With 2015 officially behind us, now is the time you can expect to read countless stories about New Year’s resolutions, or for your friends to caption every photo with “New Year, New Me.”
And while you might find these inevitable annual pledges to get in shape, lose weight, drink less, etc., to be tiresome or pointless, we promise there is no time like the present to make some changes to your daily routine that will help you feel motivated for the year ahead.
So instead of feeling bitter about your friend’s resolutions why not use it as motivation to become the healthiest version of you?
Here are some tips to make that happen in 2016:
De-junk Your Kitchen
You’ve just spend the last month enjoying the most indulging time of the year, so your body deserves a break from the tempting sweets. Go through your fridge, cupboards, and pantry and remove anything that might interfere with getting you onto the healthy track. Toss out all sugary, processed, or high-calorie foods and replace them with healthier alternatives like fresh fruit, veggies, or protein bars so you don’t feel tempted to indulge when hunger strikes.
Workout Outside Your Comfort Zone
Any form of exercising is beneficial, but instead of falling into a routine and becoming bored of your workout a few weeks into the new year, start the year off with a workout you’ve never tried before. If you prefer higher energy and weighted exercises, try out a crossfit class. Or if you enjoy riding the stationary bike for your daily cardio fix, take the workout a step further and sign up for a spinning class. Challenging yourself is a great way to not only stay motivated, it will also get you excited about working out.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Avoid fasting all day long to lose weight and then arrive home so ravenous that you eat everything and anything in sight. Small high-protein and high-fibre meals throughout the day keep your metabolism going and your willpower strong.
Always Eat Breakfast
Your mom was right for insisting that you need to eat breakfast every day. Fuelling up is the easiest way to kick your life into high gear each morning, but that doesn’t mean you should be eating breakfast sandwiches every day. Opt for healthier options like fresh fruit, smoothies, or homemade eggs. Any healthy option is better than skipping breakfast altogether. Skipping this crucial meal can deprive your body of nutrients and energy, reduce your concentration, and even result in you packing on the pounds.
Workout With a Friend
The buddy system worked when you were younger and it can still work now. Working out with a friend is a great way to feel more motivated while exercising. When you’re thinking about giving up on that last rep, just look over at your friend for reassurance and fight through together. Working out with a friend will also help you feel more competitive; because if seeing your friend effortlessly finish off a final set of pushups doesn’t motivate you to do more what on earth will?
Set Achievable Goals
While setting out a lengthy list of goals for the new year might seem like a great idea at the time, it can actually hurt you in the long run, especially if you can’t actually achieve the goals you set, because losing 25 pounds in two months really isn’t realistic. Instead of setting up harder to achieve goals, go for mini goals like ‘I want to lose five pounds this month’ or ‘I’d like to go down a dress size by March’. If you set goals that are too far in the future or to unattainable, they’ll be out of reach for too long and you’ll lose your willpower.
Be Your Own Motivation
Feeling truly happy begins with you. To actually see any successful change in your health relies on your ability to feel comfortable and confident within your own skin. While you might feel like following hundreds of fitness motivation and swimsuit model accounts on Instagram is a great way to get motivated it might also result in you feeling discouraged when you don’t achieve those results. You should be your own form of motivation and be proud of every fitness or health milestone that you accomplish.
Work Out Early
While it’s so much easier to simply hit the snooze button and snag an extra hour of sleep, you should avoid sleeping in and use the time to workout instead. Working out first thing in the morning will not only burn more fat but it will leave you feeling more energized throughout the day. While waking up early does suck, if you accomplish absolutely nothing else during the day, you will still feel like you did something god for yourself that day.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that you have to limit your workouts to indoor spaces. Hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing are great ways to not only have fun and feel more energized, but to get your heart rate up and to quickly burn calories.