How to Reach Your New Year’s Health Goals

How to Reach Your New Year’s Health Goals

Wow, it’s been to long since I’ve written. There’s been a lot going on, but I thought this would be a great first post for the new year. By the way, one of my goals is to blog more this year. But anyway, let’s talk about your health for a moment.

I see a lot of my friends and family members make New Year’s resolutions year after year, and year after year I watch people fall off the wagon so to speak.

Well, there’s a reason this happens to almost anyone. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the most effective tips that I’ve personally used to stay on track with reaching and surpassing my health goals each year.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

This type of goal setting gets people results every time!

Specific –  What will you accomplish? Examples: Do 50 pushups by the end of the month. Lose 20 pounds in 4 months time.

Measurable – How will you track your progress? Use a food and exercise journal. There are even lots of printables and apps you can use!

Assignable – Who will take on this task (you)? Remember, no one else can decide to be health for you, not your trainer, not your spouse, not your friends. You decide to make healthy choices for you!

Realistic – What can you do today to work towards your goal? If you can’t do that 100-squat challenge, then don’t throw in the towel, just figure out what a reasonable goal is that will eventually get you to your goal. Maybe 10 squats today is a great start?

Time-oriented – How long will it take you to reach a goal which contains the other four characteristics? If you want to lose 10 pounds, and you have a lot of weight to lose, as in over 50 pounds, it might only take you a month. But if you’re just trying to lose the last 10 pounds, that might take 2 months. You know your body. You know your strengths and weaknesses.

Create a Plan

If you don’t know what you need to do to get to your destination, then you will wander aimlessly, become frustrated, and then eventually give up. Use a fitness journal; plan your menu for the week. These are simple things you can do to keep yourself on track. Use the resources available to you. One of the most common phrases I’ve heard is, “But I want to do this by myself.”

Allow me to educate you: you need the support of others. Take it from someone who’s lost 40 pounds in college, and is now successfully losing the baby weight. Ask the professionals. They’ve had to spend countless hours studying research methods on how to reach various types of goals. Swallow that pride and ask questions. Your support network will keep you motivated when you’ve hit a plateau. Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’m a fitness pro, so you just heard from both sides of the story.

Reward Yourself

When you reach a milestone, reward yourself, and also, stop beating yourself up every time you make a mistake. But, let’s avoid food as a reward in most cases, okay?

You’ve got this. You can ace your health goals for the new year, and enjoy life too. I’m here to answer your questions, and know that when you put your mind to something, you can make it happen.

 

P.S.

Be on the lookout for my ebook on health and fitness goal setting, available with printable worksheets. Coming to Amazon on January 30!

 

 

6 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions You May Have Not Heard of (Long After the New Year)


Hi there! 
It’s been a long time since I’ve written, but it’s good to be back. Today, I have a great post for you brought to you by the Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5k! They have some awesome ways to keep running towards your New Years’ resolutions, long after many others give up. (Yes, that pun was intentional.) 

I loved this post when they sent it to me, and I think you will greatly benefit from the solutions mentioned here. (Disclaimer: While I did receive compensation for this post, I whole-heartedly agree with the ideas presented. Please speak with your healthcare provider prior to beginning any exercise regimen.)



