January is that time of year when everyone starts writing their New Years Resolution lists…insert eye roll here. March is that time of year when you think back to your resolution and you are usually in one of two groups: The fist pump group (I’m SLAYING IT!) OR the group hiding under the covers (What resolution?)
We all know what we need to be doing to attain the healthiest version of ourselves but why can’t we follow through?
Start Small, don’t aim too high. Set the bar low!
Seems counter intuitive when I say that, right? The truth is, we get all “Richard Simmons-y” about new goals when we see that ball dropping toward the new year.
You’ve probably personally experienced this storyline: You workout like a madman for a week straight. You eat gorgeous $20 kale salads from Whole Foods everyday for lunch. You even stopped melting into your couch with a glass of wine every night after work. YOU are a changed woman! Then, BOOM! Next week you slip a little. Maybe 2 days of rest from the gym turns into 3 and then 4 days. Skipping meals and filling yourself with coffee slowly creeps back into your daily routine and then before you know it, you find yourself in the same damn situation you were in when you started your “year of health.”
So what happened?
It was WAY too much too soon and you got overwhelmed; that’s what happened!
- Instead of hitting ALL your goals head on, pick one and master it before moving on to the next. They say it takes on average 66 days to create a new habit. 66 days!
- Slow and steady wins the race. You’re life is not a sprint. Be realistic and be patient.
- Pick one thing – if you want to eat healthier and start working out, I suggest picking one to get a handle on it before adding the next goal. Imagine if you just focus on eating well for 66 days without having to worry about working out. You’ll be in a much better starting place when you add in the next goal because eating well has become automatic to you. Eventually your next new habit will too. First, prove it to yourself that you can stick with something and DO NOT COMPROMISE on this one thing.
- Why are we so addicted to the extreme? How many people do you know that go balls to the wall with a diet and exercise program only to fail a few week or even days into it? You cannot master 1,000 things at one time and expect the lifestyle change to stick. You’ll burn out!
- Make an appointment with yourself and DON’T break it! Love yourself enough to be the person you want to be.
Using myself as an example: I wasn’t always as disciplined as I am now with my workouts. Years ago I used to workout sporadically through the week. I was not a morning person nor did I have a “plan” when I walked into the gym every few days. I finally figured out that having a lackadaisical approach to my fitness regimen was not helping me reach specific fitness goals. I HAD to nail down a time of day that I knew I could consistently make it to the gym to have a productive, focused workout. This “non morning person” gradually became a “wake-up at 5am girl.” It took me a solid 6 months of waking up to an alarm at 5am before it became automatic and non negotiable.
Did you really think I would write a blog and not reference the importance of food prep? 😉
Realistically speaking, most of you will not be able to bust out 5 days worth of food on your first try. As I already mentioned, creating a long lasting habit requires that you start small.
- Chose a day that works with your schedule when you’ll have time to commit and mark it in your calendar as an appointment with yourself that you CANNOT flake out on.
- Consider which meal is the hardest for you to eat during the day. If you find yourself eating out everyday for lunch, start there. Try prepping your lunches in advance for 2 days. (Yes, just two days. Anyone can do that.) Once you get the hang of it, slowly add in more days of prepped lunches. Gradually build on your new habit until you don’t have to think about it anymore and it’s a part of your daily and weekly routine.
- Please don’t think you have to become a professional chef creating inventive meals with each prep session. The running theme throughout this blog is to keep it simple until you master your new habit. Heck, I don’t even like to cook as much as you all might think I do. I do it because well, I have to eat so why not be efficient at it? My goals are to stay nourished throughout the day, to feel energized, and to continue fueling those muscles I work so hard for. So yes, meal prepping for me is mostly necessity first, creativity second.
Cut the excuses!
Creating a new habit is hard. Period. If it were easy, everyone would have their act together.
Every single day we are making decisions that will EITHER: propel us toward our goals OR pull us farther away. Every decision is a baby step in the right direction or the wrong direction. EVERY DECISION. EVERY DAY.
The decision to drink a soda with lunch may not show up on your body today, but eventually the negative side effects will compound leaving you with potential weight gain, uncontrollable blood sugars, lack of appetite – and the list goes on….
Ask yourself this question: Do I really want to make a lifestyle change for the better?
The same old habits that you’ve been using won’t work anymore because obviously you’re not getting the results you’re after or your wouldn’t be reading this blog post.
Taking a small, realistic action toward your goals each day will eventually compound into the healthy habit you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Before you know it, momentum is in full swing and you’re the master of creating life long healthy habits every few months. Imagine where you’ll be in a year from now!