Small Changes to Make in 2017 That Can Impact Your Health For A Lifetime

The New Year always brings forth second chances and new goals to reach in order to better our lives. I’m a goal oriented person and I hate to admit this but a little Type A when it comes to lists, organizing my planner, and notebooks to set me up for success. However, I wasn’t always this way. When I started my career as a people manager at VSCO, I knew that the best way to juggle and manage all my quarterly and yearly goals was to break down the list into small digestible victories that would lead me to accomplishing my bigger goal. This was really helpful in making it not feel as daunting and I did the same when it came to my fitness. 

When I started my fitness journey I said to myself I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself in my 30s. As ambiguous as this goal was, the challenge was that this particular goal had no form of measurement. In some ways not having a way to measure this was the most motivating aspect of the process. Each small win felt like a huge victory. As my 12 week program turned into 3 years of a consistent lifestyle I realized that it wasn’t about making big changes, but making small shifts that helped form new habits. 

Here’s 10 Small Changes that you can make to impact your health in a large way:

  1. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. When you sleep your body is in a resting state and a little inflamed due to lack of movement while getting a good night’s rest. Drinking water first thing in the morning will help lubricate your lymphatic system which will kick start your body’s ability to drain the toxins from your body. I like to keep a S’well Bottle on a bedside table so that first thing in the morning I can have a nice swig of cold water to hydrate the body.
  2. Add protein into your breakfast. Protein is a great macronutrients to help support weight loss and maintenance. Adding egg whites or whole eggs to your breakfast in the morning can help keep the body satiated throughout the day. You can also get a healthy source of protein from Greek Yogurt. For those who are vegan, try a tofu scramble like this simple one from Minimalist Baker.
  3. Cook smarter, not harder.  Once you get into the groove of cooking healthier, get creative. I like to cook once and eat twice. For example I prepare a large batch of brown rice or quinoa and use it for some of my lunches for the week, dinners for the family, or even a savory breakfast bowl. I often do the same with my proteins and prep a batch that I can use both in my prepped meals and dinners for the family. 
  4. Sleep in your workout clothes, clean ones of course. This sounds silly, but sleeping in my set of workout clothes gets me prepared for that early morning workout. There’s no excuse for me to have to change out of pajamas while its cold and dark. I just grab my jacket, put on my shoes, and go!
  5. Start your day with your hype jams. I have a “Get Lifted” playlist that I use to get me in the mood for my day especially when I wake up in a funky mood. Some of the songs on my playlist include “Love on Top” by Beyonce. 
  6. Start a morning ritual like making coffee or fresh juice at home instead of running to your local coffee shop. I started to make our coffee again at home and there’s something about slowing down the morning with a nice ritual that helps calms the nerves and center your energy. 
  7. Use at least one weekend day a month to go on an outdoor adventure. Your biggest source of energy can be found from the elements such as sun and fresh air. Getting outdoors is not only good for the soul, but you get your intake of Vitamin D and fresh oxygen for the lungs. 
  8. Detox the pantry. When I first started my fitness journey, I got rid of all the unhealthy kids and adult snacks in the pantry and replaced items with granola, whole wheat crackers, and nuts. Sometimes as a parent you find yourself mindlessly snacking on kids snacks, so it was important for me to detox the house from those items. This helped to break the habit of mindless snacking.
  9. Pack healthy snacks like raw almonds, granola, or seasonal fruit with you to work or while running errands. Bringing healthy and wholesome nutrition helps to keep you away from convenience foods like candy bars and chips which are packed with refined sugars, high sodium content, and empty calories. You’ll start to notice how much more energy you have throughout the day when you’ve made small changes like this to your snacks.
  10. Switch up your workout routine or even your gym. Our bodies are incredible machines. It can regulate body temperature to stay at a steady 98.6 and can even heal itself when its sick. Since our bodies are so adaptable sometimes we plateau with our fitness progress. Switching up your routine after 12 weeks can help break this plateau and changing your gym environment can help stimulate dwindling motivation.
Muse Exhale Bra by Albion Fit Muse Leggings by Albion Fit

Muse Exhale Bra by Albion Fit

Muse Leggings by Albion Fit

Most people who run into me, lovingly tease me for always checking into a new gym or trying a new workout class. To some it looks like commitment issues, for me I like keeping my surroundings fresh. Most fitness studios will offer you a free first class or have really great rates for new sign ups.  For one week, January 2-6th, you can join Anytime Fitness for a $1 and a get free consultation to help you jump start your fitness goals. Find the location nearest you here.

Thank you Albion FIt for sending for the new activewear.

Jacket: Black Bomber Jacket // other option

Leggings: Muse Leggings by Albion Fit // other option

Sports bra: Muse Exhale Bra by Albion Fit// other option

Shoes: adidas Women's Ultra Boost Uncaged Running Shoes  // other option

Anytime Fitness provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.