Now that the silly season is officially over and we’re all back at work and school, it’s time to really focus on what you want for 2021. Let’s look at how we can do this with Claire, dietitian from @nutritionfoodition on Instagram.
1. Create realistic goals
It’s the perfect time to create New Year’s resolutions and 2021 goals. To create effective and realistic goals tailored for you, your goals should use a guide goal setting tool. You may have heard of SMART goal, which is an acronym tool that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. For example, if your goal is to lose weight in 2021 – start small. Remember you can always change your goals after you’ve reached your target.
2. Leave the guilt in 2020
This year is for focusing on long-term progress and sticking to healthy habits. Having one ‘cheat’ meal or a day of sitting on the couch won’t alter your progress if you are focused on a longer-term goal. Instead of letting the guilt creep in, use it as motivation to get up and go tomorrow. Remember that healthy habits go beyond eating and exercise. A healthy mind is also critical for sticking to your new healthy habits – so be kind to yourself!
3. Rely on progress, not motivation to meet your goals
It’s normal to not feel motivated to eat healthy and move your body EVERY single day. In 2021, it’s all about moderation and balance in sticking to our goals. Listen to your body – it’s pretty good at telling you when you need a rest day or to satisfy a craving. Having small amounts of “sometimes” foods is important in being able to avoid large binges of restricted foods that your body is craving. If you’re feeling exhausted (like most of us are after 2020), then have a day off exercising – don’t push yourself to the point where you want to quit.
4. Rely on progress, not motivation to meet your goals
Take note of how you feel after eating a nutritious lunch versus a drive-through meal. Eat well not to lose weight, but because it makes you feel good! Remember how energised you feel after getting those nutrients your body needs? Eat well because it makes you feel happy in your own skin.
Work out because you love the feeling of the mood-elevating endorphins (hello dopamine & serotonin!) that are released when we move our bodies. Work out because you crave the challenge of self-growth and development, and seeing your body change week by week. Do this because your body thrives on it. Most importantly, do it for YOU – don’t worry about anybody else, we’re all different for a reason.
5. Experiment with flavours and ways to move your body
Believe it or not, fruit and veggies have boundless flavour potential! Try and move away from steamed vegetables and experiment with spices like cumin or paprika to give your food that spark, you’ll enjoy it so much more. Find an exercise that YOU enjoy. Moving your body isn’t limited to walks/runs or working out at the gym, there are plenty of alternatives that help with weight loss like yoga, Pilates, cross-fit or even Zumba – what have you got to lose?
6. Take the year as it comes
Being nervous about the year ahead is VERY normal – we all know first-hand how unpredictable life can be. By having adaptable goals, we can progress through the year ready for anything 2021 throws at us. You can even create smaller, sub-goals as we navigate through the year.
7. Take the year as it comes
The difference between habits and challenges is that challenges have an expiry date which makes them unsustainable to continue once we “complete” the challenge. Habits involve routine and commitment, with small lifestyle changes day to day that eventually become completely embedded into our lives, like going for a walk once a day!