Each resolution will help you form healthy habits that will keep you running and strong, eating healthy and preparing for (gasp!) 2018.
Kick the Quick Fix
No good comes from four letter words like “diet” and “fads”. Quick fixes that over promise results and restrict healthful choices often leave you miserable, lethargic, temporarily malnourished. They’re unsustainable. Sure, that juice cleanse will probably make you lose weight if you’re consuming far fewer kilojoules than you’re burning. But in order to properly fuel your body, reach for nutrient-dense salads and aim for smaller portions.
Write it Down
There’s something about seeing your hard work on paper: completing your mileage goal or snagging a new PB at the end of the season. Not to mention, if you’re second-guessing your race-day abilities, going back to a training diary will remind you that you put in the work.
Personally, I’ve been lusting after a certain training diary. I love having a physical record of my accomplishments. Aside from bragging rights, a training journal can help you evaluate your season. How many kilometres are on your shoes? Which workouts led to a PB (or not)?
Track Your Nutrition
Just like logging your kilometres will help you look at the big picture of your training program, writing down your meals and snacks can help you gauge weight loss and performance goals. A small study of 40 people found that those who took breaks from monitoring their weight for longer than six days was associated with weight gain. And an additional study found that “moderate” tracking is key to meeting weight loss goals: study participants who logged their weight, food intake, and/or activity on a regular basis tended to lose more weight than those who were inconsistent with their tracking.
Try to record your weight at least once a week, your food intake at least once a day (ideally every meal and snack), and your workouts three times a week. Certain technology and apps can help you do this. Try Garmin vivoactiv HR, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal or LoseIt.