The New Year is upon us, and you may or may not have your New Years resolutions ready to go. I will be honest, I am not big on New Year's resolutions, but I am big on setting goals for the New Year. If I set goals for my health or any other area of my life for that matter, I always seem to take it more seriously than a New Years resolution.
This may be the first time you have thought about setting goals instead of New Year's resolutions. Briefly, most people have heard of the acronym of SMART goals. S stands for specific, M stands for measurable, A stands for achievable, R stands for results-focused, and T stands for time-bound.
Here is a short video explaining them.
Exercise consistently - I have constantly struggled with this in 2017. I have restarted my strength training regimen so many times I am embarrassed to say. I am already fairly lean and not a big guy. Lately, I have noticed other men referring to me as skinny, and I will be honest, it bothers me a little. As someone who used to compete in strength training.
These days with so many other goals and responsibilities I am coming at this from a different angle. You may have heard the phrase, “What gets scheduled gets done.” I now schedule my walking and strength training sessions in my morning routine to ensure they get done. Before, I was waiting until the end of the day, and often they would not get done, or I would be too tired. At least, that is what I said to myself.
I am also putting this in the morning right after my Bible study and the 30min of writing I have committed to each morning. I put the most important stuff I need to get done daily at the first part of my morning routine. To recap, by scheduling my exercise and doing it early I am ensuring a high probability of reaching my goal to be consistent with my exercise routine in the New Year.
Reduce the sugar – I know you have heard this a million times, but it is that important. Humans are not made for consuming a lot of sugar. If you look at our diet now versus seventy years ago you will see where the fat and protein have been reduced and simple carbohydrates(sugar) have increased dramatically.
As a result, our society is plagued with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer more now than ever. It is not because we are living longer. In fact, a study came out this year showing the life expectancy declined for the second year in a row. This proves we can not depend on science and technology to save us.
We have to change our lifestyles to combat these Western diseases. A very strong case can be made linking sugar with the diseases mentioned above. To reduce the sugar in your diet start being aware of what is in your food. Read labels, and look for added sugar. Even finding bacon without added sugar from my experience is difficult.
Reduce the stress – After the holidays we could all use a little less stress. Personally, I have a man cave where I do all my writing and school work. To make room for our first born back in June of this year a lot of stuff was put in this room. So I finally decided one day to take on the task of decluttering this room. I think for most people a decluttered environment is less stressful. Our house can get quite cluttered in other areas at times with a six-month-old who will soon be mobile. The man cave(finished room over the garage) is my safe space for a decluttered environment I can run to.
Also, I have taken steps to get to work early to miss the traffic. I do my devotions and Bible reading in the car before taking the short bus ride to the hospital from the parking lot. This has been a big hit, and I would recommend if you fight traffic every morning to leave earlier and do some reading or relaxation exercises in your car while you are waiting for your work day to start.
At work, I tend to put time restrictions or expectations on myself that have not been identified by the other person(patient, family member, coworker). I often look back after a stressful few hours at work and say to myself, “You did not need to be in a hurry” I have found looking like I am in a hurry restricts my ability to connect with others and my patients.
When I find myself doing this, I now stop in a safe place where I will not be interrupted and take three deep breaths and think about what I need to do next and focus on that. Stop and be mindful of what you are doing next. This allows me to get rid of my serious/mad looking face and put my smile back on.
This allows others to see me as open and happy in my work, and most of all my patient is much more open to sharing his thoughts with me. When people start saying phrases such as “Are you ok,” “Is something wrong,” you may need to stop and take three deep breaths to be able to put your smile back on.
To recap, three ways to improve your health in 2018 are exercise consistently, reduce the sugar, and reduce the stress. What are you doing in 2018 to improve your health? I would like to hear about it. Please share in the comments below or message me under the contact form above. Make sure you share this post with your friends, and if you have not already done so make sure you enter your email address on the home page of KnightWellnessCoaching.com to receive 5 Proven Ways You Can Shed those unwanted pounds in 2018.
Have a Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Years.