New Year, New You

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is rapidly coming to a close. In the midst of vacation time, Christmas shopping, and party planning there are a few simple measures you can take to make the most of your much-needed time off and get off to a fresh start in 2016.

Set small, measurable goals. Starting the new year with dramatic goals like losing 50 pounds immediately can leave you feeling quickly defeated if you’re not making progress. If you want to lose weight, start by setting small, measurable goals like exercising three times a week or eating green, leafy vegetables at every meal. The key is to not bite off more than you can chew. Establish goals that are attainable, and reward yourself when you achieve them.

Adopt sustainable behaviors to accomplish long-term goals. Setting long term goals is just as important as short term goals. You can set a goal like losing 50 pounds, but give yourself a realistic amount of time to achieve it, for example, losing 1-2 pounds per week. Once you’ve established your long term goal and a realistic timeline for achieving it, outline specific behaviors you can adopt that will help you work towards achieving your big goal.

Reevaluate your sleep habits. Sleep is a key component to your overall health and well-being. Think quality and quantity. Sleep even sets the foundation for mental health. It’s extremely important to establish a consistent sleep pattern.

Sleep Tips:

  • Get  7-9 hours of sleep.
  • Set a time to go to sleep every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. Try basing these times off work or personal commitments you know you’ll have each day.
  • Eliminate distractions, especially technology, once you’re in the bedroom.
  • Turn off your phone and television at least 30 minutes prior to rest.
  • Try to “unplug” by reading a book or spending quiet time in a dark room.

Take a break from technology. Be mindful of technology usage during the holidays.  Enjoy much needed time off with a break from Facebook, Pinterest and emails. Spend that quality time with your friends and family instead. What better a time to refresh yourself? The most important thing to do in the midst of the rush leading up to the holidays is to take a step back, enjoy quality time with those you love most, and reset yourself for the new year. The best present you can give is being present.

Look ahead. You can avoid the post-holiday blues by keeping a consistent schedule during vacation. Don’t completely neglect your regular bedtime or stay in bed all day watching holiday movies. Keeping a somewhat normal sleep schedule is key to bouncing back after the first of the year. Also try to stay active. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to commit to a rigid fitness regimen. Spend time outdoors and incorporate quality time with your loved ones into a plan to keep moving. If you can hardly wait until your next vacation - Try planning something to look forward to in the couple of months following the holidays. A dinner gathering with friends or a simple staycation may be just what you need to hold you over until the next vacation rolls around.

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