They were probably something like this:
Go to the gym more
Beat that level on Candy Crush
And that’s it.
So why do we do these dumb things every year? Are we going to write them in permanent ink on our front door so we can’t possibly forget about them? Or tattoo them on our kids’ foreheads so they think we’re paying attention to them while we’re really just reviewing our goals?
I usually end up writing them on some sheet of paper I ripped out of my notebook that I lose in less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Voice.
In other words,
The Voice > Important Life Goals
Boy, am I screwed up.
They help me make incremental changes. Yes, I’ve had the goal to stop eating out. It’s a goal I’ve written down a dozen times.
And I’ve never actually completed that goal. I’m a failure, right?
Except that right now I eat out less than at any other point in my life.
I think it’s because I’ve consistently made that a goal, over and over again.
We humans rarely go from 0 to 60 with life changes.
I didn’t go from Junk-Food-Eater-Extraordinaire to Real Foodie Hippie immediately. I made a series of goals that helped me make incremental changes. I didn’t go from 0 times a week at the gym to 5 right away. I went a couple times per week and ramped that up until it was a change I felt like I could handle.
Anyway, that’s a long-winded way of saying that goals, even though you’ll probably forget them in two weeks, help imprint your long-term plans in your brain and bring about incremental change.
And, I wanted to show you our real food goals for this year. Hopefully this gives you some ideas of what you can change for yourself.
- Detox Our House
I’m amazed at how many toxic substances we use daily. Seriously, we’d probably be healthier if we stayed in bed all day and rubbed arsenic on our faces than we would going about our normal routine.
Pretty much every day, people use makeup, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, body wash, dish detergent, laundry detergent, cleaners, plastic containers, drink tap water, and eat foods with pesticides and other chemicals.
All of those things have been shown to cause chronic illnesses and degenerative disease if used over a long period of time. Which almost everyone does.
In the past few weeks, Erin’s made laundry detergent, deodorant, dish soap, and body wash (which I love). We’re still a ways away from a total household detox, but we’re hoping to make some big changes this year.
I’ve put together a massive guest post about detoxifying your home, and I’ll put a link here (and on Facebook) when it goes live.
- Eat Out Once Per Week
We always plan for Friday or Saturday, and we know ahead of time what we’re getting. Then, on Wednesday, when we (or usually just me) want to grab a pizza, the wife says to me “but we’re going to Olive Garden on Saturday!”
It’s actually a very good deterrent from eating junky the rest of the week if we know we’ve got a treat coming on the weekend. We’ve done this a bit in the past, and it’s always worked. It’s time to make it a weekly habit. Plus it’s a great excuse to take the wife out on date.
- Juice One Day Per Week
It’s either the greatest miracle cure ever, or it’s a waste of money that’s destroying your health.
I’m much closer to the “greatest miracle cure ever” side of things.
I’ve read enough about people curing “incurable” diseases with juicing, plus you get access to insane amounts of vitamins (and other goodies) not found by eating a salad or a single carrot.
But, my favorite reasons for juicing are two-fold:
- Helps maintain weight! One time I lost 5 pounds from juicing in a single day… of course that came after a weekend of bingeing, but still.
- Juicing works GREAT for detoxing. I once juiced for two weeks, and my chronic knee pain went away… which seems like a weird side effect until you learn that toxins in your system like to hang out in your joints and other soft tissue.
Also, clearing out toxins helps avoid most chronic and degenerative diseases, including diabetes, cancer, bowel diseases, heart attacks, and even many mental disorders.
- No Junk Food at Work
When my diet starts heading off the rails, it almost always starts at work.
Someone brings in donuts or bagels. Our department goes out to lunch. Friday barbecues and birthday desserts. A coworker wants to grab lunch at the mall next door.
It never ends.
And for me, moderation is hard. It’s much easier for me when I can set a hard and fast rule that’s actually doable (as opposed to “NEVER EAT JUNK FOOD, EVER”). Telling myself to “only have a little” never works.
I’ve actually done this in the past for a few weeks at a time, but it’s time to renew that goal and improve.
- Yoga at Least Once Per Week
Okay… not so much a real food goal, but it’s definitely a big part of your overall health.
I’m a big guy who likes to lift weights… but I also know that yoga is insanely healthy for you even if I don’t think it’s cool 🙂
It prevents injury, improves stamina, increases flexibilities, improves strength, and also helps with balance.
Basically, it’s the best exercise to help you stay injury-free and mobile until you’re old.
And for someone like me, it helps when playing other sports like basketball and volleyball. I’ve done yoga maybe a dozen times in my life, but once a week would help tremendously.
We have p90x which has a great yoga routine. I’m sure you can find free ones on YouTube as well.