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12 Months to a Healthier Life

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If overhauling your lifestyle all at once feels intimidating, slow down and make one small change at a time by following this 12-month guide. The changes are meant to be cumulative, so as you progress through the year, hold onto those from the previous month and add each month’s new habit to your routine. Didn’t start in January? That’s OK. Jump in at any time and treat month one as “January.”

Scroll down for an infographic you can pin to your Pinterest inspiration board. We also created this handy calendar for you to download, print, and post somewhere it will serve as a daily reminder

January
Focus on the positive
Cut yourself some slack! Focusing on what you don’t like about your body can make you more susceptible to illness. Find the things you love about your body — these can be appearance or performance-based — and put more emphasis on those. By appreciating your unique traits and not comparing your body to others, you can improve your body image and decrease feelings of body shame. Get inspiration from this video that shows that every body in motion (no matter what shape or size) is awesome.

February
Keep a food diary
Tracking your meals can make you more conscientious about what (and how much) you’re really eating, and where you can make smarter choices. Studies have found that those who are more diligent about recording what they eat and when they eat it have more success at losing weight than those who don’t.

Tools like MyFitnessPal are great for keeping track of the foods you eat and for getting more familiar with how many calories they actually contain. Not sure how many calories you should aim for? This simple equation can help you figure it out.

March
Cut out added sugar
Fruit is good. Candy… not so much. And some foods that seem healthy have a surprising amount of added sugar such as flavored water, cereal, and ketchup. High consumption of sugar is linked to weight gain, and can increase risk of heart disease, so when you crave something sweet, reach for fruit instead.

April
Make it a meal prep month
It’s easier to eat clean when healthy meals are already in your fridge. Set aside a day to plan and prep your food each week. Prepping healthy meals can keep your diet on track. Check out these tips that make meal planning easy and delve in to our library of meal prep menus (grocery lists included) to get started.

May
Start a new workout program
Avoid a weight-loss or fitness plateau by varying your workout regimen. It takes your body between three and 12 weeks to get used to new exercise, and the fitter you are, the shorter that time frame. You want to experience a little soreness from your workouts, so as soon as you stop feeling that, it’s time to switch things up. Head over to Beachbody On Demand for new workouts that will keep challenging your body to get stronger.

June
Drink water every morning
Drinking a glass of water as soon as you start your day will help reduce morning dehydration. Not only is it a refreshing habit, it can also help with weight loss. Hydration is vital for exercise, so keep the water flowing to maximize your performance. Here are25 more tips to help you drink enough water every day. And if you’re not a huge fan of plain old water, check out these 10 tasty ways to add flavor.

July
Aim for 10,000 steps per day
Walking burns calories and can help combat the risks that come with a sedentary lifestyle. Added bonus: Going for a just a 15-minute stroll can help you get out of a mental rut and increase your creativity by nearly 60 percent.

August
Go junk food free
Highly-processed food loaded with sugar, salt, chemicals, and trans fats leads to health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to cardiovascular issues. Avoiding them is also an easy way to eliminate empty calories from your diet. Here are some tips to help you kick the junk food habit.

September
Incorporate meditation into your daily routine
Too much stress can impair muscle recovery, making leg day even worse. Mediation has been shown to reduce the impact of stressors like daily hassles and psychological issue by up to 44 percent. Find out more about how you can use meditation to recover from injuries faster and reduce stress.

October
Celebrate Meatless Monday
October is National Vegetarian Month. Going meat-free for a day can introduce you to new healthy foods to love, reduce your carbon footprint, and help lower your BMI. Check out our favorite vegetarian recipes for some inspiration.

November
Train for a Turkey Trot
Make every workout count by signing up for a walk or run at the end of the month. When you focus on performance, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your training and push harder to achieve your goals.

December
Get more sleep
Make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye during the busy holiday season. Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, but getting seven hours or more of good sleep a night can speed up weight loss. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, here are seven tips to help you get through the night and wake up feeling refreshed.

12 Months to a Healthier Life

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