Now that we’re halfway through January, how are your New Year’s resolutions going? You can be honest, we won’t tell. As 2019 progresses, it’s easy to let your health goals fall to the wayside. If you’re finding it difficult to practice your health habits on a daily basis, you’re not alone. According to the University of Scranton, only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.1 So, what’s the secret for the eight percent? Here are some tips to make lifestyle changes that will last. The key is to take small steps that lead to a larger goal. Think about it — you can’t go from 0 to 100 in one month. At Sola, we believe living healthy is a lifestyle change, and it’s never too late to start.
Keep it simple.
The new year brings new goals, and you’re excited to start implementing changes to your daily schedule. You want to exercise more and lose 20 pounds, cut out sugar and carbs entirely and so on. However, have you considered the reason you haven’t previously achieved these resolutions is you’re biting off more than you can chew?
Set simple, achievable goals so you can celebrate the small victories and feel motivated. Instead of losing 20 pounds, aim for 10 or even five pounds. The smaller number is more realistic, resulting in less stress and higher satisfaction in the long term. Once you’ve conquered that goal, challenge yourself to lose another 10 pounds.
Set SMART goals.
If you really want to follow through with this year’s resolutions, you need to be specific about what you want to accomplish. Try creating goals that are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Instead of saying you want to hit the gym more, schedule your workouts to hold yourself more accountable. For example, block time to exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Evaluate your schedule every week and add the workouts to your calendar, so you have dedicated time to spend at the gym. However, if going the gym is a bit of a stretch, consider trying some home workouts. There are plenty of workouts you can do at the convenience of your home with just a few inexpensive exercise props, such as dumbbells and resistance bands.
Swap unhealthy foods with healthier options.
Many people believe it’s hard to eat healthy if they don’t know how to prepare clean foods that taste good. Fortunately, you can find plenty of low-carb, low-sugar and healthy food alternatives that taste great at your local grocery store. At Sola, we offer low-carb bread, low-sugar ice cream and plenty other healthier food swaps to satisfy your bread craving and sweet tooth, while maintaining a low-carb diet.
Track your progress.
Another great way to maintain your resolutions is to monitor them. Track your daily progress so that you have a physical record and will know how much further you need to go to reach your goal. Check out these free apps that will help you on your journey.
Save time with meal prep.
Meal planning saves time and energy (and money!) and prevents you from ordering last-minute unhealthy takeout options that are usually full of sodium, sugar, and calories. Choose one day to meal plan and prep for the upcoming week. For example, if you find yourself craving Chinese, spend a Sunday afternoon prepping our Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken with Vegetables for a healthier alternative to the takeout classic for your weekday meals.
According to Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN, founder of Essence Nutrition, “meal prep takes the guesswork and potentially bad decisions out of food. When you’re hungry at 12:30 p.m., you’ll order or eat the first thing that crosses your plate. Having a prepped meal cuts back on food anxiety and insecurity, and ensures proper food decisions.”
Moreover, don’t forget the snacks! Sola nut bars and Sola granola are excellent healthy snack options for those mid-afternoon cravings. Keep some on hand at work or try some of our delicious low-carb, low-sugar recipes that will help satisfy your cravings, including our Crunchy, Low-Carb, High-Protein Granola Bites or our Coconut, Apricot and Pumpkin Seed Breakfast Granola.
Celebrate small wins.
Rewarding yourself and celebrating small wins should be part of the process. Celebrating losing two pounds, a week full of choosing healthy meals or cutting out sugar will keep you motivated and determined to achieve your goals!