Healthy Goal Setting for 2014 with Liz from I Heart Vegetables!

I know it can be a bit of a polarizing topic, but I personally love making New Year's resolutions. I've found I kind of need that extra kick of motivation to make healthy changes or they fall by the wayside. So in thinking about my healthy goals for 2014, I decided to ask my friend Liz of I Heart Vegetables to give her best tips on how to be successful with this year's resolutions!...  

Hi everyone! I’m Liz, the blogger and health coach behind I Heart Vegetables, and I was thrilled when Ashley asked me to guest post. Her blog is so cool, and I'm lucky to actually know her in the "real" world, too, because she's awesome! Now let’s dive into 2014 and make it your healthiest year yet! Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to help you make the most of your healthy goals for the year:

Tips for a healthy 2014

Set smaller, realistic goals. Don’t start 2014 saying “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to start exercising”, because that doesn’t give you any sort of plan, and without a plan, you’re not going to make it! Set yourself some smaller goals that can get you there. Try “I’m going to exercise twice a week, every week” or “I’m going to lose two pounds in January” and go from there. It will also give you a sense of if your goals are realistic. (10lbs of weight loss in January is not a realistic goal!)

Eat more vegetables. Ok, I’m a little biased as I love vegetables, but seriously, this is such an easy goal to set. Rather than swearing off cupcakes for the rest of your life, make a goal to add in an extra 1-2 servings of vegetables each day. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is, and you won’t even have to give up your favorite things. Pack a little bag of sugar snap peas and take them with you to work. Munch on a few baby carrots while you're watching TV. Keep your fridge stocked with healthy produce so you have no excuse not to eat it!

Cook your own meals. It is so much easier to make healthy choices when you're cooking for yourself. Don't let the kitchen intimidate you! Once you get a handful of healthy recipes under your belt, you won't be tempted to swing by the drive thru on your way home from work. Try a few of these recipes to get your started: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, Vegetarian Chili, or Tomato & Rice soup, which are all super easy, vegetarian, and gluten free.

Enlist a partner. Healthy goals are so much easier if you have someone else along for the ride! Ask your friend/co-worker/sister/cousin/neighbor to do it with you, and you’ll be much more likely to complete it. Knowing you have to roll out of bed in the morning is easier when you know you’ll be meeting up with a friend at the gym, and opting for salad at a restaurant is easier when your friend is getting one too. Even if your "buddy" isn't doing it with you, ask them to encourage you along the way to keep you on track.

Remember that your goals are your goals. I know, I know, I just said to get someone to do it with you, but don’t forget that at the end of the day, these goals are for you. These goals are what you’ve set for yourself, so don’t sell yourself short! If your friend can’t go to the gym, don’t skip it! These goals are all yours.

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...I know, she gives great advice, right? If you want to see more healthy tips, recipes, and overall good stuff from Liz, make sure to check out I Heart Vegetables and subscribe (I do!). Or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!

Also, I'm dying to know if you have any New Year's resolutions? Share them in the comments and let's attack 2014!