All Entries For New Year's resolutions
There's no time like January to start fresh! It may be the dead of winter, but everyone's spirits are up and our willpower is in full force. We are ready and committed to make a change.
As a fitness instructor, I love this time of year. The energy in the gym is contagious and the classes are packed! And as a SparkPeople employee, it's a great time, too. So many new people find us and join our site to reach their goals!
But as you probably know, this New Year motivation fades quickly. It's easy to give up on your goals when you don't have a plan, don't have support, or don't have a realistic way to keep yourself motivated. Let's vow to make this year different. Let's commit ourselves to just one simple goal to keep our focus. You might not be able to do everything on your giant list of goals, but you can be successful with one or two things when you have a good plan in place.
SparkPeople has a lot of fun, simple and effective challenges that are the perfect way to get started and stay motivated. I would recommend choosing ONE program listed below to focus your efforts, but if you're feeling extra motivated, try a couple! Don't worry: You can join in the fun any time, even if you can't commit to everything you'd like to do at once. These are all great ways to hit the ground running in January! Read More ›
Scale stuck? Shifting the food around in your fridge can actually retrain your brain to lose weight: It may help you crave healthy food, instead of diet-sabotaging fare, explains Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions For Everyday Life. But that's not the only way your refrigerator can keep you slim. Here, fresh solutions to make slimming down almost effortless.
Top Shelf: Store Healthy Drinks Here"You're three times more likely to take the first item you see out of the fridge than you are anything else," explains Dr. Wansink. His suggestion: Stock your top tier with low-cal beverages, like skim milk, fruit and veggie juices (no sugar added) and a water pitcher. You can also stash water bottles here to grab for easy on-the-go hydration. "Staying well-hydrated naturally curbs appetite," explains Susan Albers, PsyD, clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of the book, Eat Q: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence. "Also, opting for low-cal drinks shaves calories from your diet," she adds. Use these slimming sips to cut out just one can of soda (diet included!) a day, and you could speed up your slimdown, say researchers at The University of Texas. Read More ›
If you're resolving to lose weight, get fit or tone up in 2014, then I have some news for you. It's going to take hard work, willpower, dedication, and some sweat (but not necessarily blood or tears). But you can make it easier—even fun—by joining SparkPeople's 4-week January Jumpstart Challenge, which includes an easy-to-follow workout plan, built-in support, and motivational prizes!
I created the January Jumpstart Challenge to motivate and inspire you to get off to a strong start in the new year. This "bootcamp" style plan isn't highly intense, but it does involve a commitment to daily exercise so you can get real results in just four weeks—talk about a great way to start the year! Read More ›
We're (finally!) entering the home stretch of the holidays. If you've been following along with our #SparkTheSeason challenge, we hope you've been creating and sticking with goals to keep you motivated throughout the month of December. But January is coming up fast, and if you're anything like us, you're probably starting to think about your goals for 2014. Whether or not you believe in making New Year's resolutions, you can't deny that January is a prime time to kick your routine up a notch after a few months of heavy eating, drinking and general merry-making. And what with the dreary weather and the warmth of the holidays behind us, a little extra boost of motivation after the first of the year can't hurt! That's why we’re introducing a brand new challenge for January, hot on the heels of our #SparkTheSeason challenge: #RockYourResolution!
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Do These Right Now
Tackle these to-do items just once in 2013 to boost your wellness.
1. Clock Your Sunblock
It's good for up to three years, but look at expiration dates and restock if necessary, says dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, M.D., a clinical instructor at the University of California, San Francisco. If you're using sunblock properly, you should need a new bottle every year. Read More ›
It hit the airwaves in December 1975 and became the number 1 song by February 1976. I was a freshman in high school, and although I didn’t have any experience in the "leaving a lover" department, the catchy lyrics of the Paul Simon hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” sure stuck in my head. No disrespect to Mr. Simon, but with the new year quickly approaching, I tweaked a few lines of his hit song to inspire you in coming up with your own “50 Ways to Lose Your Blubber.” Heck, I’ll even help you get started by sharing the first 15.
