I’ve often thought that if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, 80% of that paving is done in January. The New Year brings out the resolution-maker in all of us, and millions make the vague resolution to “be healthier” or “lose weight.” However, how many of us actually keep our good intentions going into February?
In the past I have made countless fitness resolutions that were abandoned mid-January. “I will lose 20 pounds.” “I will eat less sugar.” “I will exercise more.” Now, these are all good things. I want to be healthy and fit, to take care of my body, and to feel energetic. But I seriously lacked follow-through. That is, until I set a very specific, measurable goal last year.
In 2015 one of my goals for the year was to run a 5K. And I actually did it! Having a very specific goal to focus on helped me follow through on my good intentions. I even enjoyed it so much that I included a running goal in my 2016 goals.
This year I want to focus on one healthy habit each month. I hope that by focusing intensely on one thing for a month, I will turn it into a habit that sticks with me throughout the year. Here are my:
Healthy Habits for a Healthy Year
January: Drink 8 Glasses of Water Each Day
February: Eliminate Snacking
March: Exercise 4 Days a Week
April: Eat a Big Salad for Lunch Each Day
May: Only Two Desserts a Week
June: Stretch Each Day
July: Walk 10,000 Steps per Day
August: Eat Fruits and Vegetables at Every Meal
September: Sleep at Least 8 Hours a Night
October: Observe One Sabbath a Week
November: Write in a Gratitude Journal Each Day
December: Spend 10 Minutes Outside Every Day
Drinking 8 Glasses of Water a Day
I decided to focus on drinking enough water each day first because I am really terrible at it! Both my parents and my husband agree that I am nearly always bordering on dehydration. Because of some issues with my thyroid and hormones, I simply don’t get thirsty very often.
However, I know that drinking water is important for my health. I recently read an article from Suburban Simplicity about 10 Reasons to Drink More Water and was convinced to make a major change in my habits.
First, I researched to find out how much water I actually needed per day. (Can you tell I am nerd of an English teacher who loves to research!) For my size, weight, and activity level, I should drink around 64 ounces of water a day–more when I run, especially in the heat.
Next, I measured to find out how many ounces my favorite glass held. I was surprised (and a bit relieved) to find out that it holds 12 ounces. So, I need to drink 5 1/2 glass of water each day. That seemed a whole lot more doable than 8 for me!
Finally, I made a plan. I decided that I would drink one glass when I first get up each morning. I need to take my thyroid medicine at this time anyway, so it was a natural fit. Then, I would drink another glass in the morning, another at lunch, another in the afternoon, and another at supper. And, to finish it all off, I would have a half glass of water before bedtime.
It may seem ridiculous to many of you that I have to create such a detailed plan to do something as simple as drinking water. And, you’re probably right! However, life happens. I often get busy at home or at school and find that it is 3:00 in the afternoon and I haven’t had anything to drink all day. My plan reminds me to stop at various points throughout the day to make time for something that is important to my health.
I want to encourage you to think about your health and fitness goals for 2016. What will you do to take care of the body God gave you? How will you focus on your health so that you can love and serve others? I challenge you today to take the time to create a few goals for yourself. You are welcome to join me and focus on one habit a month. Drinking enough water is a simple way to start! Or, you can create your own plan that will work for you.
Here’s to a healthy you in the new year!
What are some of your health and fitness goals? Also, how do you get enough water a day? Seriously. I’m curious. What do you do?