One of the reasons many truck drivers fail at their New Years Resolutions is because they tend to set unattainable goals or get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results. While they have good intentions at first, over time their motivation begins to wear off…
When it comes to health, we’d rather you make some small changes that can have big results over time as opposed to attempting to tackle mountains right out of the gate. The idea here is that these goals are more manageable and can create some positive momentum that will carry over into other things.
Today, we’ve got 6 goals for truck drivers to set that don’t require reaching for the stars. They’re small goals (OK, so the quit smoking thing may be pretty lofty for some of you) that will help improve the overall health and hopefully create a snowball effect. Let’s take a look.
1. Drink more water (instead of other things).
This is a great beginner New Year’s resolution for truck drivers. It’s no secret that pop and sugary drinks do nothing for our health on the road, yet they’re always so readily available at truck stops. Ever stop to calculate how many calories you’re taking in through beverages alone? Sometimes we “forget” that there are calories in these, and they can often add up to as many as 400-500 extra calories a day.Holy smokes! Switch out the energy drinks, soda, and sugary beverages for good old H2O for an easy health improvement.
TIP: Start somewhere. Depending on where you’re at currently, set a goal to reduce the bad stuff and start drinking more water. Replacing 2-3 pops with 2-3 waters will make a difference over time.
2. Do some type of physical activity for 20-30 min daily.
This one is relatively easy to incorporate into your daily routine as well. You don’t have to do a full body strength workout to get some exercise on the road (though it never hurts!). A brisk walk or run around the truck stop will get your heart rate up and give you some cardio for the day. Nowhere to walk? 34 laps around your truck is a mile. Figure out a way to do SOMETHING.
TIP: Need some inspiration? We’ve got plenty of exercise ideas for truck drivers here.
3. Spend more time with loved ones.
Spending time doesn’t always mean being there in person. Even if you’re apart, you can still build memories and bond with family and friends back home. Consider setting up a “Skype date” with your significant other, kids, or friends on a regular basis. Not only will it give you something to look forward to, but it will provide some consistency in an otherwise inconsistent work schedule. Whatever you choose, pick “your thing” and stick to it.
TIP: Even little things like sending postcards from your travels goes a long way. We’ve heard from several truckers with children who love receiving these postcards.
4. Save more money.
There are a couple things you can do right away to save a little extra dough. The biggest way to save cash? Buy your own groceries to store in a mini fridge or cooler rather than stopping at a truck stop or fast food joint for meals. Not only is fast food high in basically everything (fat, calories, carbs, etc) but it’s also wildly expensive. Think about how much you could get at the grocery store compared to a week’s worth of fast food meals.
Another way for truck drivers to save money is to think about 1 thing that you currently spend money on that is not needed and save that money instead. Maybe it’s lottery tickets. Maybe it’s cigarettes. Every time you would normally spend money on that item, instead save that same amount. It doesn’t have to be a whole lot to add up real quick. We read about one truck driver who killed two birds with one stone by saving money every time he would normally buy cigarettes. At the end of a month, he had well over $100.
TIP: Use this money to add to that emergency fund. It will come in handy at some point.
5. Just relax from time to time.
We know situations can quickly become tiresome when it comes to getting loads or requesting home time. But try to see things from the other side, too — many times your fleet manager is feeling overwhelmed with balancing multiple drivers at once. A little patience can go a long way and sometimes it is better to just relax.
Whether it’s a car cutting in front of the truck or rushing to get somewhere on time, after the fact you need to take a little break to keep it from creeping into the rest of your day. Even if it’s just 10-15 seconds. Take a deep breath and give some of these stretches for truck drivers a try.
TIP: Find the things that help you relax and write them down. Maybe it’s a certain song or a certain thought…whatever it is just have something planned for a time of need. Trucking can be stressful and finding time to relax can go a long way in managing that stress.
Okay, this one is tough. We added it to the list because it doesn’t take any additional time, just additional will power. It’s an issue among truck drivers and it’s one that MUST be addressed. Maybe cold turkey is the way to go here or maybe it’s just a matter of cutting back 1-2 smokes at a time. The bottom line is that if this is a bad habit it’s better to do something about it NOW.
TIP: Read more about how truck drivers can stop smoking here.