January brings with it this rush of optimism and motivation. That “new year, new me” mentality. Whatever we let fall to the wayside last year and the year before that and the year before that (working out and nutrition being top of most lists) we resolve to be better at this year.
But it’s this repetitive pattern that happens every, single, year. (Don’t tell me it doesn’t - the gyms and fitness studios are packed until about January 21. You can’t find a riced vegetable or spiralized noodle at Trader Joe’s until at least February. Then it’s like there’s this surplus of cauliflower rice and open treadmills.) And don’t even get me started on the apparent lack of celery everywhere because someone on Instagram said juicing straight celery will make you skinny. (It won’t, and also, gross. Just eat a piece of celery, it feels much easier. Dip it in hummus for me too pls.)
You go into it with the best of intentions. The best possible intentions. You’re going to be your fittest, healthiest, glow-iest, happiest self this year.
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. 21 days of repeating the same behavior until it feels like it begins to stick.
21 days is actually a long time.
That’s 3 straight weeks of being ‘on the wagon’, and in January, on the wagon seems like it is incredibly restrictive for most people, with a lot of rules and regulations. What I’m getting at is, you make it so strict that you make one wrong turn, and you’re f*cked. We’re setting ourselves up to fail.
So be done with all that.
No rules. No restrictions. No black and white. Live in the gray. Or is it grey? Or is it Meredith Grey?
3 Ways to Make 2019 Your Year
Don’t try to force fit anything, especially nutrition. I went vegan leading up to the wedding. It worked for me… until it didn’t. I had every intention of keeping it to the short term. Fish was never off the table (I live for it) and I love eggs and avocado toast and grilled chicken and oh yeah, the occasional filet and burger. There are days I crave more plants and there are days I crave a straight up steak. Be cool with both. I try to eat better more times a week than I indulge. That feels like a balance I can maintain.
Own your sh*t and stop making excuses. If you know that you’re not a morning person and that getting up to workout first thing is hard for you, you probably shouldn’t try to reinvent your mornings or yourself just because it’s January of a new year. Exercise after work or at lunchtime if you have a spare hour. If you’re someone that likes to go to bed at 9:30pm (oh, hello), and would rather have a glass of wine or unwind at home in the evenings, don’t think you’re suddenly going to become a regular at a 7pm bootcamp class. So don’t make excuses for why you can’t find 30 minutes to exercise. Just make it work for you and your life. Need to switch it up? Bay Club has a whole new line-up of classes. Pure Cardio and Harder Core Abs are already a favorite. Join me? (Seriously.)
Don’t live in extremes. Sober January? If that works for you, awesome. It doesn’t for me. I love good wine (I have absurdly expensive taste, sue me) and I love a cocktail. Telling myself I can’t have something for 31 days only makes me want it that much more. Health is a lifestyle. Meaning there is no room for restriction and deprivation that feels like punishment and is only going to work in the short-term. So you went a little overboard on booze, sweets and heavy food over the holidays. Spoiler: WE ALL DID, it’s the holidays. ‘Tis the season’ is a phrase for a reason. So in January, rather than cut everything but leafy greens out of your diet completely, just tone it down. Or ramp back up. Didn’t exercise once in December? You don’t need to workout 2x a day in January to make up for it, I promise it will make no difference except to completely burn you out for the rest of the year. Aim for what you can actually accomplish - 4-5 workouts a week of varying exercise feels like a good number - and if you exceed it? Even better.
So here’s what I’m committing to:
2x hot yoga per week + 1x toning class at The Bay Club.
1x run per week (5 miles or 45 minutes, whichever comes first)
Long walks + hikes on the weekends. I’m someone that needs to move daily.
How will you make 2019 work for you?