It's time for New Year's resolutions, and we know many of you are planning on cutting back on the unhealthy things in your life. But that doesn't always mean junk food or sweets — we've got some habits that might be holding you back from your healthy goals that you should definitely consider eliminating this year.
Here's what we're cutting out in 2017 to have our healthiest year yet.
- Negative self-talk: Stop being mean to yourself. Just stop. You are enough! You ARE strong! You're capable. Start giving yourself more compliments, and make this year about no negative self-talk — ever. The more you berate and degrade yourself, the harder your year will be; you'll also have a much harder time reaching your healthy goals.
- Your scales: Look, quantifiable goals are great, but the scales can be an evil enemy, and doctors agree! If you've been obsessed with the scales and every decimal point on your weight, it's time for that thing to go. In the bin. Forever. Remember that a number on the scales doesn't reflect the hard work you're putting in, and the numbers absolutely do not define you.
- Workouts you hate: Not everyone likes running, and that's OK. Forcing yourself into a workout that you hate definitely won't encourage you to keep working out. There are alternatives to running — and so many other kinds of cardio exercises. If you hate bootcamp classes, try barre. Hate barre? Stop doing it! Try yoga. If something's not working, try a new studio or new instructor. Keep going until you find something that clicks, but absolutely do not keep going to a class or attempting a workout you don't like.
- Exercising to "fix" or change a part of your body: Working out because you "hate" your body is the worst thing you can do. Exercise makes you feel good — it celebrates your body, makes you feel empowered, and sends a rush of feel-good endorphins through your body. Working out will boost your energy, improve your health, and can change your mood for the better, alongside so many other benefits. Celebrate your body, don't try to "fix" it.
- Kale (or that one food you just can't stand): A lot of you hate kale. So stop forcing it! You don't need kale to be healthy! Maybe it's not kale, but it's another healthy food you've been forcing yourself to eat under the pretence that it's healthy and you "need it" to be healthy yourself. This just isn't true, and if your diet consists of things you don't love, you're not going to stay on that diet for very long. For a more sustainable diet, experiment more with other healthy foods to find out what you do love. You'll be eating healthier all the time!
- Perfectionism: Striving for a goal is great; striving for perfection is unhealthy. Giving yourself unrealistic or unattainable goals is detrimental to your mental and your physical health. That desire for perfectionism can often be a defence mechanism, when you're either consciously or subconsciously protecting yourself from the judgement of others. Focus that energy on progress, not perfection, and you'll have a much better year.
- Calorie counting: This year, stop obsessing over calories — especially if it has created a negative relationship with food. Food is fuel, and we need calories to have strong muscles, bones, and a functioning body! There are so many ways to track your food and eat healthy without calorie counting. If you need the data and numbers to stay in control of your healthy eating, try looking into counting macros — you'll have a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates each day.
- Stress: Whether you have clinical anxiety or you've been stressing way too much in 2016, your compromised mental health can have a seriously negative impact on your health. Stress can cause weight gain, bloating, physical pain, skin problems, and more. Quite a setback for your healthiest year yet, right? To relax and cut out stress in 2017, get yourself a great therapist, or try a self-care practice like diffusing essential oils.
- Everything that is holding you back: What is keeping you from being your best self and living your best life? Is it an unhealthy relationship, a terrible job that drains you of your energy, or a deep-seated fear? Let. It. Go. Cut the people out who don't support you. Say goodbye to work that doesn't make you feel good — or worse, makes you feel bad. Remove unnecessary obligations that keep you from reaching your physical, mental, and personal goals. This is YOUR time! Replace these things with activities that help you reach your goals, a job that fosters your creativity and empowers you, and relationships with people who build you up.