As the new year is upon us, you might be thinking about your health goals. “New year, new you,” as they say.
And honestly, I love this! It’s a fantastic time to evaluate how you want to feel in 2024.
How do you want to show up every day?
How do you want to feel in your body?
What do you want more energy for?
How do you NOT want to feel anymore?
What habits are not serving you or getting in your way?
These are all fantastic journaling prompts, and I highly recommend taking some time leading up to the new year to think about them. It’s important to have a clear vision of why improving your health is important to you. How would it truly change your life?
Having this clarity makes a really big difference in your day-to-day decision making. When you know what kind of person you want to become or feel on a regular basis, you make the small choices that lead you closer to that. Or, at least, a lot more often.
When you simply have a vague goal of “being healthier” and your thinking ends there, you have no real motive to back it up. You’re more likely to opt for whatever is more convenient in the moment. You’re more likely to forget what you’re working for and take the path you’ve always taken, simply because it’s easier and takes less brain powder.
Regardless of the specific health goals you have for 2024, I recommend you work on the following 3 areas to get you closer!
Whether it’s fat loss, increasing muscle mass, having better energy, balancing hormones, etc. these are all foundational to your health and will get you closer to your desired outcome.
#1: getting enough sleep
Starting off strong with this one. 2024 is not the year you barely get by on 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep per night is absolutely critical for everyone. Yes, even if you think you don’t need that much sleep and you “feel fine.”
Working too much and not getting enough sleep has become socially acceptable, but it’s an absolute no for your health. It’s okay to be “weird” and prioritize your zzz’s.
Getting adequate sleep allows the body to recover better from workouts and build muscle, burn fat more efficiently, improve stress resiliency and more.
Some tips for getting the sleep you need:
Stick to a consistent schedule. Go to bed and wake at the same time within an hour every day of the week. Having a strong circadian rhythm will help you fall asleep and stay asleep much better.
If possible, expose your eyes or full spectrum light from a Happy Light within one hour of waking. This is an amazing way to support that circadian rhythm.
Have a wind-down routine in the evening. Turn off bright lights, wear blue light blocking glasses, take an Epsom salt bath, read a book, do some calming yoga or meditation. Prepare the body for good sleep instead of scrolling for hours on end.
#2: Prioritize quality over quantity of your food
It’s easy to focus a lot on how much we’re eating. Especially with a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. The immediate thought is eating in a calorie deficit.
But what if you simply checked in on the quality of your meals vs. the specific calories?
Are you getting enough high-quality protein? Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables every day? Are you getting enough high-fiber carbs? Working on these things alone can do wonders for your blood sugar levels throughout the day and, therefore, your body’s ability to be in a fat-burning mode more often.
Eating a better quality diet doesn’t have to mean eating organic either. It can simply mean eating more whole foods. Again, more fruit, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, beans, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, lean meats, etc.
Eating more foods that are closer to their natural state is an amazing goal. This will give the body more fiber, more vitamins and minerals, and fewer additives (especially added sugar and seed oils). All of this leads to reduced inflammation and a better functioning metabolism.
Now, should we avoid all processed foods? Absolutely not. Things like protein bars, protein powder, chicken sausage, certain cereals/granolas, nut butter, precooked grains, and chickpea pasta, for example, are just some examples of processed foods that are nutrient-dense and very helpful for easy meals or snacks.
It’s the ultra-processed and packaged foods that we need to consume in small amounts for optimal health (think like junk food, fast food, grocery store bakery items, etc.)
More whole foods have endless benefits for your health. Here are some recipe examples that are easy and whole-food focused:
You know that voice in your head that tells you things like “you’re not good enough,” “that doesn’t look good on you,” “you’re not capable of ____”?
Yeah, that little voice needs to go. Your mental health and mindset are huge components of your overall health.
Think about it – how is your consistency in 2024 going to go if you’re talking to yourself like an a-hole every day? If you speak negatively about your progress and your efforts? You’re much more likely to give up and not stick with it.
This “negative Nancy” little monster in your head is there because it wants you to stay the same. It doesn’t like change – even if that means keeping you in an unhealthy place physically and mentally. It doesn’t like it when you step out of your comfort zone.
What you need to recognize though is that this voice (or inner b*tch) is not you!
YOU speak kindly to yourself. You are working on loving yourself. You want to live your life to the fullest.
It’s time to quiet this voice with tools like positive daily mantras, practicing gratitude, journaling what you love about yourself, listening to uplifting podcasts, and spending time in meditation.
When it comes to mantras – use them regularly! Write it down on a sticky note. Set it as the background on your phone.
It’s all about shifting your mindset.
Instead of “I overindulged” —> “What’s my next best decision?”
Instead of “I’m not seeing results yet” —> I am being consistent because I know this will take time
Instead of “ugh, I’m so fat” —-> “We don’t talk like this anymore, we talk like we would to a friend”
Instead of playing the comparison game —> “I am on my own unique journey”
Do you see how helpful these shifts are to keeping a better mindset and quieting that negative voice in your head?
Prioritizing your self-talk in 2024 will do wonders for your health outcomes and accomplishments. Trust me.
These 3 areas alone can make massive shifts in your health and I’m so excited for you to experience it! If you need more support for your goals and you know you need accountability or expert guidance, check out the different ways we can help:
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