New Year’s resolutions rarely stick. Why? We often set ourselves up for unattainable goals. But you can’t start by climbing a mountain if you’ve been lounging on the sofa eating chips for the past five years. Similarly, you can’t replace a steady diet of Big Macs and French fries with boiled chicken and steamed broccoli. It just doesn’t work like that.
So forget the huge grand plans of a New Year’s resolution. Instead, we’re going to focus on SMALL changes that are the secret to transforming your life. Here are our secrets for ways to detox your life in 2018.
Review your Diet
Do you often have stomach pain, bloating or other gastrointestinal issues? If you don’t have a condition or medication that is causing this abdominal distress, you might consider taking a look at the foods you’re choosing to put into your body. Even if you are eating a generally healthy diet, you might be surprised at some of the foods that commonly cause issues for people. Here are the top ten:
- Dairy products
- Beef, pork and lamb
- High FODMAP foods (carbs that are fermentable, osmotic and poorly absorbed)
If you think that you might have a food sensitivity, try eliminating that food from your diet for two to eight weeks. Before making any radical changes to your diet, please consult with your doctor. You might also consider getting tested for Celiac Disease.
After eliminating these foods from your diet, keep a food diary of not only what you eat throughout the day, but also how you feel. Do you have high or low energy levels? How does your stomach feel? How are your bowel movements? After taking a break from the foods that you have chosen to eliminate, notice any changes in your body after working them back into your diet. Any discomfort might indicate a sensitivity to that particular food.
Eating healthier is a gradual process that takes time. Trying to overhaul your diet completely is often not sustainable. You only have so much willpower. If you are trying to eat healthier in 2018, think small. Once you have made progress with smaller changes, you will naturally gravitate toward bigger, healthier ones.
For example, start by committing to eating a piece of fruit in the morning with your breakfast. Or always swapping out fries or chips for steamed vegetables. Once you have gotten used to this change, try something else, like eating one vegetarian meal a day or swapping steak for fish.
You might be surprised at how your taste buds and cravings change as you incorporate healthier changes into your diet. This actually makes it easier to make healthier choices in the long run, and you set yourself up for success. Take the time now to write down one to three small changes that you can commit to today.
Oh how sometimes we dread the word: exercise. For many of us, it’s something that we know we should do, but it’s just so much more convenient to exercise tomorrow. Excuses like no time, too tired or too stiff can often get in the way of working up a sweat.
Just like we did with our diet, the key to success with exercise is focusing on small changes. If you like to watch TV, commit to walking in place during commercial breaks. Or decide to take a walk around the block after dinner three nights a week. Again, once you get used to this routine, you will likely naturally want to do more.
Setting a goal to work toward is a powerful tool in staying motivated. Maybe it’s a 5k walk or run for a local charity that you want to support. Search online and find one in your area, and ask friends and family to join you. Working with others toward a common goal that you can all achieve together can help to keep you going when you’re feeling unmotivated.
Also remember, that not everyone is meant to be a CrossFit muscle machine. If you try one form of exercise and don’t like it, there are plenty others out there! You don’t have to like everything. Here are a few different activities to consider:
- Walking or running clubs
- Barre classes
- Water aerobics
Before you get started with any new fitness program, of course, please consult with your doctor. Additionally, take the time to really think about your why. Why do you want to start exercising more? Is it for health? Looks? Longevity? Take a moment to write down a statement that is your why. When you’re feeling unmotivated down the road, go back to your why. As fitness guru Jillian Michaels says, “When you know your why, you can tolerate any how.
How have you been feeling emotionally? Take an inventory. Is there anywhere in your life where you want to feel more spiritually fulfilled? Connecting with a higher power is an important way to live a more fulfilled life. If you would like to work more spirituality into your life this year, consider trying one or more of the following until you find a good fit for you:
- Tai Chi
- Hiking in nature
Feeling connected to the universe is a powerful feeling, and sometimes we forget to nurture that portion of ourselves when we get caught up in our day to day lives. If you can make positive changes in your diet, exercise and spirituality, we’re confident that this will set the tone for a positive and fulfilling 2018. Do you have tips on how to detox your life? Please comment below to share your ideas with other readers.
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