Hey Moms, This Year Plan a Resolution that Works!

The New Year is a time for rebirth, re-energizing, and revisiting old habits. As a mom it has particular significance because it’s a time to re-evaluate our quest for balance; of family, career, social, personal & physical.  Also as mom, usually the first thing to fall off that list is personal & physical.

After spending most of the holidays socializing, and indulging (not exercising) there is no better time for the New Year to appear waving it’s white flag of Salvation.  New Year’s Eve banners might as well read, “Save me from deadly Butter Tarts, Rescue me from the spinach dip, Protect me from visitors bearing Chocolate Turtles.”  It’s no wonder most resolutions have to do with eating habits, exercise and weight loss.

If you are reading this blog, then chances are you’re in need of a resolution tune-up.  You are probably chock-full of brilliant resolution ideas from years past.  Efforts in getting thin, saving money, and giving up your biggest weakness. And chances are, that’s all they were…ideas.  This year try something different, something do-able, that you can stick-to and see success, and come next New Year’s Eve…celebrate with your own personal banner…. “Congratulations! You did it!”

Try this:

Don’t Give-Up…Give-In:

Instead of giving up something, give in to it.  If you usually give up chocolate, or do a diet that doesn’t last past february, try giving in to something better for you.  Allow yourself 2 pieces of pure dark chocolate a day. (which is said to have antioxidants and phytonutrients worth giving in to) or start by adding something to your diet instead of taking away, (even if you know your diet needs an overhaul) like drinking 8 glasses of water a day or having fruit every morning with breakfast.  Chances are you’ll feel full and not binge on unnecessary calories, and you won’t be thirsty for those sugary fruit drinks and pop.

Baby Steps:

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Give yourself time to achieve greatness.  Try making small changes that will have a bigger impact, rather than making a big change that you cannot maintain.  For example, eliminate chips, just chips from your diet (and don’t replace it with another poor choice).  Switch from Pop to Perrier.  Start a realistic fitness training program. If you are a beginner, attempt to WALK the breast cancer 5k in October, and start your training now. If you are an intermediate, try something new to shake up your routine, like Hot Yoga once a month.  Realistic goals will leave you with room to achieve and perhaps surpass them.

Walk Around the Clock:

Walk to the coffee shop, subway stop, newspaper stand, to drop your kids at school, to pick up your dry cleaning, to get a movie from the video store, up the stairs at the mall, to the fruit market, to the bank…you get the idea.  Walking for 10 minutes at a time will increase your energy and produce endorphins that promote healthier habits, and make you crave exercise. (Bundle up and get outside, if you are dressed for it, it will be worth it to get the fresh air, especially through the winter months)

Be selfish:

Think about yourself.  Really think about YOU.  Your body, your mind, your health.  Think about yourself as a vessel through which the rest of your life can be successful.  Think about what you need to function at your top performance level in order for your family to be healthy and happy, for you to have energy for your kids, and career, for you to have the ability to concentrate, and focus on your financial goals, your tasks, and chores, your workouts. Your vessel needs pure, clean fuel, it needs attention and care, it needs time to recharge, it needs extra help from experts and supports, it needs a tune-up once a month.  Putting healthy food into your body, taking time to exercise, do yoga, and recharging will not only make you lose weight, feel stronger, empowered and healthier…You may just be nicer and smarter for it too! Put it in your date book..ME time.

Celebrate Yourself:

We spend so much time focusing on what we didn’t accomplish and feeling guilty about it, we often forget to praise the small things we do!  As women, we can’t afford not to praise ourselves, and celebrate our feats, no matter what size.  Try finding one thing a day that you feel proud of.  From getting out the door on time, getting in that workout, or getting up the nerve to speak your mind.  Journal it, or better yet, pass this exercise on to your kids, and have a discussion at the dinner table.  Each person takes a turn at identifying something they are proud of.  It shows your kids that it’s good to be proud of themselves, and that MOM also deserves kudos for things that may go unnoticed.  We call it, “Proud Moment”.

Educate to Be Great:

The last thing in the world we need as moms is another task.  However, this small task, which you could challenge yourself to doing once a day or once a week…even once a month, will pay itself off the more you do it.  Challenge yourself to read up on one new thing.  It has to be an item that will benefit you in someway and help you grow towards your goal to greatness.  Read about nutrition, fitness, parenting, food labels, super-foods, recipes, meditation, travel etc.  It’s easy enough to tell yourself to eat healthier and exercise more, but if you don’t have the information backing your logic, you will never succeed in making it stick.  The more you know about Quinoa and Omega 3’s, the more likely you will be to incorporate them into your life (and your families).  The more information and insight you have into why and how meditation can help you with sleep, weight loss, and stress relief, the more apt you are to learn proper breathing techniques.  Information is power and power leads to success, not the other way around!

Julie Watson is the owner and founder of AfterGlow Health & Fitness in Toronto’s Hillcrest Village.  She is a certified Personal Trainer, specializing in Pre and Postnatal Fitness. Her 3 small children are the reason Julie strives everyday to stay healthy and strong.  She wants every mom to know that a mother’s positive energy and self-image can improve and change the way our children feel about themselves. You can read more about Julie and AfterGlow by checking out her website at www.afterglowtoronto.com and subscribing to her blog.

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