Here are some helpful tips to assist you with your lifestyle/fitness goals.  I say lifestyle because being healthy is truly a lifestyle, one of which you will never want to ditch want you start.  Once again, I am not a wellness expert I just know what works for me and has made me successful when I have failed diets.  I have adopted a lifestyle, nothing short of that.

  • Set yourself up for success with realistic goals.  I like the SMART goals model.  For example:  I may have a goal to run 2 miles by next Tuesday without stopping.  This is a SMART goal.  This can translate with replacing a soda at lunch with water twice a week.  Bottom line:  You know what is going to be reasonable for you to accomplish, that way when you accomplish it you will have the confidence to pursue something that will be more challenging.
    • S: Specific
    • M: Measurable
    • A: Attainable
    • R: Relevant
    • T: Timely
  • Eat color and variety and with moderation.  It sounds like an easy thing but it may not be for some people. Avoid brown food.  What I mean is that your plate at mealtime and throughout the day should consist of lots of fruit and vegetables.  Brown food like complex carbohydrates are good for you of course but they should always be accompanied by friends rich in nutrients like fruit or veggies.  So in short, stop eating bad foods or with moderation.  I am not saying a couple times a week or anything but if you go to a six year old's birthday once in a while of course you can have a small piece of cake.
  • Most things are better in pairs.  Having an accountability partner will not only give you someone to vent to when you struggle (yes, you will struggle) but it will also give you someone to celebrate your accomplishments with.  For me that person is my sister and even though she lives out of state the accountability is still there and it works for us.  I text her when I hit a goal or when I tempted with icky food and she does the same.
  • Water, water, water.  No more sugary drinks.  It sounds like an easy thing, but most people do not get enough of it.  Your body will perform better when you are hydrated, dehydration can sometimes disguise itself as hunger, and your body can function the way it was intended.  If you do not like the taste, get over it.  I'm kidding, well kinda.  You may try making spa water at home, no not the sugary kind on Pinterest.  I am talking about slicing a cucumber, mint, citrus, and other fruits in combination.  Add it to a pitch of water in your refrigerator and poof delicious water without harmful gunk.  Also remember that once your body starts to change you will crave healthy foods and water may be one of them.
  • Program your workout.  All I mean is figure out a time each day when you will be able to workout.  Then each day plan an activity you know you can accomplish within that time frame.  For me that usually means in the morning before I head to work.  Of course this means I will also have to get up earlier than normal but generally once I am home from work in the evening I make up excuses on why I don't want to run...ready to sit down and eat dinner, too tired, too dark outside, etc.  This gets back to setting yourself up for success.  If I only have time to workout after I am home from work then all day I will psych myself up for the workout whether it is yoga, pilates, intense cardio, kettlebells, etc.  If you write all these workouts on a calendar or planner then you can block the time off and then check it off once you have completed it so you hold yourself accountable.
  • Routine may be boring but it gets stuff done.  This ties in with programming your workout, but if you have a routine you will be able to accomplish your goals without feeling frazzled.  Routine also means self wellness and preservation too.  For me that is quiet time in the mornings without technology or reading at night before saying my prayers.  These things help me to start and end my day in the right state of mind and keep me from feeling rushed and ragged even though of course I do sometimes.  Find what works for you and stick with it.  Maybe that is walking around your block in the middle of the day or taking lunch outside and getting out of your office during the workday.
  • Sleeping isn't just about rest.  Of course your body needs rest and that is what sleep is designed for but it goes far beyond that.  It is key to make sure you are getting the right amount for your body, not too much and not too little.  
  • Have the right food around your house.  It may sound like a no brainer, but if you want to feel healthy and maintain you can't keep processed food and prepackaged meals in your house.  Not only are these food usually high in fat and calories but they are generally absent of nutrients.  Think about it, if a meal is in a box and has a 1.5 year shelf life chances are there isn't anything fresh or useful in it.  I guarantee you that once you start buying staple food like complex carbs, fresh fruits and veggies, and low/non fat dairy you will not long for a meal with a talking glove on the side of the box.  You will also be less tempted to over indulge in bad food if there isn't any around.  If you must have sugar, learn to bake with stevia and whole grains and stop buying oreos.  Don't worry I will be posting recipes.  I have a sweet tooth too ya know?!
  • Have the right food accessible.  Organize items so you know what you have and also have healthy fresh foods easy to get to.  For example, if you are like me and brown bag it nearly every work day then make ahead portions of healthy snacks like nuts, fruit that needs cutting, vegetables, soups, salads, and anything else you may take for lunch or a mid-day snack.  By taking your lunch not only do you save lots of dough but you are also able to control what you eat and know exactly what you are getting.  Usually I will portion and bag carrots into small bags for a whole weeks worth of snacks.  This will keep you from eating out and also ensure that you stick to your goals during the week when you may be short one time.
  • Have fun!  Choose things that are going to keep you focused on your goals by having a good time.  Mix things up and try new things.  Look to fitness magazines or blogs for new workouts or disciples to try.  If you stick to the same thing all the time you are likely to burn out, so don't. Also, don't think you are ever confined to your neighborhood.  Search out parks that may be close to you for biking or hiking or find a 5K in your area to run with a friend.  
  • The important thing is to remember that you make your own rules because in the end this is your lifestyle and no one else's.  Be your own encouraging best friend.  You can do it!


One Comment

  1. I am obsessed with SMART goals! Love that you are a promoter of them, as well :)

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