I know that a lot of people frown on New Year’s Resolutions. Any commitment you make to a better version of yourself is an excellent step in the right direction. Typically, when you see a little progress, the fire to keep going is ignited, giving you more drive to accomplish your goals. As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I like to set people up with little changes you can implement to get you big results! So, while I would like to say that I am letting you in on my little secret, this is simply a little list of ten helpful changes that you can make in your daily routines that will help you feel healthier, clear that brain fog, lose some body fat, and if you include the family, build some bonds differently!
Choose your meat more wisely.
Go for the lean meats instead of the cheap meats. They will satiate you better and have less fat to process! Sirloin, chicken breast, fish, and shrimp are excellent choices!
Eat more protein.
Protein assists with fat loss and helps to build and maintain muscle.
Drink more water.
Many people shoot for a gallon daily, but even 64 ounces is a great start! Be more intentional; grab a straw or a chug jug and get your water in!
Eat more fruit and veggies.
When you can choose, go for our colorful friends! Leafy green salads over dressing-filled salads, fruit over ice cream, baked potato or sweet potato over fries.
If you eat bread, go for whole grain options or sourdough. Your body processes these so much better because they are minimally processed. This goes for pasta, too!
Get more sleep.
That is a tough one, I know. But getting more sleep boosts your metabolism and immunity and lowers your risk of serious health complications. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a bedtime.
A simple 30–45-minute walk can help boost your metabolism and keep it burning throughout the day. Not to mention, it’s an excellent opportunity to clear your mind and get some quiet time in.
Cut back on alcohol…yes, I said it.
Depression, anxiety, and irritability mess with your digestion. There are so many side effects of consuming alcohol, such as high blood pressure, astronomical caloric intake, and increased risks of severe health conditions.
Replace it with a natural or low-calorie sweetener. If you have a soda habit, try to reduce the number of sodas you drink or switch to a zero-sugar option. If you must have cream with your coffee, there are so many yummy options that have little to no sugar. It may take a while, but your body will get used to it, and so will your taste buds!
Try a new workout!
Find a simple 20–30-minute workout that looks fun; be optimistic and give it a shot! You will enjoy the endorphin and adrenaline rush that you get! Consider it a challenge and do your best!
Keep things simple. Sometimes, we overthink and overdo, which can lead us to failure or make things too hard to accomplish, so we don’t give it the effort we should. Cruising into the new year, give yourself some grace! If resolutions are your thing, that’s great! Set some short-term and long-term goals that you believe you can stick to! Don’t beat yourself up if you stray one day. Get back on track and try again!
In my business, I focus on total body and mind wellness. After we set goals, I let my clients know how I feel about self-talk. One of the things that I really want people to practice is telling themselves at least one positive thing about themselves each day. Being kind to ourselves should be at the top of our list. With caregiver duties, parental responsibilities, and life in general, giving ourselves that much-deserved compliment and grace is hard. But we deserve it. I practice what I preach, and I am even intentional in writing them down so that on the hard days, I can look back and see my gratitude and appreciation for who I am and how far I have come.
If you are struggling, know that you aren’t alone. I have struggled to feel like I had a purpose for most of my adult life. It wasn’t until I decided that I was going to make small changes that significant changes started happening. There are still days when I struggle, but I have made these practices a habit, and when I fall, I try to get back up and show myself who is boss…me.
Be blessed in this New Year. Know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you matter, and you are worth every small change that leads to the big changes. This life isn’t easy; it surely doesn’t always show us grace, but just like most everything else, it’s up to you to make it happen. So, let’s show up. Deal?
About the Author
Lauren Fagan is a veteran spouse and caregiver. Her husband, Osee, was an active-duty Reconnaissance Marine for 17 years and has multiple combat-related injuries. They have been together for nearly fifteen years and have four amazing children. Lauren is a schoolteacher by trade and loves reading, writing, creating, living the mermaid life, and being anywhere with her family. She is an active member of her church, and you can usually find her working in the Children’s Ministry there.
Lauren has a strong passion for helping veterans and has advocated for her husband and others through the non-profit she and her husband founded in 2017 in NE Florida called “Operation Barnabas, Inc.” The Fagan’s relocated back to North Carolina in 2021 and continue to assist veterans and their families through the “SpearIt Veteran Spearfishing Project.”
Lauren has written several blogs for Hope For The Warriors and hopes that in sharing her experiences as a caregiver and veteran spouse, the positive impact on other caregivers will be helpful and encouraging in some of their most trying times.
Lauren’s outlook has drastically changed with the seasons and transitions in her life. Seeing the beauty in each one has been pivotal in her mental health and the happiness of their family.