Resources and tools to make 2016 your healthiest year ever

With a brand new year comes an opportunity to start fresh. Whether you want to lose weight, get fit or adopt healthier eating habits, NOW is the best time to take the first step.

We know how hard it is to make these new year resolutions stick, so we have curated some resources from the internet to help you make 2016 your healthiest year ever.

Goal setting

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – Lao Tzu

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight – Jim Rohn

If you want to have a better chance of making your resolution to be healthier this year a reality, you need to first set small, realistic, achievable goals first.

ArticleHow to set smart goals-This article explains in detail on how to set S.M.A.R.T goals. SMART is short for the five qualities your goals should have: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Article6 reasons why you need to set goals – While the last article focuses on HOW to set goals, this article discusses about the WHY. Why should you set goals in the first place?

ToolTrello – Trello is a very useful tool for organizing your thoughts. It’s usually used for project management, but we also found that it’s extremely useful for brainstorming ideas. Trello allows you to visualise every idea you have on a single workspace – and then organize them accordingly after.

ArticleCreating goal template with Trello– Describes a creative way to use Trello to goal settings.

Quitting Smoking

I’m more proud of quitting smoking than of anything else I’ve done in my life, including winning an Oscar – Christine Lahti

Quitting smoking is never easy. But it is a must if you wish to be healthier this year. Here is a list of resources to help you get started and stay on track

ResourceStop smoking recovering table– Table that shows you the benefits of quitting smoking.

ToolBuild your own quit plan – Use this free template to create your own quit plan. Having a plan makes quitting much easier.

App – Kwit Android version and IOS version – This app makes quitting smoking fun by turning the quitting process into a game. You level-up and unlock new achievements as you go. You will also get interesting statistics like the number of cigarettes you haven’t smoked and the money you have saved etc. You can also shake your phone to draw a motivational card whenever you start craving for a cigarette.

App – SmokeFree Android version and IOS version
– This interesting app packs every thing that will motivate quitting in one application. It shows you how long you’ve been smoke free, how much money you’ve saved, how many cigarettes you’ve avoided, and how your health is improving. You then get badges for progress and success can be shared with friends. There’s also an option to record a cravings diary.

Picking-up an exercise habit

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion – Newton’s Law of Motion

ArticleHow to not suck at building healthy habits…finally – An article written a few years back but the advice remains solid. If you take your habit building seriously, you have to read this article

AppHabit Bull – Beautifully-designed app to help you track your habits. It’s designed based on Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret– the idea is not to break the chain!

ToolStickK– A very fun way to make sure you stick to your goals. First, you set a goal that you would like to achieve. You then need to assign a referee to check on your progress. You can also choose to put money on the line – you lose money if you fail at anytime to achieve your goals. By having a referee, you double your chance of success and by having financial stakes on the line, you triple you chance of success.

Smart DeviceFitbit or Nike Fuelband – These devices will help track your daily activities, like how much calories burnt, how many steps you took etc. Best part – you can show off your results on your social media profile.

AppsRunkeeper or NikePlus IOS version and Android or Endomondo – Running is the easiest exercise you can pick-up. Start running today with these free apps. Life will be different once you have started running

Eating healthy

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is said that you are what you eat. So if you want to be a healthier self this year, start by changing what you put into your stomach.

WebsiteThe World’s healthiest foods – Want to find recipes or information about healthy foods? Look no further. This site contains all the information you will ever need.

Tool and resourceHealthy eating on a budget – It’s actually a website developed by the United States Department of Agriculture so that people will start planning their meals. Lots of free tools like Supertracker that helps you plan and track your diet and physical activities, Grocery game plans to help you plan your grocery runs etc, as well as guides, tips and even recipes on how to create healthy meals (on-a-budget too..)

Appnutrino – Well-designed app to help keep track of your diet and exercise. Together with device like Fitbit, Nutrino personalizes a healthy meal plan based off of your activity and goals, whether that’s to gain muscle or just be healthy. It also allows you to build shopping lists through recommendations of whole foods, takes into account any food allergies you have (or if you simply prefer to eat a plant-based or gluten-free diet), and provides a virtual health coach to tie everything together.

