Guest post by Kristina Sisco from Krissysisco.com:
Happy New Year 2017! With the new year comes a welcome feeling of a fresh starts and second chances. I love that week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve because it’s a time of reflection and planning. I think it’s important to take a moment to appreciate your accomplishments from the previous year. It’s so easy for us to dwell on what we didn’t do, but I have found that focusing on my accomplishments inspires me to set bigger goals for the coming year.
Two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and get organized. I find that if I have my house, particularly my kitchen and pantry in order, I am much more successful with my nutrition and fitness goals. Today I want to talk to you about planning for success and some essential tools I use to reach my fitness and nutrition goals.
Attacking the Kitchen and Pantry First
Giving your kitchen a thorough cleaning as well as organizing your food and kitchen tools makes it much easier to begin your journey to a healthier you. Starting a nutrition and fitness plan with leftover Christmas cookies stashed away in the pantry just sets you up for failure. Even if you hide them in the back, you know they are there!
Clean out your pantry and fridge. Get rid of any unhealthy leftovers or holiday sweets.
Give your fridge a thorough cleaning. A simple mix of water and vinegar works great! White House Cleaning Vinegar with lemon scent is my favorite. I mix equal parts water and vinegar and put it in a reusable spray bottle. I also use this to clean my kitchen counters and mirrors.
Give your counters and cabinets a good wipe down after you’ve discarded your unwanted items. Now is a great time time discard those kitchen tools you never use. If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably won’t. The more streamlined your kitchen is, the better you will be able to focus on preparing healthy, delicious meals.
Make sure your essential kitchen tools are conveniently located in your kitchen. For example, my Ninja Blender is a tool I use everyday for making healthy smoothies. I keep it on the counter next to my refrigerator for easy access to ice. I also have other smoothie ingredients in these pretty storage containers on my counter next to my blender.
Purchase a set of food storage containers to make your meal prep easier. Some of my favorites are the California Home Goods storage containers with lids.
Plan for Success
Now that your kitchen and pantry are in order, it’s time to plan your meals and make a shopping list. Fill your sparkling clean kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods!
Most people begin to drift away from their new year’s resolutions by mid-February. For a long time, I did that too. It wasn’t until I started making my health a priority in my daily plans that I started seeing the changes I was seeking. Setting resolutions is only the first step. But the key ingredient so many people miss, is a step by step plan for HOW you’re going to achieve your goals.
How Will You Succeed?
Take the time to reflect on what worked last year and what didn’t. Celebrate the things you did well and carry that success with you to the new year. For example, I’m celebrating the fact that I worked out most weeks last year. However, I wasn’t as consistent as I need to be to see the results I’m looking for. I know from last year’s experience that working out first thing in the morning works best for me. I know I’ll get my workout in that way. I enjoy how exercise makes me feel afterward, but let’s face it, most of the time it’s just not fun! Therefore, I need to get that big thing I dread the most out of the way first thing in the morning. This year I’m scheduling all of my workouts for the AM, before work. That way, it’s downhill after that. Read Eat That Frog!, by Brian Tracy. It’s a great book on fighting procrastination and doing the things you dread most, first.
Make a list of your goals for the new year. Write them down in your favorite journal or notebook. Some of my favorite notebooks are by Erin Condren and Kate Spade. Something about the process of writing is so cathartic. For me, it’s also easier to remember things I write down. After you write your goals, post them where they are visible to you everyday. When you feel like giving up, this will be your daily reminder of why you started.
Come up with a plan. So you want to lose 20 pounds? Well that’s going to take some well thought out planning for both exercise and eating healthy. Just as you would schedule a dentist appointment or a parent/teacher conference, you have to SCHEDULE time for accomplishing your goals. Schedule time for exercise, meal planning, and cooking. I do this two ways: one, with my Kate Spade planner. Again, writing things down makes them more permanent in my brain. After my weekly or monthly plans are written out, then I put it in my iCalendar. I color code activities: family – blue, fitness – purple, home-orange, work – green, etc. So all of my workouts are coded purple. I pick exactly which workout I will do each day. With iCalendar its very easy to “repeat” the activity each week. So for example, every Monday at 5:00 am I will do Total Body Cardio Fix from 21 Day Fix, every Tuesday at 5:00 am I will work on arms, and so on. I put “meal planning” on every Friday evening when the work week is over and I have some down time. “Meal prepping/cooking” is scheduled for every Sunday afternoon. Every week I have those visual reminders in my calendar and it has helped me form a habit of taking the time to eat healthy and exercise.
Give yourself a break. I’m one of those people who always has to start on a Monday or on the first of every month. And I used to feel like if I messed up mid-week it was all over….all or nothing. But I’m learning to be easier on myself. We’re going to have slip ups. It’s ok to have a slice of pizza or skip a workout now and then. In fact, I like to plan for it. I usually allow myself to indulge on the weekends because if I’ve been eating healthy and working out for five days I deserve it!
Be realistic with your goal setting. Don’t set yourself up for failure by placing too many expectations on yourself. You know what you have time to do. It might take giving up some TV each week to get it done, but be realistic with what you can accomplish. Start slowly – try working out three times a week first. Then gradually increase your time or days. Just get started with something.
Make 2017 your healthiest year yet by making your health a priority in your busy schedule. Remember, in order to change your life, you have to change the way you do things. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’ll get the same results. Try doing it a new way in 2017!
Recommendations from Kristina:
10. 21 Day Fix
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