6 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions You May Have Not Heard of
About the Ninja Challenge: The Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5K is designed to bring out your inner ninja through obstacles that include climbing walls, throwing ninja stars, running on water, dodging ninjas, and more. This family-friendly event is held every year in Fuquay-Varina, and is locally-owned and supported. It’s perfect for first-time racers of all age ranges, and we often have competitors ranging from 8 to 80 years old. A portion of all proceeds benefit the Triangle Aquatic Center and the Triangle Red Cross to help promote drowning prevention and safety. The 2016 Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5K will be held May 21, 2016. To register, please visit www.theninjachallenge.com.
Now that February has arrived, the will to maintain New Year’s Resolutions is disappearing fast. We’ve all heard the sad statistic that only eight percent of resolutions are kept. We all know that it takes about three weeks to form a new habit, but that people stop trying after just 10 – 14 days.
Most of us also know the common solutions: Write down your goals; tell other people about your resolutions; form a group of friends and cohorts committed to the same goal. Nevertheless, each year, that eight percent success rate fails to budge.
This isn’t to say that the common tips listed above don’t help. (They do, and you should be implementing them into your routine each day.) However, there are a few “extra” ways that are less known, and since we believe in doing everything you can to set yourself up for success, we would like to share them with you.
Here are six ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions that you may not have heard of:
1. Forget the results:
If you’re like the majority of people in the United States, your New Year’s Resolutions are essentially two-fold: Lose weight and save money.
Each year, these two goals are among the top resolutions, but unfortunately, they’re incredibly vague. After all, if you manage to save a single dollar or lose a single pound, you’ve technically succeeded. But we doubt many people would actually consider that “success.”
Instead of focusing on vague, unmeasurable results, see if you can focus on the process of changing your habits. Instead of saying “lose weight,” change the resolution to “eat a salad every day for lunch,” and “walk 30 minutes each evening.” That is a much more specific goal, and it will have the payoff of establishing a good habit.
Plus, this way, you can look back at your day — each day — and know whether or not you succeeded. Each time you go to bed having accomplished your goal, you’ll be more motivated to do it again the next day.
2. Get an app:
People often complain about the downsides to living in a technology-oriented society, but there are also some serious advantages! Today, anyone with a smartphone has access to thousands of goal-setting apps available, ranging from apps to improve your motivation, organization, budget, fitness, diet, sleep, relationships, and nearly every other area you could want to improve.
Need some ideas for helpful apps? Start with this article, published on Mashable.com, which lists eight apps to help you keep your resolutions.
3. Follow a motivational blogger (or bloggers):
(Of course, if you’re a fan of Julie’s, you probably already have this one covered!)
You probably already know that it’s much easier to stick to your goals when you’re surrounded by like-minded people. It’s why new runners are so much more successful when they find a training partner.
Why not use this same principle when it comes to your online habits? For some weekly motivation, consider following a few blogs written by people that inspire you. When you constantly expose yourself to successful habits and lifestyles, you’ll naturally begin to change your own habits as well.
4. Work at your goals for 10 minutes a day:
Often, a big goal is intimidating. Losing 100 pounds is doable, and you can find hundreds of success stories online, but it’s clearly a daunting task that takes several months, if not years. Many New Year’s Resolutions are similarly grand in scale: get out of debt, complete a marathon, etc.
Thinking about the size of your big goals can be so overwhelming, it may seem pointless to even start. Therefore, you should break it down into tiny, easily-doable goals each day. In fact, make it a goal to spend just 10 minute working toward your goal each day.
What’s the point of doing something for only 10 minutes? Will a 10-minute workout really burn off that many calories? Yes and no. The actual outcome of those 10 minutes is less important than the fact that you spent time working toward your goal. One of the biggest motivators is progress, and even 10 minutes of progress can be enough to keep you coming back the next day.
What can 10 minutes get you?
     You can find a budget template that will help you track your expenses
     You can find a training plan that will get you started on marathon training
     You can read an inspirational blog post
     You can block off time during your lunch hour to head to the gym
     You can make plans with a friend to go for a morning run
     You can find a local running club
     You can pack a healthy lunch for work the next day
Any one of these things will get you started on the right track toward your goal. And who knows … usually after those 10 minutes are up, you’ll want to keep going. If that’s the case, then definitely keep going!
5. Try “New Month’s resolutions”:
Along the same lines as Tip No. 4, it may be easier to focus on one resolution at a time. Breaking down big goals into smaller, achievable steps will make it much easier to stay motivated because it takes less time to achieve success. For a great article on how to implement “New Month’s Resolutions,” check out this piece from 50by25.com.
“[A New Month’s Resolution] ensures you have enough energy and focus to truly achieve what you set out to do; only when you’ve mastered one goal do you move onto the next in your planned stack,” the article says.
We’re already through most of February, but you’ve still got 10 more months in 2016, which means you can achieve 10 new goals! From creating and sticking to a budget, to running a mile each day, there are hundreds of 30-day changes that you can make to better your health, relationships and finances.
Telling yourself that you only have to work at a goal for 30 days is much less daunting than working at it for … forever. At the end of the month, you can look back and decide whether or not it’s worth it to keep going. If you’ve achieved any kind of success, you’ll probably say yes.

