I could tell by the crowded parking lot at the health club this morning that it’s a New Year. The dawn of each January brings with it the promise of a fresh start. Time to hit the reset button! People everywhere are resolved; resolved to start 2015 on a diet to correct the excesses and indulgence of the holidays. Resolved to get in shape, eat better, and stick to their guns.
We all start off with good intentions. In fact, statistics reveal that about 45% of us make New Year’s resolutions. So why do more than half of us abandon our resolutions in the first 30 days?
The answer is simple: time and expectation. We overwhelm ourselves with broad, grandiose goals rather than aiming for small tangible changes we can make over time. We also expect quick results, and get frustrated when we aren’t rewarded with immediate changes. The reality is that lasting change takes place gradually and nearly imperceptibly.
This year, in lieu of imposing a litany of “must dos” to our already hectic lives, consider adopting one or more of these simple habits that will help you live a healthier (and ultimately happier) life:
Eat local: Strive to support local farms and artisans by doing a portion of your food shopping at a farmers market near you. You’ll get the freshest, sustainably-raised seasonal produce and meats available, and connect with producers at the source of what you eat. Too busy to go to farmers market? Bring the market directly to your doorstep by joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that delivers right to your home! You can even choose the size of your box and how often you’d like to receive it.
Savor meals: Our fast-paced world has created a “grab n’ go” mentality where processed convenience foods have largely replaced the art of preparing simple meals from scratch. Cooking at home and sharing your food with family or friends builds community while nourishing body and spirit. Strive to cook and eat a meal at home at least once every week.
Skip restrictive diets: Instead of resolving to diet, why not just make healthier food choices? Eat smaller portions made with fresh organic ingredients. As renowned author and food activist Michael Pollan says, “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants. And don’t eat anything your Great Grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
Frolic More: Does the word “exercise” conjure images of self-inflicted torture? Think “frolic” instead. Which sounds more fun: slogging along on a boring treadmill or moving through life’s daily activities with a joyful intention? Go for a brisk walk or hike in nature. Breath, listen, and notice the world around you. Plug in your favorite tunes and dance around the house as you do chores. You may just discover a whole new perspective!
Wishing you all a healthy, tasty, and frolicking New Year.