You’ve been meaning to get in shape, to take better care of yourself, and to prioritize your health. But day after day goes by, and something else always seems more important. Now, as another year ends and a new one begins, it’s a great time to make the changes you’ve been dreaming about, and turn your goals into accomplishments.
Join a gym
You drive right by the gym on the way home from work. Or maybe your BFF keeps inviting you to join her CrossFit box. If you’ve considered joining a health facility but haven’t committed to membership yet, the new year is the perfect time to take the leap. Most clubs run new year’s promotions, including $0 down payment plans, discounted monthly rates, or a free month with paid membership. Take advantage of one of these specials, and plan to make that your regular workout place for the year. After all, you have to know where you’re going before you can get there.
Plan your meals
If you are what you eat, this year you’re going to be delicious and nutritious, thanks to a little preparation.
To rock your meal plan, gather recipes for your favorite nutritious meals, then make a schedule (Taco Tuesday, anyone?) and a shopping list. As you stroll through the supermarket aisles, stick to buying what’s on your list—both your wallet and your waistline will thank you. If you aren’t that organized, a meal planning app can do the hard work for you. Or if you want to keep it basic, just focus on eating real foods—fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, whole grains, and dairy with minimal processing will keep you fueled and fit.
Get geared up
Your new year deserves a new wardrobe—or at least a boost. Retire your five-year-old sneakers and invest in some new running shoes. Shop for workout clothes that flatter your body and keep you comfortable while you’re exercising. Moisture-wicking fabrics and other high-tech threads can be just that bit of extra motivation you need to get your sweat on—and look great doing so.
Take your vitamins
Nutritious food should be your main source of fuel, but to fill in the nutritional gaps, you might consider taking various vitamins or supplements. If you’re lifting heavy weights, you may want to refuel with a whey protein powder. If you have issues with joint health or headaches, your doctor may recommend a particular vitamin to help.
Instead of skipping out on supplements because of the daunting price tag, budget for the ones you use regularly. And don’t forget that staying healthy saves you money in doctor bills and missed work time, so it’s worth investing a little in the supplements that work for you.
Now you’re ready to hit the ground running, but how do you stay motivated throughout the year? Find an incentive that resonates with you, and then set a budget to reward yourself for a job well done.
This isn’t about indulging in a cupcake because you had a salad for lunch. Think beyond food rewards to something that won’t undo your hard work but will inspire you to keep going. For example, you could reward yourself for each month of regular gym attendance with concert or sporting event tickets. Maybe you’ll be motivated to train harder if you register for a 10k in a destination location. Or you could hold off on upgrading your phone until you’ve met your weight loss goal and can snap a selfie you’re proud of with your new camera.
Consistency pays off in both fitness and finances, and setting these goals is an easy tool to get you started on the right track. And when you budget for a healthy year, you’ll be well on your way to making 2017 your year!
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