That time of the year has come again when you feel the pressure of needing to set yourself with some new goals for the new year to come. However, this year we would like to challenge you to think outside the box a bit. Forget goals like…
- I want to run a marathon.
- I want to train for a 100-mile hike
- I want to compete in an Ironman
- I want to enter an Olympic lifting competition
These goals are all great, but this isn’t exactly the type of goals we have in mind. The idea behind this challenge is to give your overall health and lifestyle a revamp. Now, doing so could certainly help the type of goals listed above, if that is still something you want to do, but that is not the intent of this type of challenge. See, when you do ‘small’ things every day that better your life, it is like a domino effect. These small changes could lead to bigger goals and challenges without you even realizing it. So… are you ready to take on the New Year, Better You – Lifestyle Challenge?
This challenge focuses on each of the five general quality of life markers: EAT, SLEEP, TRAIN, THINK and CONNECT
What do these 5 categories mean, you might be asking?
EAT: eat real food
SLEEP: 7+ hours a night (yes, sleep in important)
TRAIN: functional movements at a range of intensities
THINK: the power of positive thought is real
CONNECT: connect with others by building, sustain and grow deep relationships
These are the categories this challenge is based on. We are going to lay some very specific, yet doable guidelines to achieve, but if you feel you would like to set a daily goal that is different than ours but still fits within the given general qualities of life markers, then go for it.
Seven Daily Goals for a Better You:
1. Eat One Ingredient Foods: The idea here is to not eat one ingredient foods by themselves because plain broccoli can get super boring, super fast. The idea is to stay away from boxed foods, processed foods, foods with a label, etc. You can use as many of these one ingredient foods as you want to prepare and cook delicious flavorful food at home.
2. Sleep 7+ Hours: This can’t be drilled into our brains enough. Sleep is important. Period. Even if you are someone that thinks you only need about 5 hours of sleep a night, well that might be working for you now but in the long run it could certainly lead itself to disease. A lot of people only get a few hours of sleep because they don’t think they have time to sleep more. For these types of people this is where this component of this challenge really comes into play in its importance to be this the number one goal each day. Sure, we can’t create more hours in the day, but you can find time for what’s truly important. Make sleep important. It will make you a better you for everything else you value in this life.
3. No Added Sugar: Fruit is A-OKAY. If nature naturally sweetened it, then it is all good. However, you cannot just eat cane sugar and call it a one ingredient food idem.
4. No Alcohol: If you have been around here a while, you already know that we aren’t against alcohol. We are for making conscious decisions around alcohol. If this means you want to have a drink or a glass of wine on a Friday night, then that is totally acceptable. We are just looking for this to be something that does not happen every day and certainly not where you are belly up at the bar pounding shots, beers, etc.
5. Drink Half Your Bodyweight in Ounces of Water: The body is comprised mostly of water, and every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to function optimally. Crazy to think, but being well hydrated also improves your quality of sleep amongst other things. So while you are really working on getting more sleep, drinking more water will also help improve that sleep too. That being said, you don’t need to go crazy drinking gallons per day. The idea here is not to chug water for it to just go through your system right away. Drink water throughout the whole day so that your body has a chance to absorb and use it properly.
6. Workout (with intention): Working out should be something you enjoy and not something you feel tortured by. Strive to workout (or have a productive recovery day) since we really aren’t implying that you should work out every day. Make your workouts meaningful and not just something you feel like you just need to get done. Trust us, even if you work out less but do it with intention, you are going to get better results and quicker ones, at that.
7. Do Something That Brings You Joy: Find something or someone to connect with that makes you happy. Remind yourself that doing something for yourself every day is not being selfish. Building, sustaining, and growing deep connections with yourself and others are essential to being human. They are an extremely powerful contributor to your overall happiness and feelings of fulfillment.
So at the end of each day, take out the seven-item checklist and see how many you can check off for the day. The idea here is to not be perfect but to better yourself in small ways that add up to the greater whole. If you would like something measurable, try this out for 6-weeks and see how it works out for you. By then, you should be able to see more of the habits formed out of this list and not just feel like you are trying to check the boxes. If you do feel like these goals were a bit challenging, then try out our guide on how to accomplish any goal in three steps.