The Beginner’s Guide to Living Healthy in 2015

Happy New Year!!

So you’ve made it past Fitmas and the New Year is here already. And whether you’re the resolution-making kind or not, we could all use some fresh perspective on the New Year.

Whether you’re new to fitness or just haven’t been in the swing of things for a while, here’s a good guide to get you on the right track in 2015.


1. Self Assessment

Start your new year right by taking stock of yourself. Go to a coffee shop or a quiet space with a pen and paper and start to make a list.

  • Unhealthy habits: Make a list of your destructive habits, for your physical health or your life in general.
  • Nutrition: Make a list of cravings and why you eat unhealthy foods. What does it do for you?
  • Fitness: How long has it been since you’ve worked out? What are your motivations to get to the gym?
  • Misc: Take note of how much sleep you’re getting. Are you feeling good about life? What would you like to change?

Examine those habits and find out what situations cue them. This is commonly used in cases where people are trying to overcome addiction. Find the unhealthy habit, find out what cues it, and become more self-aware.

2. Be Habit-Minded

Did you know that exercise is considered a keystone habit? Studies have shown that certain habits can make other habits easier. Exercise is one of them. People who exercise more:

These may seem crazy, but it makes sense. Think about it: the kind of person that has their life scheduled and their health in order it’s less likely to spend willy-nilly at a supermarket. They consider themselves to be the type of person that has control over their actions and uses self-discipline.

3. Count the Small Wins

Take the list that you evaluated yourself with and pick super easy things to change. For example, if you drink five cokes a day, take one out and start there. Yes, you may be drinking four cokes a day, but it’s less than five, and you are still making progress.

When that becomes something that is easy to do, try kicking another easy habit that isn’t healthy for you.


4. Revisit Your Commitments

At each quarter of the year, re-assess yourself. Find out how many victories you’ve had so far this year and build from that. The last thing anybody wants is to arrive at a New Year’s Eve party a year later feeling like they haven’t accomplished anything.

Remember that list we talked about? Look at it every three months and make sure that you have gone forward and not backward. And reward yourself when you succeed!

5. Know when to say YES

Healthy living isn’t just about discipline. It’s about living happy, because happy is healthy! Don’t be imprisoned by goals that you can’t sustain. Pace yourself throughout the year by staying disciplined 80% to 90% of the time, and knowing when to say yes 10% to 20% of the time. Life is all about balance. Besides, no one wants to be around a person who’s making themselves miserable in pursuit of six pack abs!


6. Have FUN! (Be Active)

This isn’t just about working out regularly, healthy living is about being active! Get plenty of steps throughout the day. Take the bike or a walk one in a while instead of driving. Try to schedule a weekend activity with the family. You get the picture. Have fun!

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Luke Andrus is a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, writer, folk music drummer, husband, and a father. Most of his writing experience is in poetry and fictional short stories, and he also proposed to his wife with a self-published children's book. He is a Narnia nerd with a degree in History, a minor in English, and a semi-obsession with the French language. He believes that fitness is not just about vanity, but about lifestyle, integrity, and the ability to take control of your life.