It’s brand new year, and a lot of us are thinking about making some changes for the better. Many of us spent the last year binging Netflix, wearing comfy sweats, and perhaps munching a bit too much on our favorite comfort foods, and why not? After all, we spent a ton of time at home, rarely had to be at anything social, and well….2020. So, now that we are looking at a brand new year, and hopefully a little bit more normalcy in our lives soon, it’s only natural to think about getting our diets cleaned up and hopefully drop a few of those pandemic pounds!
As we look to change our habits, keep in mind-it takes 21 days to FORM a habit, but usually around 60 days for it to become routine in our lives. Small steps, when done routinely, can add up to huge changes over a period of time, so-think of small attainable goals that will eventually add up to big goals. This will keep you focused and happy with your progress.
Today I’d like to give you some small steps to start now that will add up to those big changes that you want to see later. Pick one or two a week, or a month, and build them into habits, then into routine, as you slowly add in more. Several small goals add up to a much bigger picture in the end!
Find Your Why!
Just claiming that you want to drop 15 pounds/eat cleaner/work out is not enough to motivate you to do the things you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. The clearest way to get your motivation in gear is to declare your WHY. Why do you want to drop those pounds? Why do you want to eat cleaner? Why do you want to workout? What are the things you envision in your life when you DO accomplish these things? Take a few minutes and really think about what you will “gain” by hitting the goal you want to hit. Make a list of those things. Perhaps you want to wear certain clothes, or feel more youthful and fit, or maybe it’s because you want the energy to lay with your kids or grandkids. Maybe you want to walk your dog without being out of breath, or maybe you’re hoping to take up an activity this spring that needs you to be more in shape. Perhaps you want to get off of medications, or see your blood pressure drop to a normal level. Write these things down, envision your life as it will be at that point, and consider how you will feel about accomplishing that. That, my friend, is your WHY.
Focus on ADDING things, not SUBTRACTING things!
Often, when we make changes in our lives to be healthier, we find that we feel restricted, or that we are losing out on things. Change your mindset! Instead of saying “I can’t eat cookies”, say to yourself, “look at all these amazing fruits I get to eat from the local farmers market”. Instead of thinking, “I have to get up and exercise”, think, “Wow, I get to go for a long walk/jog and really enjoy feeling healthy in my soul!” or, “It feels so good to have a few minutes of quiet time to just enjoy how it feels to work my body.” In addition, ADD new foods to your diet, add new recipes! The addition of these things is far more important and lasting than subtracting things from your goals! Try looking at what you GET to do, instead of what you cannot do. Change your mindset.
Lose the Idea of Perfection!
This is a big one! How many times have you started a healthy eating plan only to give up on it after eating the “wrong” foods? This is, after all, why people are always “starting” diets. Think of it this way-instead of beating yourself up for not finishing a workout, praise yourself for trying. Instead of giving up on your healthy eating plan because you had a few cookies, congratulate yourself for only having a few. Again, it’s the mindset that changes your patterns. Attempting perfection only sets you up for failure, because, hey! Who’s perfect anyway? Nothing is ever going to be perfect, accept the imperfections and find the small accomplishments that have been made. Give yourself a break. It’s all part of the process!
Get some Sleep; Rest your Mind, Find Moments of Peace
Lack of quality sleep affects SO much of your health journey. Lack of sleep creates stress, and stress releases hormones that affect your metabolism negatively. Lack of sleep keeps your body from achieving recovery mode, which results in exhaustion, poor muscle strength, the possibility of making poor choices, and increased appetite. Make your sleep a priority-set bedtime and wake time routines, turn off electronics, reduce blue light time in the evening, cool the temperature of your bedroom, and make your bed a comfortable and peaceful place. To aid in proper sleep, but sure to get adequate sunlight into your life during the daytime hours, and try to not indulge in alcohol or heavy meals before bedtime.
Make You and Your Health a Priority SELF LOVE
Honor your body, honor your goals, and honor your meals. Practice honor in all aspects of your journey and the respect you give will pay you back. Nutrition is the best medicine you can give your body. What you put into your body is what you get in return. Show your body love in all that you do, and beyond that-show yourself LOVE. Spend time doing the things that bring you joy, take up a new hobby or rediscover something that you have long given up. By bringing yourself joy, you remove stress and create a whole new peace and calm in which to live. Meditate, practice gratitude, spend time focusing on your breath. Love yourself enough to put yourself first, and the rewards of good health with come to you.
Find New Ways to Measure Success
I hate when I see images of scales on posts about dieting or healthy eating! The scale is a truly poor measurement of diet success! There’s an image that gets passed around on the internet often depicting several women, all the same weight, each with a completely different body. Personally, when I gave up on the number I saw on the scale, I quickly realized that “volume” or “weight” simply did not give a full picture of my body. Look at it this way-a tall skinny 5 pound box weighs the same as a small circular sphere that weighs 5 pounds. They are completely different though! So many factors play into weight on a scale-muscle build, bone density, how much water you drank, whether you’ve used the restroom, even having long hair! Many people find that when they are in their ideal fit shape, their weight is actually HIGHER than the goal weight they hoped for. Learn to measure your success in other ways: how do your clothes fit? How do you look in the mirror? Are you feeling lighter? Is there a spring in your step? Are you getting through workouts without breathing as heavy? Are people remarking on your success? Learn to look at how you feel and what you see instead of those numbers on that scale!
Find a Fellow Motivator!
How about a bestie that encourages you to succeed? Someone you admire that cheers you on and adds positive motivation and support to your daily life? Surround yourself with the people who have the same goals as you, people that have accomplished those goals and live them every day. These are the people that will inspire you and excite you. Find your tribe of fellow goal seekers, fellow health seekers, and follow the journey together. You can, of course, also find yourself a Health and Wellness Coach that will guide you, motivate you, cheerlead you, and help you set those goals, break them down into small steps, and reach them. You know where to find me;)
Shared from my website BeeWell.com Now offering 20% off all Health and Wellness Packages with promo code HEALTH20