As we enter this new year we are given a chance for a fresh start. A clean slate. We are offered a second chance to honor God with the wonderful gift He has given us: our bodies. Need a little help to get started? Here are 5 tips for managing your body this new year.
1. Understand Your Body Belongs to God
Our culture teaches us, that our bodies are our own to do whatever we want with. However, since humanity is God’s crowning creation, made in His image, we all rightfully belong to Him and must someday give an account to Him for our lives. Colossians 1:16 says, “All things have been created through Him and for Him.” Because our entire being was made for Him, He has the right to dictate how we are to use our bodies—whether we acknowledge His authority or not. When you begin to understand that your body is not your own, you will start down a path towards better health.
2. Set Specific and Realistic Goals and Write Them Down
Let’s break this down into two parts. Far too often we set goals that are just simply not realistic, which leaves us discouraged when we fail to achieve them. It is so important to set goals that are thought out and very specific/measurable so that you have tangible evidence of progress as you journey your way to your health goals. Remember to write down your goals and refer to them frequently. This helps to plan what you need to do to achieve them as well as to provide a constant reminder to stick to your plan.
3. Go Outdoors to Make Exercise Easier
Working out doesn’t always have to feel like working out. By finding a hobby like running, biking, hiking, or walking, you can very effectively be on your way to a new healthier you. Taking your workout outside allows you to burn calories, while having a good time.
4. Don’t Do It Alone
Many of us find it hard to stay motivated, eat better, or exercise more. We know we need to, but we put it off for tomorrow, or next week, or longer. It's hard to hold yourself accountable. Having a workout partner makes it more fun, so you’re more likely to stick to a routine which ultimately leads to better results. Since another person’s schedule is involved, you will probably plan your workouts in advance and will encourage each other to be there. Being there for someone else adds extra motivation to be consistent.
5. Don’t Do Anything Drastic
Far too often when we start something new, especially when it pertains to our health, the tendency is to make drastic changes. This is because we all want a quick fix especially when we live in world that promises instant solutions. Unfortunately, these crash diets or intense workout routines are typically only sustainable for a short time and usually the weight lost comes back quickly two times over. It is important to learn the art of delayed gratification. Make gradual, small, sustainable changes. Some examples of this are cutting out breads instead of cutting out all sugars. Begin by working out moderately three times per week instead doing high intensity training for six days. The key is that there is no magic pill. You will see results from listening to your body and making consistent sustainable decisions.