Kellie Blake RDN,LD,IFNCP
Creating Healthy Goals for 2020
This is the time of year when you may be worrying about all the things you didn't accomplish in 2019 and/or pondering your goals for 2020. If you set some goals in 2019 that you weren't able to accomplish, what do you think you could have done differently to be more successful? And, if you met your goals, what worked well for you?
Often times, we create health-related goals for ourselves that aren't achievable. On the off chance that we do actually reach a goal, then we don't carry through long-term. I am guilty of this in so many ways. I have unattainable ideas and then get frustrated and quit when I don't succeed. I have to constantly remind myself that when it comes to health and wellness, there is no an end point. Living a life free from disease (and the life you desire) requires a consistent time investment and you must also continually challenge yourself with new goals.
As we move forward in 2020, let’s shift the thinking from broad, possibly unattainable goals to ones that are realistic and fit into our personal lifestyle. Let’s avoid going on a certain “diet” and focus instead on creating a personalized healthy lifestyle plan that takes YOU into account. The truth is, there is no one right diet for every person: we are all unique and have different genetics. What works for one, won't necessarily work for another. And, we wellness isn’t just about food anyway.
Let's consider these important points about why creating a healthy lifestyle is so important:
· Most of the chronic diseases we face today are diseases of lifestyle. That means, they are pretty much preventable! This is good and bad news. We have control over so much, but we also must control how we live our lives if we want to avoid these diseases. (type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, dementia, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – to name a few)
· Mental health issues are rampant. One in five Americans experience depression at some point in their lifetime! Many mental health symptoms can be alleviated with lifestyle modification.
· Personal relationships suffer– if you feel bad more often than not, your relationships suffer and you miss out on things you love to do.
· Livelihood – if you’re not healthy, you may eventually find it difficult to work to support yourself
· Money – being ill costs more than just your quality of life, it can wreak havoc on your bank account too.
For these reasons, and so many more, you owe it to yourself and those around you to make some health-related changes that will help you feel great every day.
But, how do you even begin to live a healthy lifestyle? Especially in the world we live in today? Inflammatory foods are EVERYWHERE, our jobs and lives are stressful, we don’t get enough sleep, we have a mostly sedentary existence, and we seemingly don’t have time to create and maintain relationships.
It can be a challenge, but creating a life that promotes health and wellness doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
· Eat real food – fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs
· Have a green smoothie every day for breakfast - check out my blog post here all about creating awesome green smoothies.
· Avoid junk most of the time, this includes regular and diet soda and food-like substances.
· Learn how to prepare simple, healthy meals for yourself and avoid eating out or ordering in.
· Prioritize water consumption.
· Spend time with people that make you feel good and limit time with people who are bad for your mental health.
· Pick up a hobby that relaxes you.
· Go to bed at a decent time and make sleep a priority.
· Take a walk in nature a few times a week.
· Sit with the sun on your face.
· Respect those around you and let go of negative feelings.
· Stop looking at screens within an hour of bedtime.
· Learn how to meditate and do it daily.
· Prioritize your personal relationships.
· Read reputable health and wellness books.
· Stop smoking and avoid using alcohol as coping tool.
There are some people who can make drastic lifestyle changes right from the start, but for the majority of us (myself included), we must work to filter in small changes over time that will lead to the desired result. So, think about some of the tips above and pick what you can do today to start to change your own life. You can really accomplish so much when you create a plan and move forward inch by inch!
I help people, especially those working in the healthcare setting, to create actionable, personalized plans to help improve quality of life. It doesn't have to be scary or horrible, you just have to find what works for you! Contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation to learn more about what a functional nutrition approach can do for you!