Sometimes, it’s just time to make a change. You can feel it. This can mean a massive shift like a career change, a big move, or leaving a relationship, or it can mean a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. No matter the change or the reason for it, it can feel scary and overwhelming. But remember, it’s not impossible!

The New Year has come and gone and if you’re still trying to figure out how to get moving on your resolutions (hey, it happens!) or want to move your life in a more positive direction, we can help. If you break up this overall desire for change into smaller, manageable goals, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish!

Here is an easy to follow, month by month guide, to help you achieve health and happiness in the year ahead! Have a look and get the details below!

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January — Set a goal for yourself: January seems to be the time of year that everyone makes resolutions and goals for the year ahead. And while some people fully succeed by jumping in with both feet, many of us need to take a slower approach. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, think about what that means for you. Look at your current habits that prevent you from getting there and think of all the things you can do instead. If you need to, take this month to organize your thoughts and fight your own objections. Sometimes you think you have lots of obstacles to getting started only to find that you’re the only thing stopping you. Use this month to get your head right.

February — Keep a food diary:  Food diaries are great for showing you the holes and gaps in your healthy eating habits. Write down everything that passes your lips, no matter how small, or how unhealthy. Record exactly how much you ate and the time of day you ate it. Take it a step further and record how you were feeling before/after you ate it. The more information you have about what you are eating and why, the better chance you have of keeping yourself on track. If seeing everything you eat in black and white isn’t enough to help you make healthier choices, try a meal plan. The 30 day BodyRock Meal Plan is a great place to start. We help you calculate your nutrition needs while providing you with weekly grocery lists and daily meals and snacks that will fill you up without filling you out! Have a look!

March — Start a new workout program: This is the time of year where those summer body goals start to feel super serious. As the weather starts to thaw, it’s the perfect time to heat up your efforts! Use this month to get started on a new workout program. If you’ve been doing the same thing (or nothing at all!) for months, mix it up! SweatFlix has hundreds of hours of workouts to suit all tastes and fitness levels. From yoga to HIIT bootcamps, from month long programs to 5 day challenges, SweatFlix has it.  Look for the brand new BodyRock Tabata, launching March 6th, and smash your fitness goals! Don’t miss out and get started today for free!

April — Kick a bad habit: We all have a habit we know we shouldn’t have and now’s the time to kick it. Start with one thing you’d like to change and focus on that this month. If you’d like to quit smoking or ditch caffeine, this is your chance. Focus your energy and your efforts and you’ll get it done!

May — Meal prep month: Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. Pick a day, like Sunday, where you do your shopping and your prep work for the week. Plan your meals for the week, then hit the store for any ingredients you might need. When you get home from the store with your healthy haul, take some time to chop up your veggies before putting them away. If they are already chopped, they are much easier to grab when you’re feeling snack-ish. Do as much work as you can toward your weekly meal plan. If there are things you can cook and freeze until you need them, do it. It will save you time later in the week and will help you out at the end of a long day when you’d just rather not cook. Do the hard part in advance, it will change your life!

June — Drink more water month: Water is absolutely essential to your health. Dehydration can impact your eating habits, concentration, mood, performance at the gym, metabolism, and the overall appearance of your skin! Make things a little easier on yourself and start each day with a massive glass of water. It is recommended that you drink at least 72 ounces of water each day so whatever you’ve got to do to get there, do it. If you have coffee or tea in the afternoon, replace it with water. Before you run for an afternoon snack, drink water. Carry a water bottle around with you and take a sip any time you think of it! It doesn’t have to be difficult. If you are used to drinking sweet drinks, try adding a little fruit to your water. Lemon, lime, and raspberries are great choices. If you’re feeling particularly creative, try cucumber and mint. Remember, water doesn’t have to be boring!

July — Cut out added sugar: Added sugar is an absolute diet disaster. It taxes major detoxifying organs like the liver, promotes obesity, and increases your chances of contracting heart disease or type 2 diabetes. If weight loss and healthy living are your goals, sugar has got to go. Make  natural sugars your go to instead. This means, if you’re looking for something sweet, grab a piece of fruit. You’d be amazed at how delicious and sweet things can taste when using apples, beets, or dates. Carrot cake, for example, is a dessert made using entirely natural sweetness! If you simply can’t live without adding a little extra sweetness to your dishes, make sure you’re avoiding processed white sugar by using less processed options like honey, maple syrup or agave.

August — Add meditation to your day: Stress elevates the levels of cortisol in your body. Cortisol promotes fat storage. To understand why, you need to think of our early ancestors and the fight or flight response. There was a time when stress meant imminent danger and because energy sources were often scarce, cortisol allowed your body to store calories as fat to use when under threat and needing to flee. Problem is, we now find ourselves over stressed without the release of physical activity. Remember, fat storage is only one of the problems associated with stress. To start the unwinding process, take some time every day to sit, quietly, with no distractions and just breathe. This may be hard for you at first. Start with just 5 minutes a day. Where and when you do it is up to you. Close your eyes and just breathe.

September — 10,000 steps a day: 10,000 is a big number but trust us, hitting it is easier than you might think. If possible, walk to work. If you have to commute, park a short walk from the office or get off public transit a few stops early. Go for a walk after dinner, it will help you digest and relieve stress. Take your dog for an extra walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Hop on the treadmill and just walk. Get creative!

October — Get better sleep: When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is thrown completely out of whack. Your hunger and satiety hormones are out of balance and your ability to make decisions becomes impaired. If you want to perform and function at your best, getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night is a must. Turn off your electronics, make your room as dark as possible, go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time every morning. A better night’s sleep means a happier waking life.

November — Boost your vegetable intake: 5 to 9 servings of vegetables a day is what you should be eating. Use this month to really focus on hitting this number. Many veggies are packed with fiber which means they will help you feel full without adding a large number of calories to your day. This month, give Meatless Mondays a try by going completely vegetarian at all your meals or at the very least, have a meatless dinner.  And because the holiday season really kicks off this month, thinking about the amount of vegetables you are eating can really keep you on track. Prepare or bring vegetable based dishes to your Thanksgiving feast. The more veggies you pile on your plate, the less likely you are to go overboard with the dessert!

December — Positive thinking: Be nice to yourself this month. We all have things we don’t really like about ourselves but why spend time dwelling on them when there are so many truly amazing things about you that are worth celebrating? Having a positive mindset  can go a long way to helping you reach your goals! Take a moment every day to think about how amazing you are. Nothing is too small to celebrate. You’re the only you out there and that’s pretty darn special!

Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes! Use this guide to help you reach your goals and make your dreams a reality! You got this!

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