You make a new plan, Stan
Count calories too, Sue
Cut the sugar and fat, Pat
Weighing portions is key.
Use a smaller plate, Kate
Just mindfully crunch and munch
Watch less T.V., Lee
And set your fat free!
In 2013, I resolve to… Read More ›
Harris Interactive recently conducted a survey on behalf of Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill to gain information about food-related New Year's resolutions. They surveyed U.S. adults at the end of 2011 and found that 83 percent of those interviewed would like to eat better in the New Year but don't want to feel they are sacrificing to do it. Eighty-one percent of respondents also say that lower-calorie meal options when dining away from home would help them keep their food-related resolutions. Since nine in ten Americans that make food-related resolutions end up breaking them, help with finding lower calorie meal options is needed to point people in the right direction when they dine away from home.
Over the years, we have highlighted many healthier options in our Diet Friendly Dining series. Since many of you made food-related New Year's resolutions or goals for this year, here are 10 restaurants with calorie conscience menus to keep in mind when eating away from home.
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When it comes to goal-setting, I’ve been around the block. I’ve been setting all kinds of goals since I was just a kid. But these days, most of my goals are health and fitness related: Run a half marathon (did three last year), score first place in a race (so proud of that one!), cross experiences on my bucket list (like the Krispy Kreme Challenge and hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon), grow more of my own food each year (my garden continues to expand), etc. I also set a lot of career goals, and I’ve had a lot of fun and interesting successes in that area, too (hello self-on-a-shelf in Target stores!). I figure I’m a goal-setting, goal-getting machine. When I set my mind to something, I work hard and I make it happen.
In late December last year, I still hadn’t decided on any new goals for the 2012, so I went to a free goal-setting workshop hosted at my local Lululemon store for some ideas (I know, I know as if I needed more reason to bask in their delicious clothes). I didn’t expect to have any epiphanies during this hour I spent writing down ideas and talking with strangers about my goals. But sometimes, inspiration hits you in the face when you least expect it. Read More ›
It’s that time of year again, the time when people make resolutions, or in my case, goals. I’ve never been known to make resolutions, but I do like to make a list of goals for myself for things that I want to accomplish throughout the year. However, the start of a new year is not the only time I make goals for myself – I actually do this at least a few times a year. When I do make my goal list, I like to look at what I have accomplished so far and see if I need to make any adjustments to my current goals or add new ones. I see this as a list that evolves with me and what I feel is important.
Of course though, my list always includes goals that are health-related. Actually, that is what most of my goals have been in the last few years, but this year I am trying something a little different. While I do have some health goals on my list and will continue to work towards those, this year I want to put a little more focus on some goals that are not health-related.
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There is something about routine--it helps us get through life with all its twist and turns and ups and down. It's what we know. It's comforting. It's what takes the thinking process out of the equation.
But when does a routine become a rut? You know that place where you find yourself stuck in place feeling as though you are just spinning your wheels. Not moving forward, not moving backward.
I recently read an article about change and transformation and the measures to take in order to keep us moving in the direction to complete our metamorphosis. Just like the larva cannot turn into a beautiful butterfly without going through countless changes, same is true for us. We have to keep changing in order to grow-- in order to transform ourselves into the person we are meant to be.
If we elect not to change, over time we may find ourselves stuck in a rut, the place where we lose our passion, enthusiasm and zest for life. When we find the struggle of our situation easier to deal with than trying to make the changes. While changes can lead to anxiety and uncertainty, not taking the leap can keep us stuck. I know the daunting task that it takes to lose a lot of weight, while getting fit and healthy, BUT TRUST ME when I say the rewards for doing so can be so GREAT--we just have to have the courage to get out of our rut and our comfort zone. Read More ›
If you're like most people, you've been reflecting on your life as of late and looking forward, setting new goals and envisioning where you want to be in the future. If you've set some goals for 2012, great! That is the first step to making your dreams become a reality. But you may not be sure just how you're going to take the steps necessary to bring those goals to fruition. That's OK. I've got some help for you.
