The new year comes with a fresh start for everyone. Whether it’s kicking unhealthy habits like late-night snacking or negative self-talk or setting a long-desired PR goal. Now is the time to incorporate healthy habits to help you refocus and become a better version of yourself.
Dr Robin B, a Los Angeles-based pharmacist, entrepreneur and certified personal trainer, thinks there are benefits to setting goals for the New Year. Such a goal would be to set an achievable intention for the year you want to have. “A goal doesn’t always have to be a literal accomplishment or a tangible object to be achieved,” says Dr. Robin. “It can be as simple as how you want to feel.”
And according to the coach, this goes for both physical and mental health.
“Setting an intention for each area of your life allows you to manifest your goals by holding them as a reminder of who you are striving to be,” says Dr. Robin. “Resolutions can also help you reflect on the past, present, and future.” she says, giving us a clear picture of which habits we may need to give up and which ones to set in motion.
First, Find what works best for you
According to Dr. Robin, when it comes to setting goals, implementing what works best for you is the key to success. It can also protect your mental health. What works for your gym buddy may not work for you, and that’s perfectly fine.
Listen to your body and mind when trying a new method to achieve your goals. If it’s making you both stressed and bogged down, and starting to mess with your mindset, it’s probably time to give up and try something else. Once you find your preferred method, it’s all uphill from there!
With that, Dr. Robin shares some trends that may have unnecessarily added to your stress levels in 2022 and offers some healthy alternatives to try this New Year.
Leave It Behind: Counting Calories
A popular trend that Dr. Robin says should be abandoned for good is counting every calorie that goes into your mouth. “Rather than focusing on overall intake, start counting your macros,” Dr. Robin suggests. “When you prioritize macros like protein, you can avoid overeating, which typically leads to reduced calorie intake while fueling your body.”
She also adds that counting calories only benefits you if you want to be in a daily calorie deficit or surplus. So if all the counting is stressing you out, maybe it’s time to let it go.
“Calorie counting can harm your mental health and contribute to extra stress or guilt that isn’t necessary when you’re setting yourself a huge goal like weight loss,” warns Dr. Robin.
If you want to try macro counting, Dr. Robin suggests finding a reliable and legit macro counting app to download and follow. “Put that protein in it!” she encourages. “Fats in moderation are okay too, and go easy on the carbs if it’s not leg day.”
Always listen to your body and mind. If a new habit is stressing you out, try something else without feeling guilty that the previous attempt wasn’t for you.
Leave it behind: Dangerous IG and TikTok videos are not healthy habits
We’ve all seen those ridiculously dangerous IG and TikTok videos in which “influencers” lift entire gym equipment and other crazy items strictly for views (and no wellness benefits). Dr. Robin warns that these activities are not only stupid and pointless, but potentially deadly. “You could hurt yourself trying to lift something that heavy,” warns Dr. Robin.
If you’re looking for ideas for new healthy habits, as well as gaining fitness insights via social media, remember that boredom often works best. Look for experts who provide information based on proven methods. “We should promote more progressive overload training and educate people about proper weight progression over time,” she recommends.
Leave It Behind: Ditching Strength Training for Pilates
Obviously, there are a host of positive benefits when it comes to Pilates, however, Dr. Robin believes that swapping weights for Pilates for weight loss is a healthy habit not to do. “Lifting weights is actually the key to toning and burning fat with adequate amounts of cardio,” she explains. Getting rid of strength training altogether for fear of being “bulky” is a train of thought that needs to be discarded. “Find a workout plan that uses HIIT with dumbbells and watch the pounds drop like the one I created on the scale,” she says. Pilates, however, according to Dr. Robin, is great when paired with a good strength and conditioning routine.
Bring these healthy habits (and intentions) into 2023
1. Perform a mental clear
According to Dr. Robin, a good habit that should be implemented in 2023 is to perform a mental cleanse and eliminate the things you want to leave behind forever in 2022. “It means toxic relationships, things that don’t serve you. and even poor eating habits,” she says. What person, habit or food(s) makes you feel bad? Once you know, it’s time to remove them, or at least set healthy boundaries.
2. Implement a training program
Along with mental cleansing, Dr. Robin recommends setting up a workout routine (if you haven’t already), like the routines she has on the apps. Scale or game book while trying to aim for at least five to six times a week of training.
3. Declutter and drink herbal tea
“Declutter and deep clean your living space daily,” she says. At the same time, Dr. Robin suggests adding more herbal tea to your daily routine. For the trainer, it’s about creating a clean, calm and healthy space for your body and mind.
4. Add an accountability partner to your list of healthy habits
When setting goals, “Finding an accountable partner to keep you motivated (and honest) would also help.” Said Dr. Robin. Going it alone when setting new goals can be daunting and overwhelming; having a partner can alleviate feelings of stress and loneliness.
In addition to these healthy habits, Dr. Robins also recommends:
- Read a chapter of a book of your choice daily
- Start telling your loved ones that you appreciate them more.
- Eliminate any noise or things that could cause you to lose your goals.
- Walk 30 minutes a day.
- Try to drink a gallon of water a day.
- Sleep 7-8 hours a night.
“If you can bring these habits into 2023, this will be your year!” said Dr. Robin. Small healthy changes each day will equal massive results when repeated day after day.