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  • Dana Brown

How to Make This the Best Year of Your Life

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With a new year comes new opportunities for self-improvement, including the chance to enjoy lasting recovery from substance addiction. Making the most of these possibilities, however, means starting with yourself. So in this post we'll outline a three-step plan for embracing wellness throughout the months to come. Please consult your healthcare professional before beginning any health or nutrition plan.

A Better Approach to Setting Goals

Lots of us begin the year promising ourselves to lose weight, exercise more, or quit smoking. But, according to Business Insider, 80 percent of these resolutions fail by February. Why? Is it because people are lazy or lack willpower? Not really; the true culprit is often the goal itself. Here's what we mean:

●Lots of goals are too vague to measure. For example, deciding to lose weight is great. But how much weight? By what date? Are you concerned only with what the scale says or do you want to shed inches from your waist as well? Clarifying these points makes the commitment real in your mind.

●Accomplishing your goals requires having a support network in place. For example, let's say you plan to add an inch of muscle to your arms and chest over the next 12 months. Doing so will require a solid exercise plan. Will you join a gym or invest in home exercise equipment? What nutritional steps will you take? Who will keep you focused when you find your motivation lagging? Consider these kinds of questions when laying out your fitness strategy.

●One way to jumpstart your goal-achieving process is to start acting like the person you want to be right now. For instance, how do you picture yourself once you’ve succeeded in meeting your goal? Do you envision a happier, more energetic, more confident version of yourself? If so, then start acting like that person right now.

Using the Tools at Hand

Completing a project requires having the right tools. A carpenter needs a hammer and saw. An auto tech needs screwdrivers and wrenches. Achieving your personal goals, including lasting sobriety, means you will need tools as well. For example, activities like swimming, meditation, and yoga offer powerful benefits to those striving for lasting recovery. Why not put them to work for you starting today?

Nutrition Basics for Busy People

All too often, articles about eating smart focus on what you should avoid, not what you should consume. Here are some foods you should add to your diet in order to enjoy better health:

●Fresh fruits and veggies. These have the vitamins, minerals, and fiber required for lasting wellness, according to Health.

●Greek yogurt, which has more protein and less sugar than other types.

●Nuts. Whether you prefer almonds, pecans, cashews, or the humble peanut, these foods are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats.

●Canned seafood. Tuna, salmon, and other choices have abundant amounts of omega-three fatty acids, which are important for heart health. Opting for canned versions means you'll always have a great source of nutrients handy for quick snacks.

●Beans. Cheap, healthy, and easy to find, beans are packed with fiber and protein.

●Pureed pumpkin. It's a shame that most people limit their consumption of this excellent food to the holidays, given that it abounds with beta carotene, potassium, and vitamin C. Look for brands with no added sugar to avoid needless calories.

The keys to success are found in the decisions you make every day. Use the tips in this post to put your choices to work for you. This will give you a great start to the best year of your life.

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