We make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions, but then reality kicks in.
We want to eat better, but there’s barely time to go to the grocery store, let alone cook.
We want to exercise, but there’s no time for that, either, and let’s face it: Does anyone really like going to the gym?
We want to stress less, but how do you actually do that?
Keep reading for some Charlottesville and Central Virginia resources that will help you actually be successful this year.
Resolution One: Eat Better
There are so many obstacles to this one. What does eating “better” even mean? Should you cut back on bread, sugar, caffeine, trans fats or all of the above? What about red meat? How do you manage this, find time to cook, and even eat local?
Here’s two simple steps you can take to eat better.
Step One: Visit a Nutritionist
Actually talking to someone about your food habits and goals can help you prioritize and give you the encouragement and accountability you need to make necessary changes.
Unsure where to start? Find a UVA nutritionist.
Step Two: Change How You Shop
There’s two pieces to this.
1. For routine groceries, shop online.
There’s a number of reasons why using an online grocery service can help with eating better:
- No more impulse buys. Looking at your grocery list online helps you avoid the temptations of extra items you don’t need within arm’s reach at the store. It’s easier to stick to the list.
- Label reading. While selecting foods online, you can easily read packaged labels, research ingredients and make sure you’re choosing healthy options.
- You can keep your lists and manage your grocery budget from the calm of your home instead of the chaos of the store.
Extra Bonus: Save time. Pick up your groceries or have them delivered, skipping the lines and the carts and the machine voices telling you to place the item back in the bag. With the time you’ve saved, spend more time cooking a healthy meal to share with the family.
2. Get to know your food sources.
Slowing down, visiting local farms, even growing your vegetables can turn the burdensome task of shopping into a delightful, educational experience. Lucky for us here in Central Virginia, there’s plenty of opportunities to do get up close and personal with local food:
- Visit the Charlottesville City Market
- Tour an area farm at Meet Your Eats
- Check out the Local Food Hub
- Get fresh, local produce from a CSA
Grow your own food:
- Find gardening tools and classes at Fifth Season
- Get your questions answered by Piedmont Master Gardeners
Resolution Two: Exercise More
Exercise seems to be the key to everything these days: General health, weight loss, stress reduction. Making time for it, however, can feel impossible.
What to do? Break this resolution down into bite-sized chunks.
1. Move Often
Get up. Every hour, stand up from your desk and move for five minutes. Walk outside for fresh air, stretch, get some more water. Free apps will remind you.
Extra benefit? Moving your body will actually improve your ability to focus on your work. Try these quick, easy, office-friendly exercises.
Don’t Forget to Sleep
It’s boring, but the best route to wellness is not a quick-fix: Taking care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and exercising on a daily basis over a long period of time is going to help you manage weight and stress more than a fad diet can. Sleeping is an important piece.
Want to lose weight?
Get active for 10 minutes three times a day. See for yourself how easy it is: Watch this video of a 10-minute office workout.
2. Have Fun With Others
We dare you: Instead of arranging dinners or lunches, arrange activities – a walk or a dance class will not only do your body good, but you’ll find greater connection in the shared experience. Family? Don’t just haul your kids to sports and dance classes.
Some fun activities in the Charlottesville area to do alone, with friends or family:
- Jump Cville
- Roller skating
- Karate, nia, yoga classes
- Run a race
- Go Girls zumba for tween and teen girls and their mothers
Resolution Three: Stress Less
Finding the time to deal with stress can in itself be stressful.
So, good news: Meditating every day for just five minutes is enough to retrain your brain to reduce stress.
There’s a million free apps you can use to get started.
Or, just set your timer for five minutes – in the morning, at night, at lunch in your car – and breathe.
Need help? The UVA Mindfulness Center offers free online meditations between 5 and 19 minutes long.
Stress Reduction Resources
Get support and tools to help you de-stress:
- Make One Change: Be Grateful
- Mindfulness and Yoga at Pantops
- Emotional Brain Training at the UVA Nutrition Counseling Center
- UVA Mindfulness Center
- Common Ground
- A Place to Breathe
- Tai Chi and standing meditations
Before You Go: Some Resolution-Making Tips
Make your resolution one that will work.
- Keep them simple and bite-sized: Meditate for 5 minutes every day
- Focus on lifestyle changes vs. end results: Instead of “Lose 10 pounds,” how about “Always take the stairs”?
- Give yourself time: Plan to reach a goal in 3 months, not 3 weeks
- Accountability: Use an app; keep a wellness diary.
What’s Your Resolution?
Commit by commenting below. Then subscribe to our blog to get diet and wellness tips and info throughout the year.