September is just around in the corner. In fact, it’s back to school for many, returning to work, or simply going back to a regular routine where there is no time to take care of yourself anymore. For many, the transition from a restful summer to a busy life of commuting, taking care of the family, studying, or trying to balance it all, can be quite exhausting. Instead of starting a new season with excuses not to get healthier, why not come up with reasons on how to incorporate more time for yourself to give back to your body.
The wonderful thing about personal health and fitness, is that it’s all about you. You are creating your own version of healthy and setting goals that you can obtain. Use the following steps to get healthy and set realistic goals and more importantly, stick with them.
Determine Your Goal/s
First of all, you don’t need to set more than one goal. If you want to work with one goal, then stick with it. You can add more goals later. I’m a huge fan of goal setting. Why? It helps you keep on track to reach your target, but it also keeps you accountable and motivated. Nobody likes to let themselves down or not finish a goal. The finish line is so rewarding. However, goal setting is not just about writing a goal down like ‘I want to lose weight’, or ‘I need to get healthier.’ These are very general goals. You need to dig deeper and find out your ‘why’. Why do you want to lose weight, or why do you want to get healthier? Keep digging until you get to the source of your goal. For instance, if you want to lose weight to feel better or look better, ask yourself why? When you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, ask yourself why? When you keep asking why, you get to the root of the goal and this becomes your motivation to keep moving forward when you start to feel like giving up.
Create an Action Plan
Goals can’t be reached if you don’t have a plan in place. Anyone can write down a goal on paper, but how are you going to reach that goal? Have you thought about how much time you’re going to need to workout each week? Have you thought about how much time you’re going to need to start cooking more meals? Have you thought about a support system to help you reach your goals when life gets tough and you feel like giving up? These are all valid questions that will come up and in order to face them head on, you need to be prepared on how to handle them.
I like to use the following action plan when assisting people with their fitness and health goals. It’s called the SMART principle. It’s an acronym that stands for Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevance, and Time-Framed. To learn how to use this principle, read my blog on using the SMART Principle for Goal Setting.
Don’t Follow Health & Fitness Trends
I see this time and time again that people compare themselves to others. They see a picture in a magazine or on social media of someone’s before and after picture and want the same body as them. People go to great lengths to find out how they lost all the weight or the diet they went on. What they don’t realize is that everyone is different and unique. The goals you set for your health should be about you and you only. The workout you choose for yourself should be one that inspires you and is fun. Eating healthier is about long-term health and not focusing on counting calories, measuring food, or being on the next fad diet. Being mindful doesn’t mean that you need to meditate every day but rather find ways to de-stress so you can live in the moment. There are many different ways to workout and what you choose for yourself, should be as unique as you are.
Creating Time for Yourself
I thought getting healthier is time for yourself? There seems to be some confusion with trying to get healthier and fit along with finding YOU TIME. First of all, getting healthier is not just about working out. There seems to be this mindset that if you go to the gym every day and put in your time, then that’s all you need to do in order to get healthy. Becoming healthy is SO MUCH MORE than just exercising. Believe me, I had this mentality when I was in my 20’s but it has changed. There is the factor of eating healthy and you are what you eat. If you workout and put unhealthy foods back into your body, you are not really getting ahead with putting your health in check. If you can’t control your stress levels although you workout on a daily basis, you are not doing your mind and body any favours. It’s all about balancing activity, eating more healthier foods, finding a great support system, and relaxing your mind.
However, getting healthy and staying healthy is something that you should be practicing every day. It’s a lifestyle, a way of life. It doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym every day but rather incorporate as much as you can to keep your body and mind in balance. There is also time when you need to focus on YOU. This is not about cooking (unless you enjoy as much as I do), exercising for health, or being mindful, but instead finding an activity, a hobby, or something you enjoy that brings you pleasure and makes you happy. It could simply mean, taking time to read a book, join a club, go for walk, watch a movie, or work in your garden. This is time that helps you relax and makes you feel happy.
Don’t Be Self-Critical
This is a tough step for many people. What we seem to forget at the end of the day is that we all have bad days and life happens to us all. It’s all about how we respond to adversity that helps us to build our strengths and develop a deeper understanding of not just our body but our minds. There will be days when you just don’t feel like going to the gym or eat those bad foods. Don’t let these bumps in the road keep you from obtaining your gaols. It’s days like these when you learn the most about yourself. At some point, you just have to forgive yourself and move forward. It’s ok to sleep in and miss your workout or eat those unhealthy foods as long as you recognize to get back on track again. The realization of why you got off in the track, so that you don’t do it again or make a routine out of it.
Let this brand new season allow you to think differently on how you set your goals and realize that getting healthy shouldn’t be hard. Think ‘Outside of the Box’ when it comes to creating the BRAND NEW YOU!
EAT WELL – MOVE WELL – LIVE WELL
Your Compassionate Coach,