You may have pictured it in your head numerous times — the best version of you. The best could mean the healthiest version, the happiest version, the smoke-free version or the less-stressed version of you. Whatever your best version means, the following five secrets can help you reach your maximum potential in 2017.
1. Balance your diet. Take a good, hard look at your daily food intake. Does it include at least a couple of servings of fruits and vegetables per day? Is it made up of sugary, processed foods? Are you skipping meals? According to Forbes, only 8 percent of Americans achieve their New Year's resolutions. Take this opportunity to be part of that 8 percent and meet with a registered dietitian to work on your nutrition goals. A registered dietitian can keep you accountable and ensure your diet is balanced and fulfilling.
2. Water, water, water. Most of us have heard it before: "You need to drink more water." Take this message to heart, and focus on making the majority of your daily beverage intake water. To help increase your intake, take a clear water bottle and draw hash marks, evenly spaced, along the side of the bottle. Starting at the top, label each hash mark with a time of the day (i.e. 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., etc.) and use that as your hour-by-hour water intake goal.
3. Relax, renew and refocus. Let's admit we could all use some stress reduction in our hectic lives. Whether you like to listen to music, read, meditate or exercise, try to take time each day to give yourself a mental break. This mental break can help you refocus your time and perhaps make you more productive because you gave yourself a chance to just breathe.
4. New habit: moving more. According to the Huffington Post, it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Start slowly, do something you enjoy and move more throughout your day, and after about three weeks, it will become a new healthy habit for you.
5. Give yourself some attention. In 2017, make it a point to write down the things that make you happy. Keep this list handy, and add to it throughout the year. Focusing on your happiness may inspire you to have a better outlook on life. After all, we only get one life, so make it your best.
Whether you work on all five of these tips at once or just one at a time, it's a step in the right direction toward being the best version of you. In the words of Zig Ziglar, "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."
Lindsey Koelling is the registered and licensed dietitian for the Jefferson City Hy-Vee. She is passionate about health and helping others incorporate healthy eating as part of their everyday lives. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
BAGEL GONE BANANAS
Makes: 2 servings.
2 tbsp natural nut butter, such as almond, cashew or peanut
1 tsp honey
Pinch of salt
1 whole wheat bagel, split and toasted
1 small banana, sliced
In a small bowl, stir together nut butter, honey and salt. Divide the mixture between bagel halves and top with banana slices.