The new year brings an opportunity to reset and refocus on becoming a better version. According to a FORBES/ One Health Survey, 48% of Americans reported that they want to improve their fitness, and 36% want to focus on their mental health.
With January already ending, sticking to those goals may be challenging.
Aniya Foster, wellness coach and owner of Harbor 82, a South Loop wellness studio, has tried and true results to help people establish healthier lifestyles and habits.
Check out her three tips to keep you focused on your body goals!
Surround yourself with positive people. A November 2023 study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University suggests that strong adulthood friendships were associated with improved health, which included physical activity and a lower risk of depression. “People have intentions to do what they’re supposed to do all the time, so it’s important to surround yourself with positive people who can keep you on track and focused. There’s accountability and support in numbers!”
This support can include going grocery shopping and meal prepping with friends, signing up for the same 6 a.m. workout class, and morning wake-up calls to make sure you and your friends arrive on time. Aniya includes these elements in her semi-yearly fitness challenges with hundreds of women she’s helped lose thousands of pounds collectively over the last five years.
Foster notes that these people may not be your “Day 1” friends whom you’ve known for years because “they may not have interest in the things that are now important to you. Look to the people who inspire you, who are already heading in the direction you’re trying to go and keep them around.”
Expose yourself to positive messages and media. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of scrolling on social media and consuming all sorts of content. Last year, between breaking news headlines, and checking the latest celebrity gossip on social media, most people spent two and a half hours on social media alone. Aniya suggests: “Spend that time consuming inspiring information. This can be podcasts, listening to an Audible, or even watching YouTube videos.” But beware of the type of content, such as fitness inspiration or “fitspo” on social media, which has been shown to motivate negative body images.
Drink more water. Our bodies are made of 75% water; without it, we would only survive a few days. The positive impacts of water are clear: it regulates body temperature, lubricates the joints and bones, and helps manage body weight, among many benefits.
A 2014 study revealed that overweight women who drank an additional six and a half cups of water above what they usually drank experienced weight and body fat reduction and appetite suppression. So, grab those tumblers, fill them up, and sip throughout the day.
Developing and maintaining healthy habits is a process. Some suggest it can take 21 days, and James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits,” would go as far as 254 days. Despite the length, leveraging these three steps daily can get you closer to achieving your goals.