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9 Ways to Be Healthier and Happier This Year

Let’s forget resolutions. Let’s just be healthier and happy this year! Take the pressure off yourself, remove barriers to success, and focus on taking a few simple steps along your journey to enhanced wellness. It’s possible! Here are nine ways to do it. See what works for you, integrate a habit or two, like opting for healthy meat sticks over junk food, and make real changes that stick!

  1. One Month: One Goal

Too often our resolutions are, “I’ll lose 30 pounds by summer,” or “I’ll go to the gym more often.” Ditch ‘em. Instead, lay out specific steps that will point you in the right direction. Try targeting one habit and giving it your all for a month. For example, in January, you can cut out extra sugar. In February, you can commit to working out 3-5 days a week. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself on your progress at the end of the month (and forgive yourself for lapses, knowing you’re human and it’s ok to move right on!)

  1. Think About the Why

Why do you want to lose 30 pounds? Why do you want to work out more? Why do you want to stop smoking? Why do you want to [insert goal here]? The result needs to matter – beyond a temporary regret for eating too many Christmas cookies. For example, do you want to go to yoga class twice a week because it helps you relax and feel strong? Remember that. Your “why” will change over time, but keep reminding yourself of your motivation. 

  1. Do You

Get your fit on at a time and place you can commit to regularly. It may be before you shower in the morning, at lunch, or after work. It may be in the gym, in your living room, or at a class. It may be a combination that you determine ahead of time. You need to figure out what works for you, schedule it in your planner, and commit. Change requires change!

  1. You Get a Gold Star 

We just mentioned scheduling workouts in your planner. Note the type of activity, length, and location each day. When you are nice and sweaty, give yourself a gold star for that day. Once you’ve earned, say, 20 stars, give yourself a non-food reward (e.g., manicure, new book) or roll those points over for a big reward (e.g., that massage you’ve been needing!).

  1. Pack Your Snack

Can we just stop with the fast food? It’s so easy and convenient… and so bad for us! When the munchies hit, be prepared. Pull out your all-natural, healthy meat sticks for a blast of protein and flavor. It’ll keep you satisfied until meal time (real meal time – not fake burger time). Stock snacks in your bag, car, desk drawer, pockets… yum. Bonus: you’ll save a ton of money. And a ton of empty calories.

  1. Be Gone, Sugary, Carby Treats

A Cornell University study found that women who keep snacks on their counters were 20 pounds heavier than those with clear counter tops. (Guys, you’re not off the hook.)  Instead of crackers, cookies, cereals, donuts, and other “treats,” keep fruit, veggies, and dried goods like healthy meat sticks out so when hunger strikes, you reach for a great, healthy choice.

  1. Kick Carbs to the Curb

Don’t eliminate all carbs, of course. They’re an essential macronutrient, and healthy carbs are fuel that keeps us going – when they’re quality carbs (like whole grains). Load your diet with vitamins, minerals, and fiber with low-carb veggies, such as carrots, broccoli, cukes, and zucchini. At meal times, make sure low-carb vegetables take up about a third of your plate. Protein and a healthy starch will take about a quarter each.Subscribe to Emails from Sweetwood Smokehouse and Save

  1. Drink Up

Who drinks enough water? No one! Pack a refillable water bottle with you and sip on it wherever you go. If you get bored, try water infused with fruit or herbs like mint. Our favorite: cucumber and basil. 

  1. Pick a Meal, Any Meal

Overhauling your entire diet can be overwhelming. Target one meal or snack and think about ways to increase your nutrition.For example, if you typically have scrambled eggs for breakfast? Good start. How about adding some diced tomato? If your normal midday snack is a soda and a bag of chips, swap it for the best meat sticks on the planet (our all-natural, protein packaged FATTY smoked meat sticks), a cube of cheese, and an apple. You’ll feel more satisfied – and avoid that afternoon slump. 

Want a healthier, happier New Year? Pick one of these tips, and start today. You will make progress towards your goals… one step at a time. This is the way to make real changes, and to make sure those changes last longer than a week! So let’s ring in the New Year with Sweetwood FATTY smoked meat sticks  – and get healthy together.

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