Anyone can set new health goals for the new year, but making it happen starts with the intent. Get clear on what you want, and how to get there.
BY: KALEIGH MCMORDIE, MCN, RDN
After the bubbly has been popped, it’s time to get started on those resolutions that you’re setting out to accomplish.
But in order to make your life look the way you want, you need to remember one thing: it must be lived with intention. Whether your goals are health, financial, happiness, or business-related, you’ll get there much faster if you live intentionally.
This is exactly why most health resolutions fail.
We essentially make a broad blanket statement such as ‘lose weight’ or ‘get healthy,’ and make no plans for how to get there. There is also the main question that begs to be answered: what does healthy even mean for you?
You must start there before you can live intentionally.
Intentions work with goals, and require planning ahead and staying mindful of whether you’re taking action on what you set out to do. For example, if you have a goal buying a house, you need to budget and live your daily lives with that end goal in mind.
It may mean you need to carefully budget each month, and not simply buy things on a whim. But you know what? You are moving towards your goal. It’s all about being intentional with your actions, and not doing things compulsively.
Here are a few ways to set your goals with intention depending on what healthy means for you.
1. I want to feel more energized to get through the week while still enjoying life.
Strive to balance your meals with all food groups. Resolve to add a variety of veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats throughout the week, because you recognize a balanced diet is the way to keep your body healthfully nourished, and your mind sane.
2. I want to make a conscious effort to keep my own body and planet healthier.
Focus on creating less food waste by eating all of the edible components of a food. Kale stems, broccoli stems, carrot peels, potato skins…all of them are edible. Save the ends of your chopped veggies and chicken carcasses to make your own chicken stock. Be mindful of how much you eat, and buy only the amount of food you will eat. And if you know you won’t eat something before it goes bad, put it in the freezer.
3. I want to regain a better understanding of how much I really need to eat.
Rather than following another restrictive diet plan that forces your body away from its ability to function normally, practice ways to eat more intuitively and mindfully. While this concept is difficult for many, it’s also important in order to get the most out of your mealtime experiences. Eating less comes more naturally when you listen to your body’s cues.
Are you actually hungry? Or maybe you are dehydrated and need water? Or possibly it’s not food you are craving at all but a friend or a hug. Listening to your body and really savoring your food is a great way to feel more satisfied with less food.
4. I want to love my body.
For many, the first thought on taking action around this health goal is to drop weight and fit into some standardized norm of beauty. In reality, the answer is actually quite simple: be kind to yourself.
Appreciate all that your body does for you, and how hard it works every day to keep you alive and well. So what if you ate a piece of birthday cake two days in a row, or ordered the fries instead of a salad? You are human, and enjoying food for pleasure and the experience is part of life. Instead of beating yourself up for a missed workout, be gentle with yourself and recognize a few extra rest days will help you stay on a healthier path. If you can forgive yourself and keep a positive mindset, you are much more likely to stick to your health goals.
Remember to always start with what you are setting out to do, then asking yourself which actions will bring you closer to that goal and which are moving you farther away.
From there, you will find yourself enjoying everything – food, relationships, life – even more.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: ANNIE SPRATT
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN is a Texas-based Registered Dietitian and food enthusiast who shares delicious recipes for those who seek a healthy, vibrant life. By focusing on nourishment without giving up the joy of good food, Kaleigh helps others attain a balanced, wholesome approach to life that brings people together. Learn more about Kaleigh and visit her at Lively Table.