Updated: Oct 8
Do you struggle to maintain healthy habits? Do you often give yourself excuses to ditch the healthy choice with reasons like:
"The weather is bad"
"I am too tired"
"I don't have time"
"It's too late" (or too early)
" I need to unwind"
"It's too hard"
"I don't want to miss out"
How can we maintain healthy habits when life and self sabotaging get in the way? We've got you covered with 4 empowering tips to keep you moving forward and support those healthy lifestyle goals!
4 Tips to Maintain Healthy Habits:
Tip 1: Schedule it.
You schedule meetings, appointments, and events with friends and family, so why not schedule time for your health and fitness? Whether it's your daily workout, time to prepare a healthy meal, or 15min. set aside to meditate, putting it on your calendar helps give it priority and empowers you to stay consistent. Set an alert on your phone with an inspirational message such as "it's time to celebrate a healthy, strong and able body!" or,"commit to fit!" Use an accountability tool, such as checking in to the gym on Facebook, signing up for a regular fitness class, registering up for a 5K walk/run (you will have to train!) or utilize a phone app that offers monetary rewards (such as Pact). Establishing an accountability reminder tells you your health & fitness is a priority.
Tip 2: Eliminate Distractions.
Due to modern advances in technology we are more accessible than ever. The daily flood of emails, text messages, phone calls and social media updates can be negative distractions keeping us from accomplishing true priorities on our plate. Ever been at the gym, out on a walk or enjoying time with friends and family and suddenly found yourself answering an email or text? Establishing healthy boundaries can be a good thing, for you and for others. It enables you to be in the moment, prioritize your time and honor your commitments. The next time you find yourself drawn to scroll Facebook or Instagram, surf Amazon for that thing you just “have to have” or realize you are constantly checking email and text in order to respond right away, ask yourself this, "does this demand my immediate attention?" The truth is very few of our daily distractions do. Rather than interrupting your productivity and disrupting the priorities of tasks, decide when you will devote time to each of these items. Perhaps you will scroll social media before/after work hours, or on a lunch break, maybe you will schedule 2 or 3 times each day to read and respond to emails, and maybe you can make a list of those must have online shopping items so you can get to them all at once over the weekend. You will find you actually have more free time by being able to eliminate distractions, devote focused time and attention to tasks at hand and others will appreciate (and respect) your boundaries as well.
Tip 3: We don’t have time, we make it.
So often the response to why something didn’t happen is, “I didn't have time.” There are 24 hours in a day, how are you spending yours? Stop and take note of where your time is truly being spent and you just might be surprised to discover how those hours are being portioned out. When you find yourself with some "free time" how do you choose to spend it? Do you take a walk, stretch or take a moment for mindful meditation? Did you stop by the store on your way home from work to ensure you'll have some healthy options at home? Or did you give yourself an out to sit on the sofa and scroll social media for 30 minutes or to hit the drive through for fast food? Listen, sometimes giving yourself a pass may be a healthy choice, but when it becomes a regular part of the routine to forgo those healthy habits, it can create a problem. Studies show when we have created a pattern of healthy habits that fill us up mind, body and spirit we are less likely to deviate from them, and every time you chose that healthy habit you walk away feeling empowered, strong and good about the fact that you did something good for you! If you are still working to establish healthy habits and this is new to you, give it time, the feeling of accomplishment is worth the short term sacrifices you might have to make to get there.
Tip 4: Plan ahead.
Having a plan is one of the best ways you can support your goals, today and tomorrow. A plan offers an outline for goal achievement and empowers you with the clear steps it will take to get you there.
Example: You want to implement exercise.
How can you prepare?
Where will the activity occur?
Can you recruit a partner?
When and where will the fitness happen?
A plan answers these questions with, "my gym bag is packed and in the car for my fitness class after work," or "I am taking 15 minutes to go for a walk on my break," or "I am meeting a friend in the morning for a jog," or, "I am signed up for personal training and/or fitness classes."
Example: You want to eat healthier.
When will you shop and meal prep?
What meals/snacks can you prepare in advance?
What items will you keep on hand that will enable you to prepare a quick meal or snack when time is tight?
What types of healthy foods work best with your lifestyle needs and goals?
A plan answers these questions with, "I will go to the grocery store on Monday and Thursday," or "I will sped 30 min. on meal prep for the week on Sunday," or, "I can make a big batch of ___ to last me 2 days," I have healthy snack options in portion sized containers in my desk / car / purse" or "I will start my day with a nutrient dense smoothie for breakfast"
Bottom line - The difference between a quick fix and a healthy lifestyle is found in establishing healthy habits and routines that will support you for the long term. Set yourself up for healthy success by scheduling, eliminating distractions, making time (even just 10 minutes counts!), and planning ahead. It may feel like a bit of extra work in the beginning, but if you stick with it, before you know it it will have become a healthy habit that keeps you moving forward no matter what comes your way!
Are you an ambitious man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where ambitious folks go for the tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!