Resolution Reset: Re-Resolving to improve your families health
As a personal trainer I have seen the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany New Years resolutions. The excitement builds as the New Year approaches and that first week is pure thrill, things are going great until…they don’t. Come February 1st resolutions are being modified for “safer” and easier ones, only to get fully distilled or forgotten by the 1st of March. Let’s all agree that the success of new habits isn’t increased by the time of year. Set resolutions throughout the year, start the healthier life NOW, not on “Monday”.
Why do we fail? People set goals that are to lofty, while in theory they are great, these goals don’t serve the individual. It’s time to stop look at a resolution as a quick fix, a “30 day fat busting burn” or a “cleanse”. Make resolutions (promises) to change habits, create new ones and take steps towards a healthy life. Overhauls do not happen over night, but they do happen!
Better yet, get the whole family on board, learn some new habits and improve your family health for the foreseeable future.
There are only 3 areas that you need to focus on:
1. Movement – We live in a world that encourages sitting. Work, school, video games, leisure time…it’s all sitting. Movement not only burns calories it stokes the fires of heart, lung, digestive, muscular and hormonal/brain health (and many more). The problem with movement however is that we lump it under a scary word, exercise. You need to stop looking at exercise as “gym time” or “workouts”, exercise is simply intentional movement. Move with the mindset that THIS IS GOOD FOR ME, and you are exercising. Walking the dog, playing catch, exploring the woods…it’s all exercise because it’s all MOVEMENT.
RE-RESOLVE TO: Start ‘moving’ 20 minutes a day!
2. Eating Healthier – Everyone knows they need to eat healthier, this is no new discovery. The real problem is that most people are not sure where to start or what is truly a healthier option. We are being lead to believe that certain junk food is healthy by the use of fancy buzz words, green packages and bogus claims. So, this year it’s important that you look ‘beyond the bag’, start reading ingredients and getting a better understanding of what truly is benefiting your families bodies. Like exercise, we can look at nutrition in terms of “eating with intention”. The intention in this case is to benefit the health of your body. Choosing foods not solely based on the 25 seconds of mouth pleasure they will provide, but rather on the content of those foods, how that food will provide your body energy and heal you! A single bad meal does not make you unhealthy, just as a single good one does not make you healthy. Start putting more tallies in the healthy column this year!
RE-RESOLVE TO: Read nutritional labels and ingredients everyday
3. Stressing Less – Mom and dad are stressed, kids are stressed, your dogs are stressed. There is so much “noise” in our modern lives that it’s impossible not to feel that pressure of stress from time to time, or every day. This year, focus on family mental health, make it a priority and start doing something about stress. Let’s look at a day as a block of 24 hours, during that time we get blasted with “noise” in the form of; deadlines, schoolwork, sports, tv, video games, advertising, social media…you get the point, it’s constant and relentless. In the coming year I want you to take 5 minutes of that 24 hours with your family and do NOTHING. It can be right before bed, it can be before meals or it can be in the car. Heck, it can even be broken into five 1 minute sections! Here is how you get your family on board with this:
Explain the intention of the practice. Increase happiness, decrease stress, relax, grow your brain power. All of those are accurate, so pick the one that your family will relate to the most.
Explain how to do it. I like to have kids focus on a sense other than sight, hearing and smell work best. So, tell them to close their eyes and focus 100% of their energy into hearing or smelling a certain thing close by. Exploring that smell or sound fully, don’t judge it or over think it, just examine it like a scientist in a lab. This is a cool “challenge” that helps kids get into a mindfulness practice. Once they are comfortable with this type of practice, you can move into a more structured one.
Be calm. Project into your family what you wish to receive. The idea of this practice is simply to get the mind fixated on a single thing, allowing the “noise” of the day to drift away, even for a few moments. Over time, this allows kids and adults to become less reactive towards that noise.
RE-RESOLVE TO: Practice silence once a day
Stop focusing on YOU and start focusing on your immediate environment, your family. Bring everyone on board by making small changes that impact the big picture. The topics I laid out above are broad on purpose, it’s because getting to specific can lead to frustration and resentment towards the things you “MUST” or “CAN’T” do.
Good luck telling your kids “No more added sugar this year”. That will likely end up creating stress for everyone and result in an early March roller coaster drop of failure. Instead, educate your kids on why sugar is not benefiting them, relate it to their passions, it could be sports performance, good grades or even just “feeling better”.
These topics and the easily implementable tips and tricks to accomplish them with your family are taught in my BOOST BASICS course. 5 minutes a day can shift the way your family thinks about movement, food and stress and can help your kids develop habits that set them up for a happier and healthier LONG TERM life.