I would guess roughly 90% of the New Year resolutions have something to do with eating better or working out more or starting some new fad lifestyle but that’s not what I would suggest focusing on this year. Rather than going all in on some fad diet or routine that will exhaust your willpower and set you on the course for an inevitable crash, my recommendation would be to focus on the small levers that will have the greatest impact on your health for 2019.
We tend to overlook one of the basic building blocks of our health: sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, an adult between the ages of 26-65 should average 7-9 hours of sleep. It seems though, with every fairy-tale told of successful entrepreneurs or CEOs, the key to success is learning to manage your life based on 4-5 hours of sleep. But remember, that’s the fairy-tale, an anomaly to say the least.
Call to action: Develop a routine start powering down at the same time every night. Creating this routine will help your body start to recognize it’s time to begin resting for the next day. If you think back to your childhood days, most of us had a routine we followed after supper that concluded with going to bed at a certain time. I do not advocate being that stringent but developing this routine will help you get the rest you need to start every day fresh and ready to conquer.
Choose a health Eating LIFESTYLE
Notice I didn’t use the term diet. There’s something about the word diet that tells our brains, “Hey this is only for a short period of time.” This mindset will exhaust your self-control and make your minor failures in the diet morph into some cataclysmic failure that you dwell on for weeks. That’s just an unneeded recipe for disaster.
Find an eating lifestyle that works for you, not a diet. Make small changes daily toward fully instituting the lifestyle to ensure you avoid self-control burnout. Also, remember if you are changing your eating habits, your body will take some time to adjust so ease into it. One of the perils of going all in, guns blazing into a change in your eating habits is the shock it puts on your body which ultimately affects how you think, perform and interact at work. Start small and every week institute an enhancement to eating healthier. You’ll find it to be not only easier to implement but also more rewarding when you actually stick with it.
Much like the recommendation above, do not do what most do and go all out your first week in the gym trying a workout routine designed for a professional athlete. Make a commitment for the first 2-3 weeks to workout 2-3 days. If you do more, reward yourself somehow but don’t get so caught up in the number of the days in the gym if you’re a newbie. Over time, you’ll notice your addiction to the endorphins released after a workout and will naturally progress to increasing the amount of time spent on physical activity.
Find a gym or workout partner to help increase your commitment and make the time in the gym more enjoyable. I find when I go workout with my partner, I tend to stay longer and push myself more. Part of it is the competitive side in me but the other part is the accountability that comes with having someone meet you at a certain time to workout. It helps with those mornings when you just prefer to stay in bed.
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