This is the time of year that you might decide it's time to lose weight, get more exercise and eat right? Fill in your new year's resolutions. Perhaps, your doctor said you’d better…….. or you’ll have to take medication, or worse, that your very life was at stake.
If you're struggling with keeping your health goals, get on the path NOW before those cute little puff pastries start calling your name. Arm yourself with these simple ways to accomplish your health and fitness goals for 2017. Do it today!
12 Ways to Stick with your Health and Fitness Goals:
1. Be specific. What do you actually want to accomplish and when? Do you want to lose 10 pounds, or drop your cholesterol by 20 points; be able to do 30 pushups in 3 months? Figure that out and write down your goals on 3 x 5 cards. Post them on your bathroom mirror or carry them in your pocket. According to scientific studies, this simple act of writing your goals can make a big difference.  Read them - several times a day!
2. By the same token, weigh yourself every day. You’ll have a harder time mindlessly eating since you’ve been primed and you’re more likely to pay attention. This technique works! Try this free chart, if you're so inclined. 
3. Keep a food diary. Again, backed by science, keeping a diary can double your weight loss. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.  Here’s a free Weekly Meal Planner I offer that acts as a diary. There are, also, many online places where you can track meals and daily fitness activities such as myfitnesspal.com or myfooddiary.com.
4. Plan your meals ahead of time using the Weekly Meal Planner and shop for the week. Keep it simple. Repeat what works for you and stay away from temptation. Keep certain foods off your buy list. “Walk right by them in the market,” hear my voice, “DON’T BUY what you can’t resist.” Choose fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains that will keep you full. Prep your salad greens when you arrive home. Cut off the ends, rinse, and put into a bowl and into the frig. Then, when you want a salad it’s a snap. Purchase beautiful bowls that make you want to eat a large salad. Find easy plant-based recipes here on this site.
5. Watch a motivational movie such as “Forks Over Knives” or “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” There’s nothing like an emotional movie to pump up your motivation molecules.
6. Eat a little something before that party to help dampen your appetite and give you resistance.
7. Workout early in the day. Or, break up your workouts into smaller chunks and you’ll get similar health effects. A 15-minute walk before or after a meal lowers your blood sugar. 
8. Stand up every hour. Just sitting can negate the effects of your workouts. Reducing sitting time may protect your DNA and contribute to a longer life, as well.  Set your phone alarm, move around, do a few jumping jacks.
9. Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep will make you more likely to overeat.  Lack of sleep also makes it more difficult to work out. Aim for 8 hours per night in a dark room. Keep lights low and electronics off for an hour before sleep. Or, purchase blue blocker glasses that prevent sleep-interrupting light from bright electronics.
10. Buy a pedometer to track your steps as a reminder that you need to move. A goal of 10,000 steps is recommended.
11. Get moving any way you can. Sign up for a fitness class and put it on your calendar, put a fitness app on your phone, or purchase a few simple weights and elastic bands for home use. It’s amazing how getting your blood pumping can boost your spirit and reinforce this behavior. Lay out your workout clothes and shoes the night before. Pretty soon, it will be a habit.
12. Importantly, be social with your goals and share them with a friend. Set aside a time to talk or email. Research shows that people who share their goals were, on average, 33% more successful in accomplishing them than those who merely wrote them down. 
Good luck with your health and fitness goals this coming holiday and all yearlong. And, remember to eat a plant-based, whole foods diet. The evidence is overwhelming that eating plant-based is helping many people meet their health and fitness goals.