As the middle of January draws upon us, the “r-word” has become a faint memory for some.  Resolutions made almost a month ago seem to be on the back-burner as the impending doom of the New Year has passed.  Modifications and additions of “cheat days” have become ever popular and the constant pinning, liking, and sharing of workout tips, healthy food recipes, and future silhouettes have subsided…for now.  Some, though, still hold on to these resolutions to be healthier in 2014, but are going about it in different ways.

Forget about doing one hundred crunches every day or drinking some miracle concoction guaranteed to burn belly fat.  A healthy lifestyle begins much more foundationally than in typical weight loss.  For some, a healthy lifestyle includes getting back to simpler times, eliminating stress, finding confidence, and eliminating clutter (both symbolic and literal).  For others, a healthy lifestyle may include being conscious about what they put on, in, and around themselves.

The utilization of social media has been instrumental to successful resolutions for many.  Outlets such as Pinterest allow you to create boards and categorize your healthy lifestyle goals for 2014.  Perhaps becoming more informed about controversial issues is a healthy lifestyle goal of yours.  Creating a board that you can pin blogs and facts about food issues like GMO and organic, treatment of drugs in agriculture, ethanol, etc. where they can be easily accessed and viewed will turn your Sunday night of TV and binge-eating into an educational conversation-starter. You’ll be surprised what you learn in one sitting!  Staying up to date on controversial issues will allow you to be a better consumer and make better, more informed decisions about the things you purchase (food or not) and surround yourself with.

A resolution of mine this year was to not eat and drive.  Though this serves as an elimination of fast food, it also served other health benefits.  Becoming aware of my priorities was important for me.  In a culture where we need everything instantaneously, the drive home was costing me not only in money spent on food, but in time being miserable when I got home.  Taking time at home to find a recipe, get the freshest ingredients, and then take the time to create and enjoy and learn about my food enriched my diet and my time spent at home after work.  I have a board created for quick meals, slow meals, and meals that are a challenge to motivate me to research and learn about my food…and save some money and calories while I’m at it.

New Year resolutions shouldn’t start and stop in January…they just have to be tailored to long-term goals.  Being aware of your needs as a consumer is the first step.  If being healthy is your goal, think about what is practical, then do the research. Utilize social media, scour boards on Pinterest for others who are doing the same things as you—find motivation in your surroundings!  Pin and post often to keep yourself on track and brag to yourself about your accomplishments so far.

Motivation is everywhere; Pinterest pages are more than just agriculture-based.  Boards that focus on food issues, nutrition, and even healthy lifestyles may surprise even city-dwellers.  Find your motivation in unexpected places!

Mariah DavidsonMariah Davidson
Illinois State University Student