Can you believe we have reached February already? January was a good month for me. The weather in Southern Oregon has been dry (too dry!) and we have even had a couple of days of sun and temps over 70! Not so great for the lakes or snow levels, but great for my outlook on life!
I created a Healthy Habits initiative for my previous employer, and though they didn’t decide to sign up for the program, I have implemented it myself. I thought I would share it with you all and you can join in if you like!
The 12 Healthy Habits are:
January – Set a SMART Healthy Goal (you still can do this, just make sure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and has a Time deadline).
February – Get Moving! At least 20 minutes of exercise at least 5 days per week. I don’t care how you move it, but get moving!
March – Eat a healthy breakfast every day. Donuts do not count. Try to include veggies and fruits, whole grains, and a healthy protein to keep you full and give you energy. Try to limit sugary breakfasts.
April – Hydrate! Drink those 8 8 ounce glasses of water daily. Also, limit consuming extra calories from soda, juices and alcohol.
May – Goals Revisted. At almost the halfway mark of the year it is time to revisit those January healthy goals and see which you have achieved, which may need revision, and if new ones should be added.
June – Yoga/Stretch. The goal is to get at least 10 minutes of stretching or yoga in daily.
July – Be Portion Aware! July is a good time to remind ourselves what a portion really looks like. Track your food in a food journal (paper or online) including actual portions. If you are overeating try downsizing portions.
August – Cook More. The goal for August is to cook 3 more meals at home per week than you normally would. If you already eat at home regularly try to add more healthy meals to the rotation, or be creative about adding an extra serving or two of fruits and veggies.
September – Keep It Simple. September can be stressful enough, so the goal for September is to keep it simple. Find a way to incorporate stress reduction activities into each day. It could be meditation, yoga, a bath, read a book, sit in the dark and breathe, rock out to great music, dance like a wild person, exercise…whatever works for you!
October – Get Stronger. For October’s challenge the goal is to incorporate strength building activities into your life at least 3 times per week. Again, do some power yoga, planks, lift weights, anything to work on building a little muscle.
November – Superfoods Challenge! Superfoods are foods that have a high nutrition density. In November, the goal is to focus on trying to consume at least 5 servings of superfoods each day.
December – Eat yer veggies! We all know that November and December are food filled holiday months. I’m not one to say you should skip all the once a year treats. What I do think we all can do is try to balance that out by ensuring we get our 5-9 fruit and veggie servings each day.
So those are my 12 Healthy Habits for the year. To recap a little for January, in case you want to set a SMART goal, too: You must get really specific. If you want to lose weight you need to say something like “I am going to lose 5 pounds by March 1st.” It is less effective to say “I am going to lose weight.” You also need to be sure the goal is measurable (5 lbs), attainable (is it physically possible to lose 5 lbs in a month? Yes, but it isn’t attainable to lose 50). Realistic is similar, but is about stretching yourself. If you know you can easily lose 2 lbs in February but 5 is a stretch that will require more focus, then it is both attainable and realistic. But losing 2 pounds, while attainable, isn’t much of a stretch maybe. The final key to SMART goals is TIME. You must have a deadline. In this example, March 1st. Personally, weight loss goals are not my favorite, I’d rather you focus on something health related rather than weight related, since weight isn’t necessarily the best indicator of health.
My January SMART goal is to eat vegetarian for the month of February. It is specific (vegetarian), attainable (reasonable to do), realistic (totally possible, but outside of my norm and requires a bit of dedication) and timely (I have the entire month of February). I actually started doing this in mid-January, so am on week three of a plant-based diet (with the exception of Super Bowl! Come on Kids…it was the Super Bowl!)
So the goal I set in January was for February (plant-based eating) but the February challenge is to get moving!
I will be keeping track of my exercise on mapmyrun and you can find me there if you are interested in following along. I went for a nearly 3 mile walk on Sunday, and a 2 mile walk on Monday. Saturday was a travel day and today was a non-moving day, too, so I need to get at least 20 minutes of exercise 3 more days this week to achieve the goal. I could use the accountability, so be sure to check in and see how I’m doing! My mapmyrun workouts get posted to twitter and to my casabeebe facebook page, too, so keep an eye out there.
Want to join in on any of the challenges? Drop me a note. We can keep each other motivated!