AppFooducate – An app with huge database of nutritional information. You are able to scan the barcode of a certain food and check if it’s healthy for you.(This feature might not be available in Malaysia.) The power of this app actually lies in the community behind it. Members in the fooducate community actually help each other by providing healthy recipes and success stories.
unfortunately, this app is not currently supported in Malaysia yet. Bummer!

Losing weight

I found that people like rules, and I love to tell people what to do. It’s not rocket science when it comes to weight loss. It’s about eating a little less and moving a little bit more – Bob Harper

Deciding to get in shape and lose weight is easy – the hard part is actually sticking to that commitment! When it comes to weight loss, the simple formula (and arguably the only formula) is to monitor your calories in and calories out.

Check out the following tools and resources to help you achieve your goal of becoming leaner this year!

WebsiteGreatist – We recently found this website and instantly fell in love with it. It offers plenty of information for weight loss: simple yoga exercises, healthy yet delicious diet recipes, and little tips to make your day better.

app – Seven 7 minute Workout app IOS version and Android version
– No time to work out? Apparently it only takes 7 minutes of your time every day. Start working out today with this app.

app – MyFitnessPal  IOS version and Android version
-The world’s most popular health and fitness app! It allows you to easily track your calories in and out, on your smart phone. Studies have shown that you are more likely to succeed in losing weight if you keep a food diary. A “must-have” if you are serious about losing weight.

app Fitocracy – Who says you can’t have fun while losing weight? Fitocracy literally makes your work-out a game. You can take on fitness quests, and earn points along the way – and use the points you earn to level up. You can also join a challenge, and even duel with you buddies.

free toolWebMD food and fitness planner – Here’s a web based free tool for those of you who don’t like the idea of an app. This tool is prepared by WebMD, the most authoritative site when it comes to health information. It allows you to create your own personal weight-loss plan – and plenty of other tools to help you achieve your target weight. Best of all, it’s free!

blogAuthentically Emmie – Sometimes, it’s a lot better getting advice from people who have done it before. Emmie used to weigh over 450 pounds, but has lost 110 pounds since she started blogging. You will find lots of inspirations reading her blog. Apart from writing about her own weight loss journey, she also writes about exercise & diet plans, as well as fashion ideas designed specifically for plus-size women.

Sleeping more

Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life. To find a balance in them is a skill in itself. Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have. Finding them in each other – activity in rest and rest in activity – is the ultimate freedom. – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995-2000

You cannot live a healthy life without having long enough, good quality sleep every night. A good rest at night helps you function well throughout the day. On the other hand, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, obesity, kidney problems, depression etc.

So start treating yourself better this year! Get more good quality sleep

article 15 science-backed ways to fall asleep faster – Check out this article for some easy tricks that everyone can use to sleep better.
p.s You may have heard of the “4-7-8” method already, as it got really popular last year and was featured on multiple media channels.

app – Relax Melodies IOS version and Android version
Go to sleep with this app. Just create your own sleep mix by selecting sounds and music you like and wake up the next day feeling refreshed and happy.

app – Relax and sleep by Glenn Harrold IOS version and Android version
Hypnotise yourself to sleep tonight with this app designed by Glenn Harrold. Glenn is one of the world’s most successful hypnotherapists. The app comes with two free tracks with option to purchase more tracks in-app.

Healthy mind

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha

You can’t have a strong body without an equally strong mind to support it. Here we have some great resources to help you maintain the well-being of your mind.

articleA guide to meditation for the rest of us
Start practising meditation this year. It’s a simple exercise yet provides tons of benefits. Check out this article to get started.

ResourceFragrant Heart – You can find lots of guided meditation exercise here. They also provide free courses on meditation.

app – Calm Meditation app IOS version and Android version
Take meditation everywhere you go. This app offers seven guided meditation sessions ranging from 2-20 minutes.

toolLumosity– Improve your brain function with this game designed by a team of scientists and designers. They are also available at the Apple app store and google playstore. Next time when you are stuck in a long queue, or waiting at the bus stop, train your brain with these fun games

So there you go, a huge list of useful resources and tools to help you be a healthier self this year. What do you think? Do you have other useful tools that you would like to recommend too?

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