Personal trainer Pegah Olfat — you may recognize her as @pegactive on Instagram — wrote a guest post for Lively on what changes we can make to get healthier now, before we even start thinking of New Year’s resolutions.
We know that our health should be one of our top priorities in life! While I love New Year’s resolutions and setting goals with a “fresh start” mindset, I truly feel as though that mindset can begin long before the new year. Monday? Fresh start. Thursday at 12p.m.? Fresh start. Why wait? Especially with it being one of the busiest times of the year, kick-starting your New Year’s goals now will help keep you motivated through the busy holiday season, so that your mindset will begin to shift for the better.
1. Set Specific Goals for the Rest of the Year
I’m a sucker for details. When it comes to goal setting, I advise writing each one out and putting down your why (why is that a goal? what is the significance? what will you gain? etc.) I also advise setting SMART goals. Think: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time specific.
2. Get Moving
Starting a new fitness regimen can start as early as … now! We all know that exercise is beneficial to our health. It does not have to be complicated. Simply taking 45 minutes every day to get outside, go on a walk, take a fitness class, anything active! Your body and mind will thank you.
3. Check Up on Your Nutrition
With the holiday season among us, we may not be eating as balanced as we’d like to be (and that’s okay!). This time of year means more events and get-togethers, which also may also mean less home-cooked, meal-prepped foods. A simple self-check-in can help keep your nutrition balanced. If you know you’ll be going out to eat over the weekend or attending a holiday party, you can plan accordingly. If you find that you’re currently eating out for every meal, it may be time to cut back a bit! Meal planning will also help you save your money (more to spend on holiday gifts! Ha!).
4. Stay Hydrated
This has been crucial for me this year. I found myself randomly feeling tired and sluggish at times. Turned out, I was not drinking enough water. The second I took charge of this and began to drink my body weight divided by two in ounces, I noticed these symptoms disappear. You could also be lacking H20 and be dehydrated without being aware! I always advise my clients to take their body weight and divide that number by two. That is generally how many ounces you should have per day.
5. Focus on Your Skin Nutrition
Yup, that’s right! Your skin’s health is important! Especially during the fall and winter. Colder weather means that your skin is more prone to develop dryness. Our skin is the largest barrier against infections! Keeping our skin healthy helps keep this barrier strong.
6. Treat Yourself to Some Self-Care
This looks different for everyone. For some, it’s relaxing at home with a movie and a glass of wine. For others, it’s getting a mani-pedi at the spa. Whether self-care is beauty-related or involves a mini getaway, do it. Your mental health is crucial to having good physical health and you definitely should not wait to achieve a healthier mind.
7. Remember: Bad Company Corrupts Good Character
I say this all the time. Who you choose to surround yourself with is important. I always encourage being around those who light up your life. If you are surrounding yourself with negative influences, yourself why. Having friends that support you, motivate you and encourage you will benefit your mental and physical health.
8. Saying No Is Okay
This is still a struggle for me. I have to be very intentional with remembering that I am not superwoman. Why stress out by trying to take on every task? Learning to say no is not always easy, but it will lead to a much more peaceful life. I practiced the art of saying no a lot more this past year. Best decision I could have made.
9. Get More Shut-Eye
I’ve been on team no sleep, team what is sleep?, and team I need sleep. We all must stop. Sleep is crucial. We know this! I advise aiming to get 7-8 hours of shut-eye every night. Sleep is highly involved in your heart and blood health, too. It impacts everything.
10. Show Yourself Some Love
What does self-love look like to you? If it’s self-care, do more of that. If it’s words of affirmation, compliment yourself. Take those selfies, write notes to yourself on your mirror, gift yourself, treat yourself, eat right … whatever it is that makes you feel most loved, do that.
Our health, our bodies and the care we put into them should be highly valued. I encourage you to take action on pursuing a healthier you. It will be so worth it!