Here's a radical idea: checking back in with our New Year's resolutions well into the year. Just because you set your New Year’s resolutions back in January, it doesn’t mean you can't recommit to them. And when you think about it—do you even remember the goals you set? Summer is often filled with ice creams, boozy day parties, barbecues, and more, and while it’s super fun to get outside and socialize, it can also wreck that healthy diet or fitness plan you had in mind back in the winter.
However, it’s time to bring back those resolutions and work towards accomplishing them with a fresh attitude. And if you don’t remember it, set a new one now! It’s never too late. Here are a few tips to get back on track towards improving your health and confidence.
Focus on Fresh Produce
It’s still summer, and that means lots of fresh produce is at peak ripeness, so it’s the perfect time to experiment with grilling and whip up delicious salads and lighter fare.
In the winter you might crave hearty, heavy foods, like mac n’ cheese, casserole, and creamy soup, but in the summer you’re likely going to be more inclined to nosh on leafy greens and hydrating veggies, like cucumbers and zucchini, as well as fruit, like berries, tomatoes, cherries, and watermelon. And these are exactly what healthy, whole foods you need in your diet to eat clean and perhaps even drop a few pounds (if that is your goal, of course).
So, seize summertime as a way to make lighter recipes that aren’t processed or heavy in calories and bad fats. Think chilled soups, salads, and grilled fruit for dessert (try peaches with ricotta and some honey!).
While you might have set the intention of working out a few times a week back in January, it can be hard to commute to a gym or find the energy after a long day when it’s cold and dark outside. In the summer, there are plenty of ways to stay active! You can join a sports league, round up friends for an outing of baseball or Frisbee, or go for a bike ride or run along a trail or lake. Use the warm weather to your advantage and pick activities that can be done outside to boost that motivation and kick your fitness game up a notch.
Note from FJ: Feeling sluggish in the heat? Grab a protein snack to take with you. These 20-gram protein bars combine protein and fiber with 6-8 grams of net carbs, providing you with both short and long-term energy and muscle-building nutrition. If low-carb energy is your speed, try these protein puffs. They provide a quick and flavorful crunch of protein for fueling your outdoor activities.
Ditch the Booze
If you had a plan to cut back on drinking, you can—focus on drinking a lot of water to stay safe in the late summer heat, and that will fill your belly up to help you naturally drink alcohol slower! What’s more, try a mocktail—there are plenty of fun, light and fruity mocktail recipes popping up at bars (or DIY yourself at home!) where you can have a summery looking cocktail without all the booze. You can also go for lower ABV drinks, like hard seltzers, which are great for lowering the rate of intoxication when spread out over a day at the pool. And they’re right on trend—White Claw or Truly in hand.
Meet New People
If your resolution was to build confidence and your social network, summer is a great season to do so! In winter, people might hibernate and be less likely to make plans to socialize. And since people tend to feel sadder in the darker, cooler months, they might not be as friendly and open-minded, too.
In the summer, everyone wants to get outdoors as much as possible, go out in crowds, and meet new friends! There’s a happier spirit abound, and that makes it easier to befriend others and put yourself out there. Having a greater network increases happiness, which can make you feel more confident and loved. Consider planning happy hour dates with co-workers, joining groups or sports clubs, and just having a “the more, the merrier” attitude.
Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy. She can't resist a good sample, a margarita, a new HIIT class, or an easy laugh. She writes for various magazines, such as Men's Health, Women's Health, SELF, LIVESTRONG, POPSUGAR, Allure, Health, Cooking Light, and more. Learn more about her on her website: isadorabaum.com.