10 Steps to a Healthy New You in 2012

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Every year, millions of us make the same resolution: To live a healthier life, and hopefully lose weight, abandon bad habits, and look and feel better about ourselves.  While this is an admirable resolution, most people lose their fervor and zeal before spring comes along.  The best way to stick to a resolution is to develop a plan.  Here is a ten step plan for a healthy new you in 2012.

1. Define your objective.  Just as it is ridiculous to hop into your car and drive around without a destination, it is just as ridiculous to embark on a journey of self-improvement without having a clearly-defined destination.  Begin your journey the same way you would begin a vacation; by choosing your destination.

2. Break it down into smaller steps.  It might be very daunting and discouraging to write a list of your 2011 objectives, but if you break down the list of your yearly goals into smaller chunks, it will be easy to stay on track.  Break down your objectives into three month goals, six month goals, nine month goals, and one year goals.

3. Find a partner.  Team up with someone who has similar goals.  A partner can share advice, information, inspiration, and perhaps even a little friendly competition.

4. Build up to speed.  Just as a car must accelerate up to speed on a highway, the human body must also build up to speed when it comes to diet and exercise.  Starving yourself and pushing your body to its limit is the worst thing you can do in the beginning of your plan.

5. Eliminate bad habits.  Bad habits are like roadblocks and potholes on the way to your destination.  Excessive alcohol, sugar, and caffeine consumption are some habits you may wish to address, along with smoking.

6. Surround yourself with positive influences.  When we surround ourselves with those who have bad habits, we often pick up their bad habits and sabotage our progress.

7. Develop a routine.  Those who stick to a routine are far more successful than those who do not.  Perform fifty crunches when you wake up in the morning, or take a 30-minute walk after dinner.  These are just two examples of things you can do to develop a routine.  

8. Drink plenty of water.  Our bodies are comprised of 90% water, and proper hydration will improve the appearance of your hair, skin, nails, and will flush out toxins from the body.  Most fitness and health experts will agree that drinking plenty of water is the single most important step you can take for overall health.

9. Don’t deprive yourself.  No matter how strict your diet, always leave room for the occasional splurge.  Life is too short to be spent entirely on a treadmill, munching on carrots and celery.  

10. Reward yourself.  As you meet your goals, reward yourself for the progress you have made.  Buy some new clothing, book a visit to the spa, or treat yourself to a night of fine dining.  Rewarding yourself for accomplishing goals will keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to.

As you can see, these ten steps to a healthy new you do not have to be difficult, expensive, or impossible to achieve.  Just as walls are built one brick at a time, a healthy new you is built one step at a time, day by day.
 

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