The holiday season is rolling in fast, and we all know what that means – lots of good food, great company, and maybe a bit too many of those delicious treats. It’s a season of celebration and joy, but it’s also a time when our health routines tend to go out the window. So, why wait until January to make those resolutions when you can kickstart your journey to a healthier you right now?
Here’s how you can start building healthy habits so you can strut into 2024 better than ever.
What’s Your Focus?
First, decide what you want to focus on over the next few months. There are many different things that all add up to a healthy lifestyle, pick a few key ones you want to focus on and nail those down first.
Exercise and Physical Activity
It could be hitting the gym more, picking up a new sport, or simply vowing to move more every day. Whatever you want to focus on, it’s all about getting active and feeling good. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your workout routines check out some of the great ideas on Unleashing Your Core Superpowers or Upper Body Workouts.
Nutrition and Dietary Choices
Next up, your diet. What are your dietary goals? Maybe you want to cut back on junk food, pile on the veggies, or focus on eating specific macros. It’s all about feeding your body the good stuff. Maybe even try out some new recipes, like some delicious juices.
You probably already know this, but a cornerstone of nutrition is actually hydration – most people often overlook this when beginning their fitness journey.
Sleep and Recovery
You may be crushing it at the gym already, but without good rest and recovery, it can be hard for your body to give you the gains you’ve worked so hard for.
Prioritize quality sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night, as it’s essential for physical and mental recovery. Sufficient sleep is a cornerstone of building healthy habits because it forms the foundation upon which all other wellness practices rest. Adequate sleep is essential for physical and mental restoration, allowing your body to heal, regenerate, and recharge. Without proper rest, you’re more susceptible to stress, mood swings, poor decision-making, and reduced cognitive function, which can hinder your ability to make sound choices regarding nutrition, exercise, and stress management. Additionally, sleep deprivation disrupts hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, increasing the likelihood of overeating and weight gain. A well-rested body and mind are better equipped to tackle the challenges of establishing and maintaining healthy habits, and enhancing your energy levels, focus, and motivation.
Sleep and rest are important, but it’s not just about catching those Zs; it’s about staying limber and reducing stress. Try adding some active recovery to your routines such as yoga, stretching, foam rolling, or enjoying our sauna after your workouts – and if you want some guidance, check out our Recovery class.
We’ve got more on how you can warm up and recover workouts in our previous blog post.
Incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing exercises, or activities you find relaxing and enjoyable like a Yoga or BodyBalance class. Managing stress is paramount in building healthy habits for 2024 because stress can significantly impact both your physical and mental well-being. High stress levels can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as emotional eating or a sedentary lifestyle, which can derail your efforts to maintain a healthy routine. Chronic stress also triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can promote weight gain and hinder metabolism. Furthermore, excessive stress can disrupt sleep patterns, impair cognitive function, and weaken your immune system, making it harder to stay consistent with healthy habits. By incorporating effective stress management techniques into your daily routine, you’ll not only reduce these negative impacts but also improve your resilience, emotional balance, and ability to stay committed to your wellness goals, ultimately increasing your chances of long-term success in 2024 and beyond.
Consistency is key to habit formation. Create a daily or weekly schedule that incorporates your healthy habits, and stick to it as closely as possible. Consistency is the linchpin in building healthy habits. It provides the steady momentum needed to make lasting changes in your lifestyle. By repeatedly practicing healthy habits, you reinforce their integration into your daily routine, making them second nature. This reliability not only enhances the effectiveness of your efforts but also cultivates discipline and commitment, ensuring that you stay on track even when faced with obstacles or setbacks. Consistency helps build a sense of accomplishment and reinforces positive reinforcement, which is crucial in maintaining motivation for long-term wellness goals. It’s the cumulative effect of consistently making healthier choices that ultimately leads to meaningful and sustainable improvements in your overall health and well-being throughout the year and beyond.
Set Your Goals
So you’ve decided what you want to focus on, now it’s time to get those goals in check. Setting clear and concise goals will give you something to strive towards, and something to celebrate once you crush it.
Make sure your goals are formatted with the SMART framework:
- Specific: What exactly do you want to do?
- Measurable: How will you know you’re making progress?
- Achievable: Make sure it’s doable.
- Relevant: Connect your goals to your overall health.
- Time-bound: Set a deadline.
For instance, a SMART goal example could be: “I’m going to walk for 30 minutes daily for three months to boost my cardio game.”
Track Your Progress
Once you’ve got your eyes on the price, grab a journal or a download tracking app to help record your journey. And hey, we’ve got a Fitness Project app that can help you keep tabs on your workouts, membership, and more!
It’s not just about the big goal at the end, don’t forget to celebrate all the little wins along the way. They’re all building blocks to your end goal.
Staying on track can be hard. Share your goals with a friend or a family member who’s got your back. If you prefer a community vibe, consider joining a group – we’ve got group classes full of people like you.
Need a bit more push? Try out a personal coach. They’re like your fitness GPS, guiding you along the best path for your fitness journey.
Keep It Up!
Once you’ve set your habits in motion, the key is to keep ’em rolling. Remember, it’s about consistency, not perfection. Keep your eyes on the prize and start 2024 stronger and healthier than ever.