Being healthier -and fitter- is one of the most common goals people have at the start of a new year.
The problem is that most start making radical changes to their lifestyle and diet too soon and end up not adhering to their plans after a few months. Or just weeks.
Those changes never really become part of their life.
Let it not be you.
Start small. But consistent.
With these simple habits to create your healthiest version yet.
The Role of Commitment
Motivation doesn’t last.
That’s why gyms are busier in January than in December.
What lasts is your commitment to what you said you were going to do. And doing it regardless of your mood.
The idea is that even the smallest of changes you implement become ingrained in your being.
Kinda brushing your teeth.
I’d say my first advice to be healthier in 2022 is to be positive and patient, despite not seeing instant results. However, these lifestyle habits will have a tremendous impact in the quality of your life from the moment you practice them.
Reducing your sugar or cholesterol levels, dropping the pounds, regulating your emotions, clearing up your skin, and feeling content with your health is a process.
It won’t happen overnight.
Sadly, most quit when they most needed to remain strong and keep showing up.
That’s not how results — lasting results — occur.
The tips below can help you get on the right path.
Oh! And don’t be a perfectionist. Don’t incorporate all of them at once. Just take one or a couple of routines, and master them. To the “brushing your teeth” type of level.
Then add more, gradually.
All right. Let’s begin.
Watch this video to learn more Ayurvedic habits to start practicing for the new year!
Find Your Why
First of all, find your WHY.
Answer this question: Why are you doing this?
Is the benefit of being healthy worthier than the late night craving or the desire to stay in bed when the alarm is reminding you to get your morning workout?
If you have a clear purpose, the goal will be more realistic and attainable.
That alone makes it easier to withstand the challenges of the months ahead: the cravings, the laziness, and the lack of motivation.
Write your WHY on a sticky note or several. And place them on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, and your office. Remind yourself of the importance of adopting these Ayurvedic habits for this year.
What You Don’t Need
Before getting into the tips, let’s review what you don’t need.
Getting healthier should really be an inexpensive process. To be honest, it should be cheaper than being out of shape and sick. And I’m not even talking about the medical bills and prescription drugs.
Before practicing Ayurveda, I used to eat lots of meat.
I was on a bodybuilding diet, eating six meals a day — each of them included a serving of animal protein. Besides getting sick, it cost me a little fortune to do grocery shopping every week. As it turned out, plant-based foods are more affordable.
I got healthier and saved money.
This is an example that defined abs don’t necessarily mean a healthy body.
Besides meat, these are some things you DON’T need to get in the best shape of your life:
- Expensive supplements
- Gym memberships — I actually work out from home since the pandemic. The keyword has been consistency.
- Complex gym equipment — To start, you just need your commitment and maybe some resistance bands.
- Fancy outfits
- Cute water bottle
Yes, it’s true.
Those may help with motivation, but they are not absolutely necessary.
Best Ayurvedic Habits to Start in the New Year
Focus on whole foods — No calories
I encourage you to do this. Go to the store and buy most of your foods from the produce section. Fill your cart with vegetables and fruits. Choose the ones with the most vibrant colors and get excited to prepare them at home.
Then, go to the cereals section and get some rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and beans.
Finally, add some olive oil or ghee and a few spices. I recommend turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, and pepper.
Just focus on eating those gorgeous, full of Prana foods. Don’t count the calories.
The point here is for you to get to like those foods rather than to stress on how much you are eating.
Yes! Of course, portion size is a big part of getting to the point you want in 2022, but by just making these changes you can be certain that your calories will anyway be cut in half.
You can improve your serving size in a few months, when eating whole foods has already become a habit.
Cook more at home
A great Ayurvedic habit to get healthier next year is to get used to cooking more at home.
That is when you are in full control of what ingredients you put into your body. Even in the best of restaurants, we don’t really know the list of all food items that go into a dish.
This can make a huge difference in how you feel inside and look outside.
According to Ayurveda, eating freshly cooked foods is a vital part of having a healthy gut and maintaining an optimal digestive fire. Only by having a proper digestion process, your body can start to heal.
However, sometimes we have to compromise, especially if we have busy schedules.
It is certainly better to meal prep than to eat out. Even if that means that meals are not entirely fresh.
Move more in January!
If you don’t have a workout routine established, but want to stay away from the couch, then try this simple exercise workout calendar for January.
Print it and do it from your home.
Ideally, do it in the morning, before breakfast. Otherwise choose a time that best works for your daily schedule and stick to it.
These are the 10 moves:
- Try the exercises first without any weight / resistance bands.
- If an exercise calls for jumping, and you don’t feel ready for it yet, do the same motion without the jump.
- The repetitions and sets for each week are on the left side. For example, for the second week it is 2×12. That is two sets of 12 repetitions each exercise.
- If it is a unilateral exercise, do the reps for each side. For example, for reverse lunges, do 15 repetitions with the left leg first and 15 reps with the right leg after that.
Vata: Workout 3-4 times a week.
Pitta: Workout 4-5 times a week.
Kapha: I encourage you to do all 6 workouts per week.
Add one or two vegan meals per week
Meat, even if it’s chicken breast, is not recommended in Ayurveda as a basis for our diet.
It should be avoided if rejuvenation, longevity, and a clear mind are part of your goals.
Meat has a tamasic energy that brings dullness, heaviness, and clouds your mind.
Nevertheless, we want to make slow, gradual changes. So instead of quitting meat completely, try including two or three vegan/vegetarian meals a week.
There are so many delicious plant-based recipes you can try at home.
Whole foods can really help you feel satisfied and content without the need of adding a piece of meat to your plate. Like this tofu and mushroom scramble that honestly tastes like real eggs.
Have a weekly treat meal
Eating healthy is the best.
Once you get used to it, and you eat something that doesn’t follow the “healthy” criteria, you feel it everywhere! Your digestion, elimination, your skin, and even your emotions!
We are still human.
Choose a meal a week when you can eat out and enjoy whatever foods you feel like having. I believe this has the power of not letting you feel deprived or restricted.
Especially if you are with friends and family, you can use this as a chance to commune with them and enjoy a nice meal with the people you love.
Now, once it is done, go back to your goals, whole foods, and home cooking.
Note: Eating at a restaurant doesn’t have to be super unhealthy, either. Try my tips to eat healthier when dining out.
Self-hypnosis is an exceptional tool to change our thought patterns for the better.
With consistent visualization and affirmative self-talk, we can quit addictions and compulsive behaviors. The ones that don’t let us reach our truest potential.
Interestingly, Ayurveda also offers visualization as part of its psychological therapies to heal the mind.
Learn more about self-hypnosis and Ayurveda to reprogram your brain, reestablish the needed connection of body and mind, and get healthier than ever this year.
Go to bed earlier
Ayurveda recognizes that our biological clock depends on the rhythms of nature. That means that it’s always a good idea to align our bodies to the cycle of dark and light of every day.
The circadian rhythm functions properly when we go to bed early, preferably by 10 pm; and wake up early, with the sunrise, ideally before 5 am. Call me crazy, but I wake up at 4 in the morning.
Having a healthy body clock means:
- A better sleep and wake pattern
- Balanced hormones
- Regular and painless periods
- Healthy emotions
Use healthier household products
The skin, the largest organ in the body, absorbs everything!
Make sure that you use eco-friendly household products to avoid any harmful substances getting into your bloodstream and causing any allergic reactions or fostering the right environment for disease.
The fewer ingredients, the better.
These Ayurvedic tips are easy to keep up in the long-run.
You can really make them part of your life.
Have a beautiful start to the year.
Beautiful things are coming!