What would it take to make you your absolute happiest in 2019?? We all know that more money isn’t really going to make us happy. More material things aren’t going to do it either. Neither is power or influence, fancy new friends or a title change at work. Those things can be nice but they aren’t going to bring us true happiness. It can be so easy to lose sight of this in a world that is becoming increasingly materialistic.
Family, quality friendships, love, faith, a job or past-time that brings us joy – those are some of the things in life that truly impact our happiness. I’ll add one more item to that list. Our HEALTH. Our health can drastically influence happiness whether we realize it or not. I’m not talking about cutting carbs until we fit into size 6 jeans. I’m talking about truly feeling healthy from the inside out. If we are struggling with our weight and related health issues, if we are out of shape, exhausted, and feeling hopelessly caught in that yo-yo cycle it can impact us in so many ways. It can definitely take a toll on our level of happiness, our confidence, and our relationships with those around us. It also tends to impact the way we think of ourselves and our inner-dialogue often becomes negative and self-deprecating.
When you take control of your health and fitness in the right way, by making meaningful lifestyle changes that can last, it will start a ripple effect in your life. You will feel lighter and have more energy, you will have more confidence and more stamina in your day to day life. You may feel more engaged with your love ones and more open to trying new things. And YES, you will likely feel happier in a lot of ways. Poor health resulting from being overweight and a lack of physical fitness can really feel like a black storm cloud that follows you around day after day. When you take charge and make the necessary changes you will be amazed at how good it feels when that cloud disappears!
Keep all of this in mind as you start to think about New Year’s resolutions for 2019. SO many people create resolutions that are centered around fitness or weight loss, but are we making those resolutions the right way and for the right reasons? We all have our own issues and struggles with food, exercise and body image. It is different for each of us and there is no magic pill or button. I urge you to above all be kind to yourself through this process, especially as you are setting those resolutions for the new year. Change that inner dialogue and focus on self-love. Stop beating yourself up about whatever you did or didn’t accomplish in 2018. That’s not going to get you any closer to your ultimate goal.
What DOESN’T work? I suggest that you don’t make a resolution to lose the same 15 pounds that you talk about each year and don’t spend your time agonizing over holiday weight gain. Instead just move forward and make your resolutions more meaningful and less about the number on the scale. They have to be realistic and measurable though or you will lose sight of them quickly. A goal to lose 15 pounds without a specific plan and some smaller milestones can be daunting and unrealistic. Commit to making smaller, more manageable changes that will last all year and beyond instead of just until February. Focus less on how you look or getting to a specific size and more on how you FEEL. This alone can be the motivation you need to keep it up long term because it is a powerful experience to realize how good it FEELS to be healthy.
So, what are some examples of these smaller and more specific resolutions that will get you going in the right direction? Commit to drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day, or to eating 3 servings of vegetables a day. Decide that you will have no more snacks after dinner each night. Commit to exercising 3-4 days a week in a way that will work for you. Work towards eliminating sugar and processed foods, or cutting back significantly on soda or juices. If you currently drink 3 Cokes a day, cut it back to 1. If you stop at Starbucks 5 days a week, cut that back to 2. Be specific and WRITE IT DOWN. You are much more likely to stick to your plan if you put it in writing. I also strongly suggest that you resolve to spend some time each week specifically on self-care and read a book for personal development. Feel free to reach out to me on social media and I would LOVE to give you some suggestions for great books to help with your health and fitness resolutions.
Many of us will be on this journey in one way or another for our whole lives but it doesn’t have to be a miserable journey. We can all take steps that will help us get control of our health, learn to respect and love our bodies, and be happy along the way. Just think – if we were able to stop spending so much time worrying about our weight and body image issues, we would have so much more time and mental energy to focus on more exciting and fulfilling things! What if this was the LAST year that we had to create a new year’s resolution related to weight loss and fitness because we completely changed our lifestyle this year? I know THAT would bring me a lot of happiness!
Let’s make this new year the healthiest and happiest yet! What are your resolutions for 2019? I would love to hear from you on social media if you are willing to share!
Hadley Sorensen is a health and fitness coach who lives in Virginia with her husband and 3 boys. She is an avid reader, runner and fitness instructor who has a passion for helping others learn to enjoy exercise. Hadley uses one-on-one coaching as well as virtual accountability groups to provide support and motivation to her clients. Her guiding philosophy is that it’s never too late to take charge of your health and improve your level of fitness. Find her on Facebook @HadleySorensenFitness