Many of us consider the New Year to be a new start. Some care for their health based on a life-changing event, like illness, a wedding, or childbearing. Making changes to a healthier lifestyle should be your top priority. However, your healthy habits this year must be SMART Habits.
It would be best if you defined small goals to achieve maximum results. SMART, healthy habits goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and time-Based.
Surveys reveal that 46 percent of Californians chose exercising more and losing weight as their number one resolution. The study found that 20 percent of adults in California are not physically active.
For those of us Californians looking to make changes toward a healthier lifestyle, here are the best ways to become healthy:
The SMART Healthy Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based
Set SMART Goals For Achieving Healthy Habits
While working for Corporate America, I had to set career goals that are SMART [Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound]. Why not apply the same mindset to healthy living and weight loss?
Ensuring healthy eating and regular exercise become actual habits is more about setting smaller, achievable goals than making quick, drastic changes. Changing from a sugary, high-saturated fat diet to a highly restricted diet or changing from leading a sedentary lifestyle to preparing to run a marathon might be too extreme for goals.
If you are trying to drink more water to stay hydrated and lose weight by flushing out harmful toxins, then set a goal of drinking at least two gallons of water a day.
Exercise is one of the SMART healthy habits.
The SMART Healthy Habits Are:
- Specific – Drinking two gallons of water
- Measurable – I can easily quantify two gallons.
- Achievable – I can work on achieving it.
- Relevant – Associated with my health and weight loss
- Time-bound – I can do it daily
These SMART goals revolve around healthy eating, and staying fit must be your new lifestyle. Starting small and working on your goals until they become habits will make a positive lifestyle change.
Those might sound small, but they are achievable. It is more exciting when you feel you have achieved your goal today than saying I ran the marathon in four months.
Avoid Fads – Healthy Eating is on the SMART Goals
Avoid Fads When Making SMART Healthier Choices
Does your diet have a name? Then think twice before continuing it. I am not a fan of fad diets or juice cleanses. Many of these fads make it challenging to have a social life or balance essential things in life.
Healthy lifestyles are just small decisions you make daily toward being healthy and active. All you need to do is fit more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. Choose more beneficial fats and still leave room for the occasional indulgences like ice cream.
Meal planning does not have to be anything too complicated. It is hard enough to find time for meal planning with long workdays, not to mention the commute. It is more about being flexible with meal planning. Meal preparation does not have to take hours in the kitchen. You can easily swap out vegetables, grains, and proteins to keep meals exciting.
Quick weight loss can do you more harm than good. Your weekly weight loss shouldn’t ever be more than one percent of your body weight at any given time.
The key is keeping things slow and consistent. Two pounds per week should be expected for a weight loss goal, although those with higher weight may occasionally lose more.
The weight will come off in time, so don’t be discouraged if you lose zero pounds in one of those weeks! If this happens the following week, you’ll lose twice as much instead. Just stick with it and trust that these minor improvements and attainable goals will work in the long run.
Tips to Keep in Mind:
- The best way to gauge your progress is by how your clothes fit. The looser the clothes, the more weight you’ve shed – which is progress.
- Avoid frequently weighing yourself; twice per week is sufficient.
- Be consistent. Keep the same when and where you weigh yourself to have a valid comparison and accurate measure of progress.
Exercising and Working Out is SMART, Healthy Habits
Simple as it may sound, walking is a great way to ease into exercise. Walking is considered a moderate-intensity exercise that can help you get in around five hours of activity a week for weight loss; 150 minutes is optimal for vigorous-intensity workouts.
There are many different fitness classes and many low-intensity activities out there that have significant health benefits. The minutes you spend in any physical activity count, even if they are not all happening simultaneously. Short walks throughout the day and going up and down the stairs instead of the elevator are small tasks that can make a difference.
You do not have to exercise all at once. You may take three times throughout the day to work out for ten minutes. It is all additive; the small activities throughout the day add up.
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9 SMART Health Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle
Making SMART small changes to your regiment leads to tremendous results. When you begin a new routine, you must be patient until you get the hang of it. Eventually, it will get easier and become a habit you do without thinking about it. I developed 9 SMART Health Tips for you to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
1. Exercise Early in the Day
Science proved that people who exercise first in the morning are more likely to adhere to an exercise routine. We are all aware that it takes the first few weeks to get accustomed to getting up early; that is the hardest part. It is best to begin slowly with two days of weekly early workouts. It is best to ease yourself into a routine by enjoying sleeping in a few days a week.
Subsequently, you can add more early morning days. It is an excellent way to establish a healthy habit you are beginning with two days a week is a perfect way to develop a healthy habit. Preparing what you need the night before makes getting up and getting on your way out the door easier.
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2. Get an Exercise Partner
Having an exercise partner who will help you with accountability is ideal, especially if you meet for a workout. Workouts with a friend, a spouse, or a colleague can be more enjoyable!
3. Breakfast Is A Must!
You could make breakfast your healthiest meal of the day! Don’t be like many people who skip breakfast because they rush to get to work. Breakfast helps you start your day on the right path. It is highly crucial if you are exercising in the morning to pay close attention to your post-workout meal. This meal must have a balance between complex carbohydrates and protein, as well as veggies!
4. Eat Fresh Vegetables
It is also a great habit to start eating more vegetables. Increasing your daily vegetable consumption allows you to benefit from the goodness of leafy greens. Vegetables have many nutrients to help with your endurance and assist in recovery. If you enjoy eating vegetables, try finding new healthy recipes to help you want them even more.
5. Eat Wholesome Meals at Home
Start by preparing foods at home to reduce the number of meals you eat out. Nowadays, it is very convenient to enjoy healthy meals at home. Many Markets, even Whole Foods, provide meal pick-ups and home delivery. We can do most of our shopping online and have it delivered to our doorstep in today’s society. It has become very inexpensive or even FREE!
6. Prepare Ahead
It is best to allocate some time at the beginning of the week or on the weekend to plan a few good meals that you can eat for several days. New cooking appliances like the instant pot can help you prepare meals. Then, when you prepare meals in the middle of the week, it will be quick and more convenient, especially on the days you rest from exercise. Enjoy new recipes and have fun cooking with fresh spices.
7. Keep on the Move
Keep on Moving! Move, Move, Move – sure you move when you exercise. Then you go to work and sit all day. Does that sound familiar? If you have a job that requires continuous sitting, set the alarm to get up every hour throughout the day and move. Try to utilize any of the fitness trackers to help you assess your activity status.
8. Sleep Is Not Overrated
9. Be Patient
Be patient and give yourself time for each new habit to become something you naturally do, thus defining the word habit. It takes time for your body to realize that a new pattern has begun, but when it does, it’s like clockwork!
If health is the first thing on your mind this New Year, seek out workout professionals and talk to a doctor before starting a workout routine. Schedule a visit with a registered dietitian for nutritional expertise.
New Year’s goal to transition to a healthy lifestyle is very commendable. I recommend that you be mindful of which goals you try to reach, not just seeking these goals because you feel like you should or someone else is doing it. Instead, make it a fun experience for you!