Normally I love making a long list of things to improve on for New Years, but this year I kept things more casual. I decided to give the classic “exercise more, eat healthier” endeavor another go, though this time I see it more as a life-change or habit-change than a temporary resolution. I’ve been doing at least 20 minutes a day of exercise, usually 10 minutes walking and 10 minutes running, then occasionally some crunches, push-ups, and light weights. Twenty minutes is a nice, easy number and it’s something I can incorporate into my everyday life. So far I’ve done it every day and have been feeling amazing. It’s only been a routine for a short amount of time but I feel a lot stronger and fit already. If I miss a day or decide to do workouts at home instead of going out to the park though, I don’t berate myself. The key is to enjoy what I’m doing and not have it become something I dread doing. It shouldn’t become a test of willpower.
Exercise is great for reducing stress and anxiety. It boosts your mood and confidence, and strengthens your heart too. In addition it is also a great distraction from your negative thoughts and allows you some time to think more clearly. If you don’t like walking or running, you can always play sports, dance, follow exercise videos, or take an exercise class. Gardening is also a great work out if you enjoy that. Or you can simply park further away from work or school or take the stairs instead of the elevator if it seems reasonable to do so. You don’t have to exercise every day but it’s good to aim for at least three times a week if you want to fully enjoy the benefits of it.
I’ve noticed that after I exercise, I actually want to eat healthy foods instead of junk foods too. I’m also choosing to drink more water. I already eat healthy for the most part though, but choosing to skip the pop-tart one afternoon and go for the apple instead for instance, or choosing water over a soft drink, are little things that count for something.
Besides incorporating regular fitness and health, I’m working on learning to drive to more places and building independence. I’m also working on writing a book while continuing to learn more about shyness and social anxiety. And above all I’m choosing to live life to the fullest this year without limits or doubts bringing me down.
How is your New Year going? Have you added in any changes to your life or set any new goals? I’d love to hear about them.