For all of you looking forward to the holidays, and everything that comes along with them, how many of you are NOT looking forward to the holiday hangover during the first week of the new year? You know what I mean! Once January 1st roles arounds, the guilt that you feel about all of the unnecessary cookie binges, and the regret that runs through you once you realize that the countdown to swimsuit season has begun, hurls you into a full-on panic! Well, I am here to tell you that there is no need to freak out! I am about to share 7 steps, one for each of the first 7 days of January 2018, that will bring you back to reality and are guaranteed to set you up for success in the New Year!
Monday, January 1st: Spend the day removing all temptation from the kitchen. Many of you may be thinking that one is a no brainer. I agree. I cannot express to you how easy it is to do and yet, so many people don’t do it. By keeping leftover sweets or other holiday indulgences to linger in your kitchen once the new year has arrived is a big mistake. Go through the refrigerator, the cabinets, the pantry and the snack draws and either give it away or throw it ALL out. Purging the system and starting with a clean slate is absolutely essential to developing a new routine and it is actually very satisfying at the time.
Tuesday, January 2nd: Today, your assignment is to restock the house with wholesome foods that will physically, mentally and emotionally cleanse your body and provide you with the energy that you need to accomplish everything to come. Here is a quick list of foods that I suggest you implement into your diet in the New Year:
- Proteins: salmon, shrimp, chicken breast and eggs. For those who do not eat animal products; seitan, tofu, quinoa and other grains and legumes such as lentils and chickpeas are great sources of protein.
- Carbohydrates: brown rice, black rice, sweet potatoes, rolled oats, farro and other low glycemic sources of carbohydrates are great.
- Fats: avocado, seeds such as chia and pumpkin, unsalted/unsweetened nuts of all sorts, oils such as olive oil are great to implement!
- Fruits: Strawberries, blueberries, black berries, berries of all kinds are excellent. Oranges are a bit higher in sugar, but they are going to be delicious this time of year. Color and variety are always a good idea when it comes to you produce selection.
- Veggies: As many leafy green and cruciferous options, as possible. Veggies like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower are great. Bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and beets are also excellent additions. Again, color and variety are great here.
- Spice Cabinet: Garlic, Turmeric, black pepper, red pepper flakes, sea salt, oregano, rosemary and cinnamon are staple that should be integrated into your daily cooking as they offer and array of health benefits.
Wednesday, January 3rd: It’s hump day and what you are going to today is HUGE. I want you to take out your calendar. For each of the next 65 days block off a 20-minute window. What you are going to do is use that time each and every day for the next 60 days to either learn or do something that you have been putting off. It can be anything! Start learning a new language, paint or pick up a new hobby. For the next 65 days, you are going to make 100% certain to spend those 20 minutes doing that 1 thing. Trust me, after 66 days you will never go without doing it again.
Thursday, January 4th: Thursday is going to be one of the tougher day. Today is your day of fasting! The goal here is to go for as close to 24 hours without eating or drinking anything other than water, tea and/or black coffee. Now I know that may seem a bit extreme, and it is. However, the benefit of experiencing this, even if it is only this one time, is tremendous. By fasting for an extended period of time, you will give your body a change to move everything through and out…a bit like draining the old oil out of a car. The other and longer lasting effect of an extended fast is that it will change your perspective on what actual hunger really is. Moving forward you will be able to better differentiate between hunger and just wanting to eat.
Friday, January 5th: With the weekend approaching, Friday is going to be about ending the week with an act of charity. At some point during the day, it does not matter when, it is up to you to do something nice for someone else. It does not have to be a grand gesture and it does not need to be for someone that you know. Your act can be small and it can be anonymous if you wish. The whole idea is that by doing something kind for someone else, you will see that you have to ability to facilitate positive change. Although it is simple in concept, it is very powerful in administration.
Saturday, January 6th: This is going to be a great day for the heart and soul. Today, you job is to call the 3 people that you love the most and tell them why you love them and how they have impacted your life. Additionally, you are going to think of the 3 people with who you want to improve your relationship with the most and call them as well. This may seem a little silly to some of you but I promise that it will be one of the hardest as well as one of the most rewarding things that you have ever done. Do not over think it, do it!
Sunday, January 7th: It has been a long week and if you have completed the previous 6 days’ tasks, it has also been a very productive week on a personal level. Seeing as it is Sunday I thought it would be nice to let you sleep in a little bit. When you wake up Sunday morning, either go back to sleep or lay in bed with your kids, you significant other, your cat or dog, or alone. Think about the things that you did this week. Reflect on how they have impacted you. Think about what you feel you have gained by doing those things. I once heard that only two things in life make a person genuinely happy. Number one, progression in life regardless of the arena. Number two, helping others. This week will be 7 steps towards a life time of genuine happiness.
By: Vic M.
B.S. Exercise Science
NSCA CSCS Certified