6. Don’t worry about “getting motivated”:
Finally, sometimes you just have to accept that you won’t always be pumped-up, ready-to-go, get-out-of-my-way motivated. Motivation comes and goes, but willpower stays with you all the time.
Realize that the path toward accomplishing your goal isn’t going to be straightforward. As your motivation waxes and wanes, remember that it’s all part of the process. Enjoy the parts that are easy, and tell yourself that you’re earning your success during the parts that are hard. Make the decision just to “get started,” and the motivation will come in time.

What are your favorite tips for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions?

3 Reasons You’re Not Reaching Your Goals

We’re all human, trust me, I’m not superwoman by any stretch of the imagination. And some days, and weeks…and for some of us, months, we throw in the towel, refusing to face what is preventing us from reaching our goals, whether it’s health and fitness, or other areas of our lives. Let’s talk about 3 common obstacles, and how to overcome them. Remember, the book of James says, “To him who lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all freely and without reproach. Together, we can examine the 3 Reasons You’re not Reaching Your Goals.

Challenge #1: You don’t have time. Okay, I get it…you’re a busy mom, you have PTA, work a job, and your family gives you lots of social obligations.
Let me ask you the question, “How bad do you want to have more energy, lose weight, or feel stronger?
I believe that if a goal really matters to an individual, they will make time for it. Pack your lunch the night before. Work out during your favorite tv show. You don’t have to go to the gym for over an hour. Start out working out for just 10 minutes. Prep healthy foods while the kiddos are napping. The worst mistake that people make is that they think they have to work out for hours at a time to get results or create extravagant meals…it’s just not so.

Challenge #2: You don’t have money….I also believe that if something matters to you, then you’ll invest in it, even if it’s just $5. Cheap is not always good. Invest in a few high quality workout bands, and pay a personal trainer to teach you correct form and technique. A small investment now can save you lots of time and injury. And eating healthy, is not as expensive as you might claim.

Solution: Make your health a priority in your budget…honestly, fitness takes priority over eating out for us, and I can buy much more fruits and veggies than I can meals out with the same amount of money. Try a body-weight exercise routine at home until you save up some money. Many canned goods come with reduced sodium now. Eggs, lentils, and protein powder are great inexpensive sources of protein…and water is cheap.There are lots of ways to add veggies to meals, just chop up cucumbers and green onions and add them to salads. Make your own healthy salad dressings – we rarely buy salad dressing, maybe once or twice a year. Most importantly, make it a priority to eat healthy. Tell me, what should take priority in your families grocery budget – foods like potato chips and fried chicken tenders, or foods like, mini sweet peppers and hummus? Try one new healthy food a week. That way if you don’t like it, then you’re not wasting as much.

Reason #3: You don’t know where to begin. Knowledge is power, but make sure you’re using reliable resources. Don’t throw yourself under the squat rack….seriously. This is the easiest fix of all…but make yourself teachable – swallow your pride and ask a professional. If you wanted to add on to your house.wouldn’t you consult a professional if you didn’t have experience? You get my point.

Solution: AceFit has a great exercise library, where you can learn to perform most basic strength exercises and ranks them in order of difficulty. Book a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. They can help you learn how to set up your workouts in a way that prevents you from injuring yourself, while challenging you and giving you a specific game plan that will help you reverse engineer your goal(s). The operative word is specific. Write down your goals, break them up into little chunks, and then find a way to track your progress, whether it’s fitness printables, or an app. Make a list of resources pertinent to your specific goals, and do some research. Make yourself accountable to someone who has knowledge of this process. Changing habits isn’t easy, but the way you will look and feel is worth it.

What stops you from reaching your goals? What are some tools you’ve found along the way that worked for you and have kept you going strong? Stuck in a rut? Then find someone to be accountable to today! Reach out to me via my contact box. I’d love to help!

Julie

My Top 8 Reasons for Working out and Eating Clean

Hi! It’s been a wild week!

