By now your New Year’s resolutions may be getting tough so let’s take a step back and figure out a different way to make them doable.  Introducing the concept of “snacks”.  When we think of snacks we are typically thinking of eating in between meals.  I want you to focus on the words “IN BETWEEN”.   Snacks are bite sized portions IN BETWEEN.  What if we aren’t talking about food?  How about energy snacks, exercise snacks, mindfulness snacks… you get the picture.  What can you do IN BETWEEN your full goals that can make a step in the right direction?

Let’s break this down for

  • Energy
  • Exercise
  • Mindfulness

READ ON for many tips on introducing snacks into your daily routine….

Exercise snack:  I love the concept of this one.  Think about it.  You work out once or twice a week for an hour.  Assuming you are sleeping 8 hours a night (big assumption for some, I know), that leaves 110 hours remaining in the week that you aren’t exercising.  Adding in exercise snacks are simple ways to get in an extra benefit.  Getting extra steps or doing any burst of motion like high knees, lunges, squats, leg raises really goes a long way.  I know you don’t have the time BUT you really do!  How about some bursts when you are doing the following:

  • Filling up your water at the refrigerator or water jug
  • Filling up your gas for your car (I’ve started doing this and will continue the motion I have chosen until my car is full)
  • Take a minute twice a day in your office
  • Park farther out at the grocery store and do high knees, lunges or walk briskly to the door
  • Take the stairs

Mindfulness snack:  Being mindful isn’t hard, it just takes being present and that is the hard part.  We get on a roll at work or at home and forget to even simply breathe.  Here are some mindfulness snacks:

  • Do 5 belly breaths (put your hand on your belly and breath in pushing that hand out and then exhaling fully)
  • Take a minute and tell yourself everything you have to be grateful for (perfect to do before you even get out of bed)
  • Do a sensory check in: What do you smell?  What do you hear?  What color do you see?  What do you feel (as in touch)?  What do you taste?  Really focus on these five things in sequence and this has been shown to help decrease anxiety.
  • Grab a cup of warm liquid (tea, hot water, etc) and just hold the outside of the cup and take a few deep breaths
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Energy snack:  Face it we all can use more energy and I don’t want us reaching for more and more caffeine as the answer.  Here are some energy snack ideas:

  • Getting your heart rate up for a minute
  • Having a literal snack that is balanced with good fat, protein & carbs (eating well in general helps your energy)
  • Take a 5 minute rest of the eyes and mind
  • Standing up and doing 3 deep stretches reaching your hands to the sky and breathing in while you raise your arms
  • Drink a glass of green tea

If your resolution was to get more organized then maybe you “snack” on one pile on your desk or one drawer.  If your resolution was to be more social maybe you “snack” with a phone call to a friend once a week or grabbing a cup of tea/coffee.  Where can you get a snack in?

To your health,