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6 simple steps to the best you in 2016

WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

Experts say that only 8% of New Year’s resolutions succeed. But despite that, almost half of the population do make a resolution every year.  Actually, having a resolution is good. At least there is an awareness and an interest to change for the better. The biggest hurdle though is putting it to action and seeing it through.

Psychologists say that the popularity of embarking on change in the New Year is because it is a “temporal landmark.” It is a chance for a fresh start, a new leaf, a new chapter. Past failures can be put behind.

Wharton professor Katherine Milkman found through research that most people search for diets not just on New Year but also after the holidays or even just after the weekend. Worldwide, the busiest day for the gym is Monday. Why? Because most cheated, binged or partied during the weekend.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Is it to lose weight or gain muscles? Well, these five tips might just help you get your goal this time around.

1. Set a realistic goal with a deadline. It is not realistic to lose 10 pounds in one month. The faster you lose weight, the faster you gain it back. To lose 10 pounds in three months is more realistic. If you have to lose 40 pounds, it might be better to cut that into smaller goals such as losing four pounds every month for a total of 40 pounds in 10 months.

2. Announce it to the world or your inner circle at least. When you keep it to yourself, it is easy to succumb to excuses and eventually fail. You will just tell yourself, it’s a good thing no one knew about it in the first place. Verbalizing your resolution to your family and friends allows them to help monitor, support, inspire and remind you of what you have to do.

3. It is better to look for someone with a similar goal and do it with them. Research says that giving up cigarettes is 67% likely to happen when done together with a family member, partner or friend. People with gym or workout partners work out more often than those who do it alone.

4. Make it fun and action-oriented.  If losing weight is the goal, then create fun activities that will support that objective. Gather family or friends and kitchen-test lean recipes. Trek mountains on weekends with friends, or ride the bike to the park. Learn a sport.

5. Take stock of your successes and celebrate. While it’s good to have a prize when you reach the goal, it is good to also celebrate the small successes. Just don’t celebrate it with food, but if you do, then make it half a slice and not the whole slice. To celebrate doesn’t mean you have to buy yourself something, it could just be enjoying the realization that you are moving closer to your bigger goal.

My good friend and international fitness educator Jeremy Strom was in the country until Dec. 21. I asked him for simple tips that can help people become healthier versions of themselves in 2016. He gave me five.

1. Sleep. Do your best to get eight hours a night. Sleep is the time when your body recovers so don’t skimp on it.

2. Hydrate. Get at least 72 ounces a day, or 10 glasses.  Hydration increases mental function, improves your workouts, and increases your energy.

3. Nourish your body.  Eat as much raw and fresh as possible. Vegetables, lean protein, nuts, avocados, coconuts will do wonders for your body and just about everything you do.

4. Train. The body was designed to move. Energy creates energy. The more you move, the more energy your body generates. Sitting around for too long creates energy blockages and you don’t want that.

5. Manage stress. Having less stress in your life lessens the likelihood of getting sick or injured. The easiest way to eliminate stress? Train your body every day.

And may I add number six?

6. Be grateful. When you wake up with gratitude in your heart, there is no place for anger or fear. When you are grateful, peace and joy happen.

In one of those New Year messages, someone said, “In good spirit, sickness will cure; in a happy spirit, sickness will cure faster; in high and happy spirits, sickness will never come.”

It might be too simple, yet there is a lot of truth in it. Have a healthier 2016!

* * *

Post me a note at mylene@goldsgym.com.ph or mylenedayrit@gmail.com.

ACIRC ALIGN BODY JEREMY STROM KATHERINE MILKMAN LEFT NBSP NEW NEW YEAR QUOT STRONG
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