I just found out I’ll be starting a new job in 2 weeks! Yay! No worries though! I’ll still be here on the blog…I have no intentions of forgetting my health or writing…in fact I might enjoy blogging even more! Ok, so this post was inspired by a comment made by a someone I know recently. (The names are changed to protect the guilty….) LOL! Anyway, I’m using this as a mindset example….no worries, I once had this mindset myself and I’ve learned to change it. hahaha…I often refuse dessert when eating out or at church dinners….or often times because I just don’t have a particular taste for that type of dessert….anyway…the comment was made: You’re so little – eat some dessert….honestly, where’s the logic in that….I’ve wanted to respond to comments like this for awhile, well…I get tired of hearing that I need to eat junk or skip working out because…I have a smaller frame.) I replied to the comment by saying, thanks, but it’s not about looking good, it’s about feeling good! I don’t like it when someone tries to make me go along with what they’re doing, just because I make them uncomfortable…call me Captain Controversial, but I’m a grown woman, and I think it’s silly for me to be told in public that I “need” to eat dessert. I don’t need to eat dessert…I have gluten sensitivity, and while I do sometimes splurge….It is at my own discretion when and how much I should splurge, just because I feel, well gross later on…you see, it just makes me want to go to sleep….I do enjoy dark chocolate, and I do eat dessert, but my logic is….there will be plenty of time to sample desserts 2 weeks from now, and I need to maintain my focus. I want to have the energy to do what I personally have to get done in the next 4 weeks…well, 6 weeks…and I don’t have time to be sick…by the way, have any of you ever noticed that flu season hits its peak right after Christmas. I believe it’s because we run ourselves ragged and maintain no time for our health… Anyway I wanted to share with you my “why” for working out…and while cut abs and rock hard arms and legs are great…I do have plenty of other motivation for working out, which to tell the truth, is what gets me through my tough days. So here’s why I exercise and eat right:

1. More energy…I’ve had anemia in the past, and while no longer anemic, I can’t deny that I have much more energy on days that I eat lots of veggies and lean proteins, as well as healthy fats. If I have a sweets craving, I love to nix it with a half a pomegranate this time of year! For salty cravings, I like to have 3 cups (1 yellow container) of Orville Redenbacher’s Simply Naturals Sea Salt popcorn.

2. I fuel my workouts with my food intake. After working in the fitness industry for years, I’ve learned that there’s a wrong way and a right way to eat before and after a workout.

3. I feel better when I workout. If I go a few days without working out….I’m on the level of some of those crazies you see on Black Friday! Not that bad, but you get the point. I feel less stressed, and sometimes. I need to punch and kick at something. Moms who deal with kids and say there’s no time to workout: how have you not gone nuts?! Or maybe you do feel nuts…I have no idea.

4. Variety is the spice of your health regimen…yeah, I change up my workout schedule every 2-4 weeks to prevent burnout. You should be doing that too. Over training causes injury and hinders results. You can’t blast away at the same speed all the time. Find workouts that allow for strength, power, cardio, mind/body connection, and flexibility for results that don’t quit internally and externally. Try a new food once in awhile…some of my favorite foods now are things…I’ve randomly tried.

5. Injury prevention is key to be able to function in life…I’ve heard all too many times…I’ll wait until after the knee surgery and skip pre-physical therapy. Well, I have news for you, there will be no bouncing back. It will take twice as long to recover in most cases. I’ve seen too many people regret that decision, that’s why I stay active. I don’t want to be physically unable to dance or work around my own house.

6. My immune system…while in my 4th year of college, my immune system decided to take a mind of its own and completely rebel against my body…I burned a fever every day for 4 weeks during that semester, and eventually…I developed a grayish complexion, and my hair started to turn brittle…My heart was doing funky things as well…I had frequent migraines, and spent so much time combating depression and staying in bed from migraines that I did nothing but work and school, which did not help with depression, trust me. While I was dealing with apparent emotional issues…I somehow managed to hide most of the physical issues I was having, except weight gain between 35 and 40 pounds of it…did I mention my thyroid was acting up too…I’m a firm believer in being a good steward now, but I was not a good steward in anyway at that point. How could I expect God to bless me in my health and my finances if I was not doing what it took to get both under more control.

7. My hubby. ok, ladies, don’t give me the excuse that your husband doesn’t want you to be healthy, because if he values you, he values your health and well-being. That being said, I find it staggering that more women use their husband as an excuse., which may be true in some cases, but not the large majority. Personally, can I say something from one woman to another? Why is it that we ladies will try every cream, pill, lotion, gel, or  wrap known to woman, but we refuse to exercise and eat healthy….this focus on the external will only drive you away from reaching your goals. Maybe it’s not that your husband doesn’t want you to get fit, maybe it has to do with he doesn’t want you falling for a magic pill. Advice, write out your plan and your goals and then show it to him. He’ll invest. Trust me. He might even join you! In addition to looking and feeling better, you’ll gain self-control and confidence.

