It’s a New Year and that means it’s the perfect benchmark for trying new things, setting goals, and making resolutions. Many people are interested in improving their health both physically and fiscally, so here are a couple of easy ideas for 2016:
#1: Move More. Everyone hears about how we need to stay active and move more. Experts are even starting to claim, “sitting is the new smoking.” Obviously, we are living at a time when it’s really easy to be sedentary, and unlike our ancestors, moving and being physically active takes a bit of conscious effort. So, why not just set an easy 30-minute goal for yourself this year? Thirty minutes of activity a day could be a walk, a run, dancing with your kids, doing a YouTube video class, or a trip to the gym. Find a way to break a sweat for 30 minutes a day and it could be transformational.*
#2: Save More. This is easier than it sounds, especially if you can do it in a way that is painless. Take 5% of your paycheck and set it in an untouchable account. Make a game of saving money with the whole family. Set a budget and try to pay in cash, take the money you save and put it aside. You just might surprise yourself at how much extra you can squirrel away when you put your mind to it.
#3: Eat Less. Okay, losing weight isn’t rocket science; it’s just science. Experts say if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. So why is it so darn hard? Sometimes the biggest battle is just between our ears. If you really decide to just commit and then cut down on your portion sizes, you might be pleasantly surprised by your results. Weight loss doesn’t have to be all or nothing; it’s a journey, not an event. Find ways to make the food you love more diet friendly, or try to fall in love with simple foods that are naturally slimming. Savor your meals, eat smaller portions, and you might just find that you’re losing weight without having to try so hard.*
#4: Spend less. You don’t have to give up your daily trip to your favorite coffee shop, but what if you just cut back a little on the expensive coffees? Or, maybe it would make sense to invest in a cappuccino machine and see if it can pay for itself with homemade gourmet coffee. Make a deal with yourself to only shop the sale racks at your favorite stores, and look for social media coupons and local discounts to fund your recreation. Again, it doesn’t have to be “painful,” because it’s these little changes that can have big effects.
*These are just suggestions, please check with your doctor before embarking on any exercise or weight loss plans.