The challenges of the past couple of years have taught us a lot about perseverance, patience, and gratitude. Now it’s time to take those lessons and use them to start healthy habits so you can conquer your goals.
We know there will be hurdles ahead, but we’ve also learned the heavy lifts are what make us stronger — physically and emotionally.
And remember: Whatever you choose to do to crush your goals, it doesn’t have to be a big power move.
Even the smallest change, the tiniest baby step forward can snowball into a huge, positive effect on your life.
1. Set a Single-Word Intention
“Intentions are like a declaration we are ready for change,” says Jenna Monaco, certified meditation and mindfulness teacher and stress coach.
Choose a word of the year that speaks to you and come back to it whenever you need inspiration.
2. Take One Tiny Step Every Day
Setting too many goals and setting unrealistic expectations are common mistakes that can sabotage your goals.
Small changes, done regularly, are easier to commit to — and they quickly add up to big changes. “The progress is astounding,” Monaco says.
For example, instead of trying to motivate yourself to do an hour-long workout, try following a program like Job 1 that features 2o-minute functional training workouts that leave you feeling stronger, invigorated, and accomplished.
Or instead of simply resolving to “be more productive,” start each day with a meditation practice to clear your head.
3. Shift Your Healthy-Eating Mindset
“Instead of looking for what you should eliminate from your diet, consider taking the opposite approach and searching for things you should add,” says Leah Barron, R.D., L.D., CPT.
Make positive additions, like adding more protein to your plate and increasing your intake of fruits and veggies.
4. Eat More Dark, Leafy Greens
One easy way to get more of them into your daily meal plan: Blend a greens supplement like Power Greens, which includes veggie powders from spinach and kale, into your smoothie.
5. Add More Plant-Based Recipes to Your Meal Prep
Switching to a plant-based diet can offer many healthy (and eco-friendly!) benefits. But if you’re not ready to go completely meat-free, you can still add more vegetarian dishes and vegan meal prep recipes to your weekly meal plan.
“Try including more plant-based protein sources, such as beans, nuts, and seeds,” Barron recommends.
If you’re ready to take a bigger step, consider a flexitarian diet — a mostly plant-based eating plan with the occasional meaty dish in the mix.
6. Get Your Healthy Fats
“For balanced meals, fat should be on everyone’s New Year’s resolution list,” Barron says.
Barron recommends looking for foods with healthy fats such as avocado, nut butters, and olive oil.
7. Rethink Your Workouts
“Leave behind the idea that every workout has to be high-intensity or full of complicated moves,” Barron says.
If you hit the weights hard or do a killer HIIT workout one day, perhaps go for a hike or a light jog the following one.
When it comes to achieving fitness goals, recovery is just as important as working out. After all, adaptation (muscle growth, fat loss, etc.) doesn’t happen during workouts, it happens between them.
8. Prioritize Sleep
It’s tempting to skimp on sleep so you have more time to hustle. But getting enough zzz’s can have a positive impact on your willpower, stress levels, and eating habits.
“Getting enough sleep is a serious act of self-care, and something we should all strive for in 2021,” Barron says.
9. Sip More Water
Water plays a vital role in…well, just about everything, from proper cell functioning to healthy digestion to glowing skin. So staying hydrated is key.
“One of the easiest and most beneficial resolutions you can make is to drink more water,” Barron says.
10. Practice Gratitude
Write down five things you’re grateful for each day.
“Taking the time to notice and acknowledge all the things you are grateful for is one of the most beneficial additions you can make to your day,” Monaco says. “These don’t have to be huge things. In fact, they shouldn’t be. It can be as simple as enjoying a perfect cup of coffee.”
11. Make it a Team Effort
“Find an accountability partner, where you can cheer each other on and check in with one another often,” Monaco says.
When your willpower is waning, it’ll be easier to stick to your resolutions when you know someone else counting on you.
12. Be Adaptable
If you want to maintain a healthier lifestyle in the coming year, it’s important to make a realistic plan.
That includes being realistic about the fact that things won’t always go exactly as planned, and you may have to make some adjustments along the way.
“If 2021 taught us anything, it’s that we have to be adaptable,” Monaco says. “Work with yourself, not against yourself, and you’ll be sure to shine brighter in 2022.”
Looking to shine in 2022? Head over to Beachbody On Demand and find out how Beachbody’s at-home workouts, nutrition programs, and online community work together to help you reach your health and fitness goals.