New Year’s Resolutions are starting to lose their luster. Four weeks into 2017, the gym is feeling a bit crowded, pizza is sounding more and more delicious, and simply TRYING too hard is leading us to exhaustion.
We cannot get up any earlier. We cannot squeeze more into our days because the more we squeeze in, the less we are appreciating life around us.
For the first time ever, I decided to face the New Year without the anxiety of trying to keep resolutions and the guilt of feeling like a failure. This almost feels too simple. Yet I feel stronger, healthier, and happier than I have been in a long time.
And so we have it: this is my new Life Resolution.
1. Get enough SLEEP
More and more studies are coming out telling us about the importance of sleep. The Sleep Foundation says that adults between the ages of 18–64 need 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night, but many of us are trying to get by with 5 or 6 hours.
I used to feel guilty when I pressed snooze in the morning, missing that early morning workout. But now, if my body is not willing to wake up when the alarm goes off, I give my body the rest it needs and work on prioritizing that workout later.
2. Eat healthy WHOLE FOODS
Whether you are eating Paleo, Mediterranean or some other new dietary trend, eating fresh whole foods will have a profound impact on the way your body functions, recovers from workouts, and even rests at night. As delicious as that may be, your body does not have a lot of use for Cheetos, yet it will delight in those fresh avocados and zucchini noodles. Also, preparing healthy food is much easier than you may think. Check out these easy recipes to get you started.
3. Get some EXERCISE
You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a gym rat to realize a positive impact from exercise. In fact, The American Heart Association says that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise — like walking — five times a week will have a profound positive impact for your heart. This means you could go on a little walk for your morning and afternoon coffee breaks and be good to go for the week. I am an endorphin-addicted junkie, so I love lunch runs during the week and long trail runs on the weekend, but the one thing I don’t do any longer: sacrifice getting a sufficient amount of sleep in order to get my run in early in the morning.
4. PRIORITIZE sleep, food, and exercise in that order
If you sacrifice sleep to get up earlier to exercise, you will spend the day tired, craving sugary foods to give your body the energy to keep going. Unbalanced. No fun.
If you are not being thoughtful about what you are eating, it is so easy to work out and then reach for salty foods to replenish your dehydrated body. Be prepared with healthy snacks to help your body recover. And then get some sleep.
Basically, your body WANTS you to be happy and healthy. But, first you have to give it rest. Then you have to give it good fuel. And then your body will crave running, dancing, playing and being strong.