More often than not our goals for the new year will include something along the lines of “get healthier” or of course “lose weight”. Whilst I am forever in support of these goals, I believe a lot of us go to hard too quickly and as a result, end up falling off the bandwagon come the end of January or early Feb (hands up if you ever feel like you have bitten off more than you can chew?). For this reason I have compiled a list of 12 healthy habits for the new year, all of which you can tick off one month at time (slow and steady wins the race). This means that by the end of this year, not only will you have achieved your goal of “MAINTAIN a healthier lifestyle”, you will look great, feel amazing whilst all in all, crossing 12 health challenges off your “to-do” list. Here’s what you need to get started on your “Healthy Habits Challenge”…
#1 – DITCH THE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE
For the month of January, I challenge you to invest in a stainless steel or glass water bottle in a bid to avoid the toxic chemicals that leach into our clean drinking water from plastic materials. For more information on BPA you can check out this post: “The Health Risks of BPA”.
Where can you find stainless steel water bottles for the whole family?
Biome sell a great range of stainless steel water bottles within Australia.
#2 – DRINK MORE FILTERED WATER
You knew this was coming didn’t you. With your new stainless steel drink bottle, I challenge you for the month of February to drink (in Litres) 0.033 x your weight in kgs, in clean filtered water per day. Not only will this aid in weight loss, it will also have you looking younger and feeling more energetic. You can read all about this here. I’ve also linked my favourite filters here.
#3 – MOVE IT
For the month of March, I want you to incorporate more movement into everyday. This can be as simple as going for a walk around the block each night (or even on your lunch break at work), or playing with the kids for 20 minutes in the backyard. A 10 minute walk around the block is 0.69% of your day, don’t skip a single one.
If you’re a regular exerciser, I want you to try a new type of physical activity in March. That means something you have never done before. Perhaps a yoga class? An indoor rock climbing session? An hour at an indoor trampoline park? An outdoor hike? One session is all I challenge you to meet. I look forward to hearing your progress!
#4 GLUTEN-FREE APRIL
If you haven’t done this already, you and I both know you have been wanting to give this a try. For the month of April I challenge you to give up gluten for 30 days, that’s it. More information regarding how to do this the right way will be posted on the blog in April.
#5 DITCH THE DAIRY
Again, if you haven’t already done this, you and I both know you have been wanting to give this a whirl. For the month of May I challenge you to give up all forms of dairy. This is a lot easier than it sounds, but it will make the world of difference. Remember, this is just for the 31 days of May. More information about how to quit dairy will be posted in May.
#6 SWITCH OFF ELECTRONICS 1 HOUR BEFORE BED
This is incredibly important to helping regulate our natural sleep and wake cycles. You can read more about this here. An hour before you plan to go to bed, I want you to switch off all your electronic devices (including your phone and TV), an hour before bed. Use the month of June as an opportunity to read that book you have always wanted to do, to write an old fashioned letter or simply just converse with your family or housemates. If you can, I also want you to get in the habit of switching off your wi-fi before bed. You don’t need it on when you’re asleep and it helps maintain the connection. Remember, this is just for the month of June – you can do this.
#7 BPA PROOF YOUR KITCHEN
This is job many of us always say we are going to do, but never get around to it. This means replacing all the plastic containers in your pantry with glass jars (which can be picked up from Coles for $2-$3. It also means switching to a stainless steel lunchbox. More information on why this is important, can be found in the post “The Health Risks of BPA”.
#8 PACK YOUR LUNCH
Now you have your plastic free lunchbox, for the month of July, I want you to commit to packing your lunch everyday of the working week. This means you cannot purchase anything (bar your morning coffee if you must), from a cafe or restaurant.
#9 ATTEND A FARMER’S MARKET
For the month of September, I challenge you to find and attend a local farmer’s market in your area. Take your green-bags and shop up a fresh-food storm.
#10 REAL FOOD CHALLENGE
Now, you have given up dairy, you have given up gluten so you know the tricks and secrets to doing this successfully, now I challenge you to the two together whilst also giving up grains for the month of October. This means lots of fresh vegetables, lots of fresh fruit, healthy proteins and nourishing fats. This will without a doubt be the most rewarding month of the year, but also require a little time and effort.
#11 START EACH DAY WITH LEMON AND WARM WATER
Easy, peasy lemon squeezy. This is a simple challenge for the month of November but will help you detoxify your system and cleanse your liver. You can read all about the health benefits of drinking lemon juice and water and how to get started (it’s oh so simple) right here.
#12 START A HERB GARDEN
This is another one of those healthy habits we all want to do, but never get around to it. Cooking with herbs from your garden is not only incredibly rewarding, it saves you a tonne of money and the taste cannot be beaten. I’ll be posting a lot more information on growing your own herbs and vegetables this year, but to get you started, you can read up on “6 Herbs to Grow in Your Own Backyard Here”.
That’s it! Print off this list and place it on your fridge. As you tick off your goals, don’t forget to take a photo and tag ‘An Apple a Day’ on Facebook or Instagram.
For additional tips to help make this year your best year yet, don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter for exclusive content.