With the new year finally here and the middle of summer fast approaching, many of us have a healthier 2016 set firmly in our sights. But sticking to your healthy resolutions can often be harder than you think! So today, we passed the keyboard over to Health and Wellness expert Amber Walker to tell us the super simple ways to stick to your health-related New Year’s resolutions for the long haul and love yourself every step of the way.
Take it away Amber!
1. Know your WHY
When it comes to sticking to any sort of resolution, especially ones to do with health and fitness, you MUST have a why. Why do you want to increase your fitness, lose weight, eat cleaner, feel better? The why is what drives you to stick to your resolution and reach your goal. Here are some examples:
A bride wants to feel absolutely incredible on her weddings day, so she wants to lose weight and tone up. How she feels on her wedding day is her why.
A woman wants to give her unborn child the best start in life, so she quits smoking. The health of her unborn baby is her why.
A parent wants to be more active with their children, a couple have a big summer holiday planned, an individual is facing health complications, a single person wants to meet a partner…this is your why and it will drive and push you to reach your goals.
2. Focus on the good stuff
When it comes to changing your eating habits it is often too easy to focus on what you should NOT be eating. When you do this, you very quickly find yourself gravitating towards and obsessing about eating the foods you are trying to avoid. The reason for this is very simple, what you focus on you get more of. So when you are focused on the foods you know are bad for you, then suddenly they appear everywhere. You think about them all day long.
Instead, focus on what you should eat more of to truely transform your eating patterns. Give your attention to how you can add more whole foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and good fats into your diet. You will soon find that these healthy, nourishing foods will become your food of choice.
To get you started on the right train of thoughts… here’s some foods that I love throughout the day:
Breakfast: Eggs on spinach with avocado, halloumi and hollandaise sauce. I don’t usually eat until around 10am, unless I am hungry earlier. However every day starts with a bulletproof coffee! Lunch: I love a salad base of rocket, parmesan and pear with grilled lamb cutlets or spiralled zucchini pasta with garlic prawns (tossed in butter). Dinner: grilled salmon, broccolini and asparagus with homemade guacamole.3. Become a morning person
Your success in sticking to new resolutions and transforming your health is greatly affected by how you start your day. Nine times out of ten, how you start your day is how the rest of your day will progress. So if you begin your morning with a nutritious breakfast, exercise and a positive and grateful mindset, then the rest of your day will follow suit.
4. Reconnect your inner child
Feeling fantastic about yourself and finding real health and wellness is not just about exercise, nutrition and physical appearance. Nourishing your mind and spirit is vital to your overall wellbeing and view of yourself. This summer is all about reconnecting with your inner child and having FUN. Whether it is doing activities you love, trying new things or simply hanging out with people who make you laugh, forgetting your stresses, clocking off from work, spending time offline and connecting with people who bring you total joy goes a long way to making you feel truly happy and fulfilled.
5. Stop the pursuit of perfect
Aiming to achieve the ‘perfect’ body image is a pursuit that brings little positivity and happiness into your life. Personally, having won three world championship fitness titles and having worked with some of the world’s most physically beautiful people, I know first hand that reaching your own ideal of physical perfection does not make your life complete, nor does it give you strong self–esteem or self-worth. The same goes for nutrition and exercise – aiming for perfect 100% of the time is a stressful goal.
When you remove the pressure of being perfect, then you open up space to be more flexible and enjoy your health and wellness journey. You never want to be the person at the birthday party who says no to the cake and champagne, missing out on enjoying the occasion with your loved ones, just to stick to a resolution. Allow yourself to be flexible with your goals and look at your overall progress as a big picture, rather than sweating every minor detail.