Hitting restart on your health

Maybe you told yourself on January 1 that under no circumstances would you wolf down any more donuts in the break room or sleep through your 5 a.m. boot camp class. That was about a month and a half ago; how’s it working out for you?

If the statistics are correct, about 36% of you have already fallen off the bandwagon and succumbed to McDonald’s shakes and skipped workouts. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though, because there’s nothing magical about the new year that makes it easier to improve yourself.

The entire idea of the New Years’ Resolution, while refreshing, can be problematic if they are coming from a place of self-hatred or if you expect your habits to transform overnight.

Instead of attempting a complete overhaul of your life simply because a new year has begun, I invite you do employ my favorite tactic for revamping my own habits: choosing one thing to focus on. If you choose just one way to treat yourself well, other positive habits will soon follow.

Reset button #1: Sweating every day
If I’m in a slump and haven’t made it to the gym in awhile, I make a deal with myself: I have to go, even if I barely do anything. Twenty minutes on the elliptical on Monday turns into a short run on Tuesday, which turns into a longer run on Wednesday. It’s all about building the habit again.

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Once that habit becomes second-nature, I find myself craving healthier foods, sleeping more soundly, and having more energy.

Reset button #2: Deep cleaning your living space
Whether you live in an apartment, a house, or your parents’ basement, something about a clean atmosphere contributes to a positive mindset.  Scrubbing my kitchen from floor to ceiling makes me want to spend more time there, so I’m more likely to fill it with healthy food and cook my favorite dishes.

Living in a spotless apartment makes me feel more accomplished, which motivates me to go to the gym and, again, helps me sleep better.

Reset button #3: Overloading on the healthy food
When I’m feeling sluggish after an indulgent weekend, I head to the grocery store and fill my cart in the produce section.  This tactic is great because instead of focusing on all the unhealthy snacks I can’t have, I’m fixated on all the yummy and healthy things I can have.

Within a few days of an improved diet, my sleep improves and I find that I have more energy for the gym.

Reset button #4: Catching more Zzz’s
When all else fails, I commit to getting more sleep. Within a few days of getting my sleeping schedule on track, the rest falls into place. Hitting the hay early helps me get up for a morning workout and have more energy to cook a healthy breakfast.  If you have a tendency to toss and turn, try these tips for your best night of sleep yet.

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If you focus on just one aspect of your health without worrying about the others, you will find that all these habits become easier to maintain.

How do you refresh your health after getting off track?