8. To have children someday. Hey, you have to keep up with the kiddos right? I’m an active person and have been since birth, according to my mother. I have two speeds: wide open, and fast asleep. My kids will probably be the same way. I want to be able to take them places – to the park, iceskating, hiking, you name it. I can’t have the energy to keep up with them if I don’t eat properly, and they will learn eating habits from me. Right now, I’m practicing. Plus, meal prep, healthy or unhealthy, is a beast.

There are lots more reasons that I work out, but these 8 really stand out to me. I don’t plan on being the world’s strongest woman. Although, I really want to knock out pull-ups like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. I can tell you it’s strengthened my walk with the Lord, and He’s used it to teach me self-discipline. Maybe it’s time to reflect on why you really need to get fit….if it’s about weight….you can reach a peak and then go no further, within healthy boundaries. This is why there has to be something more. Have an awesome workout today, and treat yourself to a healthy dinner. 🙂

-Julie

Why You Should Start Getting Healthy Before New Years

So, let’s face it…the next couple of months are usually terrible months for gyms, and well, wellness in general. A lot of people automatically adopt the mindset, “I’m going to be eating out/eating desserts/eating whatever so much, that why should I try to exercise/eat smart”. As a result, many people get themselves in trouble and wind up, gaining weight, getting sick, or feeling downright disgusting from November to New Years’. Maybe this post will help you rediscover why you decided to live a healthier lifestyle in the first place. Life is about balance, if you want to do for others this season, you need to take care of yourself.

1. Because a day wasted is a day wasted, no matter how you look at it. Why wait to start now? Just because you can’t hit the gym 2 hours a day doesn’t mean you need to throw out your routine out the window. What about ? There are plenty of easy nutritious recipes out there that require nothing but a crockpot…besides, it soup weather anyway
2. Because many resolutions do not include a detailed plan. Wishful thinking does not accomplish goals, action does. Schedule your workouts and meal prep like appointments. You can find 30 minutes of your day to meal prep and exercise…did I mention crock pots?
3. Because a healthy lifestyle is a daily choice, not magic moment where everything falls into place. Goals are achieved, not given…I hear to many people complain, but that program costs something, but I can’t afford meat…um, yeah, you can diy your own pedicure for the next two months, cut back Starbucks coffee to twice a week instead of every day, you can yard sale all that junk in your house. If you have excuses now, you’ll still have excuses the other 364 days of the year too…food for thought. I say this because I had to reach this realization myself.
4. Because some exercise and good nutrition is better than no exercise and bad nutrition. Hey, there are plenty of 5 minute workouts on this blog and plenty of throw and go recipes. Eat healthy foods when you’re at home.
5. Because flu season…well, it’s already started. If you throw your own health to the wayside this time of year, chances are you will miss out on some important events because you didn’t take the time or effort to invest in your health.
6. Because exercise allows you to release stress. Hey I don’t even go out on Black Friday…if I buy anything, I buy online. There are plenty of sales, and now even many local businesses have online shops…Mine does. I just found time for you to workout and enjoy a delicious healthy meal!
7. Because you need the extra energy this time of year. Whew! Who doesn’t?! I don’t make perfect choices, but when I can, I reserve my right to eat healthy. Unless you’re baking for a party, you don’t need it in your house….send it home with someone else after the party…hehehehe
8. Because materialism and food are not the reason for the season.We worship food here in the U.S. We eat out of enjoyment, not nourishment….not to say that it’s bad, but when that mindset rules your food choices, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing. You have your health and your family’s health for the rest of your lives…you only get one life here on this earth… turn your focus towards helping those in need, not on how much you can stockpile.
9. Because if you’re tired of starting over, you need to stop quitting…for real… ‘nough said. If accountability seems to be an issue, let me help. To reach me, fill out this form. Sometimes, it’s important to have someone to sit down and talk with you about your needs. I’m here to listen.
10. Because your health and being healthy will save you time and money in the long run. Eat healthy and exercise now, or doctor bills later….your choice. You do not have to let the current state of your health define you, nor do you have to let the typical expectations of everyone else define you.

Tough Love,
Julie