Behavior experts say that it takes about one month to form a new habit, and many people try to create (or break) habits at the start of each year. With the right attitude and focus, you can stick to your New Year's resolutions and achieve long-term success.
Here are 31 smart goal-setting tips that will help you do exactly that. Read More ›
A new year brings new opportunities to set new goals and try new things. Trying new things brings new opportunities to face difficulty that might cause you to fail. Failing brings new opportunities to decide if you will continue and try again or if you will simply quit.
It seems a little strange talking about yearly goal setting and failing doesn't it? Well, this year I think it may be helpful to start with the end of the year in mind. Ask yourself this question. How do you want to finish this statement this time next year?
"In January I set three goals and throughout the year I ________________________."
- Was committed to them and worked hard to make healthy choices a part of my day-to-day life. Although there were difficulties and times when I did not do as well as I thought I might, I stuck to my commitment toward my goals and I reached them.
- Quit on all of them because when things got tough I gave up and went back to the old habits I started the year with because it was easier than following through on my commitment to myself.
- Found the process to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I was surprised by how tough it was some days to follow through on things but I stuck with it through the difficulties and I am 50 percent closer to my goals than I was a year ago.
Last year I had you rate your commitment to weight loss and to evaluate if it was the right level to reach your goals. As you begin to think about the goals you will set for 2012, start by re-evaluating your level of commitment to yourself and to reaching the goals you will set. Answer this question about why you are even setting goals.
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Five easy steps to perfection. if I could really do that and teach you how to do that, then we would live in a perfect world wouldn’t we? If perfection is rarely if ever attainable, why do we berate ourselves so much when we make a “mistake” in our healthy lifestyle journey?
As we rush toward the end of the year and start thinking about our goals for 2012, I’d like to talk to you about reframing your expectations so that you are liberated to make it the best year ever. Let’s consider some of the world’s top athletes for a moment, and how they think in order to be successful. Read More ›
Since I was a teenager, caffeine and I have had a tumultuous relationship. (I'm not the only one.)
I started taking caffeine pills and drinking coffee (bottled Frappucinos, mostly) at 16. An overachiever, I was suffering from an eating disorder, and the caffeine helped keep me energized when I wasn't eating. I was also mourning the loss of a close friend, who had died in a car accident. The caffeine pills kept me from having to deal with my grief, as I never sat still or had time to think.
Some of my friends knew about my habit, and many of them partook in the pills as well. We didn't think there was anything wrong with them.
It took me over a year to realize the damage I was doing to my body. After I passed out for the second time, I decided to give them up. I collapsed as I walked out of AP English. My heart was beating way too fast, my vision went blurry, and the world faded to black.
My doctor diagnosed me as having anxiety attacks, which was only half the story. I realized I needed to cut back, both on caffeine and in life. I prioritized, quit a couple of activities, and swore off the pills.
In college, I pulled all-nighters fueled by coffee, soda, chocolate-covered espresso beans. You name it, I drank it to stay awake during not only late nights spent studying but also spent laying out and editing the college paper.
Not surprisingly, the anxiety continued.
My first real job was on the news copy desk at a large metro daily. I worked 4 p.m. to midnight five nights a week and sometimes worked 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. I drank diet soda like it was my job, and when I went to the bar after work (the only place to socialize after work when you work second shift), I opted for rum and diet cola, which aggravated my anxiety. The work was mentally challenging, and the tight deadlines made it quite exciting but stressful at times. My panic and anxiety worsened.
Throughout the next few years, I continued to combine anxiety medication and caffeine. I didn't connect the two until just a couple of years ago. I swore off coffee and, coupled with some other major life changes, my anxiety dissipated. Read More ›
So many people start out the New Year full of momentum, ready to change their lives for the better. Maybe you've set a goal to lose weight and get fit. You start the year full of excitement, and even lose a few pounds before the novelty begins to wear off. Sound familiar? If it does, then you're not alone. According to one SparkPeople.com poll, more than 50% of people report losing momentum within the first two weeks of starting a diet, and almost 20% lose willpower within 3 days. If you've made it this far with your goals, congratulations! If not, what can you do right now to get back on track? Read More ›