Resolutions to keep you festive all year

Most of us make resolutions every New Year with the best intentions. And after a week they’re forgotten. Perhaps there’s a better way you can have the 2014 you dream of.

I entered a 10km run earlier this year. “You did what?” everyone asked with a look somewhere between shock and amusement on their face. That’s because I’d never done more than a slow 5km and never been a fan of running for the sake of running. But I was determined to spend some quality time with the much talked about runner’s high, and so I found a training programme, stuck with it come rain or shine (and there was a lot of rain) and gradually increased the distance by 1km a week.

It might seem like a measly increase to regular runners, but I was so chuffed with myself for every little bit I was able to add. Why? Because even 1km extra was stepping out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t falling over from exhaustion! I was actually enjoying it. And as a side effect of working towards this crazy goal, I became fitter and stronger without ever focussing on becoming fitter and stronger.

The same goes for getting to a weight that is right for you – when you’re being healthy and looking after yourself, your body will do the weight loss (or weight gain, if that’s what’s needed) as a bonus. Instead of choosing the same restrictive diet every year which you know you’ll just abandon by mid-Jan, choose something now which will already serve you well by the time Jan rolls around.

Kauai Smoothie image dec 2013

So, I’d like to suggest that right now, right here, you make a Festive Season Resolution that you can continue with into 2014. And to make this easy, I’m going to tell you what it should be: HEALTH.

Now that we have that out the way, I’d like you to do two things:

  1. Choose a health-related goal which excludes the words “weight” and “diet”.
  2. Think of a way, preferably something that interests you but is out of your comfort zone, to help you achieve that goal.

To give you some ideas, here are three tried and tested examples which friends have done:

Festive Season Resolution: Health
Related goal: Improve the balance of your meals to include more veggies

Out of your comfort zone’ way to do it: Kick off your shoes, get your hands dirty and plant a veggie garden. Believe me, your first home-grown carrot will taste so amazing that you’ll be so caught up in nurturing your garden and celebrating each veggie you can add to a meal that getting yourself to eat veggies won’t be an issue anymore.
Added bonus, you’re being good to the earth too.

Festive Season Resolution: Health
Related goal: Improve your balance and strength

‘Out of your comfort zone’ way to do it: Start stand up paddle boarding if you never do more than lie on a lilo with a cocktail, or take up Pilates. Just getting to the point of kneeling on the paddle board behind the swell, or being able to stand on a Bosu ball for a few seconds is pretty cool, and the knowledge that your core muscles do in fact exist, will make you want to improve your skills. If you don’t want to injure yourself, get a trainer or exercise buddy to keep you on track and injury-free.

Added bonus, exercising makes you want to eat better too.

Festive Season Resolution: Health
Related goal: Drink more water

‘Out of your comfort zone’ way to do it: Stop drinking fizzy drinks and replace them with water. That’s right; cold turkey, folks. To make that a little easier, go and read for yourself how much sugar fizzy drinks contain. Then take a jar or little box and label it with a healthy life item such as a bright, sexy yoga top, a new tennis racket or running shoes, or even a non-stick pan or blender. Every time you want to go buy a fizzy drink, think about the empty calories and rather place that money in the jar and grab a glass of water. It’s a good way to remind yourself that it’s a choice you are making, and helps to break what has in most cases just become a habit.

At the end of Jan, or even December if you’re a big fizzy drink drinker, your jar will be full and you’ll be one step closer to buying that item which will keep you going on your healthy way.

Added bonus, you can take some of that cash and buy a healthy meal or two for someone less privileged this festive season.

To keep you satisfied along the way, grab a Go-Goji Berry smoothie or everybody’s favourite, the Strawberry Stinger. Alternatively, try a Protein Shake or a deliciously fresh carrot juice from Kauai.

The magic, and that elusive runner’s high, really does happen outside your comfort zone, and you don’t have to wait until 1 January to make a decision to experience it

Written for the Virgin Active Blog

Images sourced from Pinterest

 

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