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Urban Escape
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Lifestyle January 20, 2016

10 Ways to make 2016 your best year yet!

We have officially said “goodbye” to 2015 and “hello” to 2016 (hopefully with a kiss!).  The New Year brings possibilities and our slate is wiped clean and we have the opportunity to start again.  Yet, the “New Year’s Resolution” seems so cliché and futile.  Most people will make a vague goal such as “lose weight” or “eat healthier.” Indeed, this is the best time for gyms; they are packed with people hoping to turn over a new leaf. These gyms will be packed for a month or two, then sadly dwindle off to “normal” numbers halfway through the year.  

Instead of making a vague statement, which may seem easy but is actually multifaceted, try to adopt some new healthy and happy habits into your routine.  Losing weight and eating healthier are beneficial goals, but can be hard to tackle.  Here’s a list of 10 actions to try to make lifelong habits.  Bad habits seem to stick more quickly than the good ones.  Try just one at a time, start slow.

  1.     Stretch first thing in the morning.

squirrel doing yoga this yearNo matter what physical shape you are in, you could use a quick stretch in the am.  Try to get the blood flowing.  Try it just once, it feels good.   It doesn’t need to be a full on sun salutation (taking up yoga however is always recommended).   You’ll love watching your progress, as surely your toes don’t seem so far away. Make yourself flexible this year.

Check out these Apps: “Start Something” for Apple lovers and “Stretching Routines” on Android.

  1.     Try having Meatless Mondays

Give up meat one day a week.  There are plenty of delicious vegetarian recipes, which won’t leave you missing the meat.  Reduction in red meats especially have been connected to health benefits.  Chipotle offers “Sofritas” or the “veggie” option, ask for double beans and double rice (no extra charge) and you’ll be stuffed!  It’s always good to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet.  Be careful not to just eat carbs, pizza is vegetarian but rarely good for you. Reduce your meat intake this year. 

Tip: make your normal spaghetti, when it comes time to add the meat, checkout Beyond Meat for a ground beef substitute (gluten & soy free!) or Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs!  

  1.     Work some cardio into the mix

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio five times a week.   This can seem a little daunting, but start off slow.  Try one day a week adding cardio to the mix.  Get active this year!

Check out our previous article on empowering sports for women to get you started.

4.    Try a new exercise class

Take yourself out of your comfort zone.  Try Zumba or hip-hop; don’t be afraid of looking silly!  You might the hour flies by and you actually had fun while exercising!  Convince a buddy to go with you if you’re hesitant.   How many people do you actually notice at the gym?  You make sneak a peek at a hottie, but do you actually judge anyone?  Have you ever walked pass the exercise room and thought “wow, she’s a joke, why is she even there?”  Check out ClassPass this year to find exercise classes near you!

  1.     Give yourself a compliment (or five) when you look in the mirror every morning

Everyone can use a little more positivity in his or her life.  You might feel ridiculous at first, but it will make you happier.  We are sometimes our own worst enemies. Some days may be harder than others, but find something you like about yourself.  Say it out loud once a day this year.

  1.     Get rid of what you do not need

Clutter and mess increase stress and anxiety.  Here’s a good rule of thumb if you haven’t used in the past three to five years chances are you will not miss it (excluding important documents and important family heirlooms).  Go through your closet; if you haven’t worn the shirt in five years then throw it out.  You may feel “connected” to it and reminisce about old times, but put it in the donate box. Check out our article from last year about cleaning out closets.

  1.     Buy a reusable water bottle (preferable glass) or coffee cup and take it everywhere

Google “plastic water bottle waste or “plastic waste and consumption” in general and prepare to cry.  Save the planet one step at a time by using a reusable water bottle.  Make sure it is BPA and Phalate free to be extra careful.  Starbucks and other coffee places will give you discount if you bring your own mug or traveler.  Companies like Bobble and Brita makes personal bottles with filters so you can use the water fountain and not have to worry.   If the environment isn’t reason enough for this year, you’ll also save money!

  1.     Schedule some “me time”

Even if you’re super busy, take just fifteen minutes out of your week this  to have some time to let yoursUnknownelf relax and clear your mind.  Turn on your favorite tunes, sit somewhere quiet, and let your mind wander.  Maybe open up a word doc and just start typing.  If you’re worried, set a timer.  We all need time to unwind and just be.  If you have to schedule it in your phone, then do it.  It’s important and should be a priority this year.  We’re not machines.

Tip: Check out the Breathe2Relax app (free on Android and Apple).

  1.     Floss.

Start (or continue) to floss.  The goal is every day this year, but do it as much as you can possibly stand and work your way up.  Keep the floss out on the counter and let it eyeball you and silently judge when you try to say, “oh I’ll do it tomorrow, promise.”  It has so many benefits from whiter teeth, fresher breath, to cardiovascular health.  There’s no reason not to floss.

  1. Use Moisturizer and sunscreen.

It’s never too soon to start moisturizing.  Try to find something all natural, gentle, and organic.  Put it on your face, on your hands, on your feet; lather yourself up.   If you’re going outside use sunscreen, it’s a pain but it’s necessary.  You may not care about wrinkles and sunspots now, but skin cancer is scary and real.  Google pictures of people who have had to have cancerous spots removed, it’s terrifying.

Tip: We love Say Yes to Carrots for a good moisturizer (found at target) and Babyganics (found in Walgreens & CVS)

This is a brand new year, for a brand new you.  Try to be the best “you” possible, and make 2016 incredible.