Do you struggle to maintain healthy habits? If you said yes, you're not alone.
The truth is, it's pretty easy to avoid something when you want to... coming up with any number of excuses to ditch your healthy habit routine:
"The weather is bad"
"I'm too tired"
"I don't have enough time"
"It's going to be too hard"
"I don't want to miss out on something else"
We've all done it. Whether it's trying to avoid a new healthy habit or just wanting to bail on your self-care commitments, it's easy to find a million reasons not to do something. We're human.
Yet the truth is in order to achieve your goals, you've got to learn how to honor your commitments and show up for yourself. Even when it's hard, it doesn't sound like fun, or you just don't want to.
That's why I've create this quick list of 4 simple ways you can make sticking to your plan easier, so you can follow through with your healthy habit commitments and make real progress toward your goals!
4 Tips to Maintain Healthy Habits:
Tip 1: Schedule it.
You schedule meetings, appointments, and fun with friends and family, so why not schedule time for your healthy habits? Whether it's a daily workout, meal prep, or a mindful practice, putting it on your calendar gives it priority and will help you stay consistent.
Set an alert on your phone with an inspirational message like, "I do it for ME" or,"Stronger everyday" Use an accountability tool, such as checking in to the gym on Facebook, signing up for a regular small group fitness class, registering up for an upcoming walk or run event. There are even apps that offer monetary rewards (such as Pact) for following through on your healthy habit commitment! Establishing an accountability reminder by scheduling your self-care tells your brain your healthy habit is a priority. Essentially you train your brain to form a habit that works FOR YOU!
Tip 2: Eliminate Distractions.
We're more accessible than ever. Between emails, text messages, phone calls and social media updates, we have all kinds of distractions to lure us away from other priorities on our plate. Ever been at the gym, out on a walk or enjoying time with friends and suddenly found yourself answering a text or responding to a social media notification?
Creating healthy boundaries can be a good thing. For you and for others. It teaches you to be in the moment, prioritize your time and honor your commitments. The next time you find yourself drawn to scroll social media, surf Amazon for that thing you just “have to have” or realize you're constantly checking your phone, ask yourself: "Does this demand my immediate attention?"
In truth, very few of these daily distractions do. Rather than interrupting your productivity and disrupting the priority of other tasks, decide WHEN you'll devote time to each of these items.
Perhaps giving yourself 15 minutes to scroll social media before or after work hours, or on your lunch break is best. Maybe scheduling a window of time at the beginning and end of each day is best for efficiency in responding to emails. And making a list of items to add to your online cart so you can do it all at once later will help you stay focused and not add extra non-essentials to your cart.
Ever heard the saying "Multi-tasking makes you stupid." By setting aside time for those kinds of "time sucks" throughout the day, you'll eliminate the stop and start task work that reduces productivity and use your time more effectively, even creating more of it!
Tip 3: We don’t have time, we make it.
The number one excuse for not making healthy happen is, “I don't have time.” I get it. We're all busy. But the truth is there will never be more than 24 hours in a day. So rather than waiting for more time to magically appear, we need to maximize the time we have.
Stop and take note of where your time is going, a few minutes here, an hour or two there, you may be surprised to see where and how those hours are being spent. Suddenly you realize an hour was spent scrolling social media, 30 minutes going down a rabbit hole on Amazon, and 20 minutes just browsing around to see "what's new" at Costco. All those extra minutes doing things not on your list add up!
Then when you find yourself with "free time" how do you choose to spend it? Do you take a walk, do some light stretching or use it plan your food? Something I often remind my clients of is 10 minutes is better than no minutes. If you have 10 minutes use it as an opportunity to move your healthy living needle forward.
I'm certainly not saying you need to use every single minute of every single day. Rest is an important part of self-care too. But there is a big difference between resting mind and body and checking out or bailing on your healthy habit commitments.
Studies show when you create a pattern of healthy habits that pay you back mind, body and spirit, you're less likely to deviate from them. Why? Because you experience multiple aspects of benefit! Even better, every time you choose to make your health and wellness a priority, you'll walk away feeling more confident, proud and empowered.
Tip 4: Plan ahead.
Having a plan is one of the most effective ways to support your goals: today and tomorrow. A plan offers an outline for goal achievement - whether it's planning your food for the day, your workouts for the week or your monthly work goals - with a clear set of steps it will take for you to get you there.
Example: You want to increase your weekly exercise.
How often will you do it? Is it adding an extra day during the week, minutes in existing exercise, etc.
Where will you do it? At home before work, at work on your lunch break, at the gym after work?
Who can you enlist to make it easier? A colleague to meet up with, a class you sign up for, a coach you enlist?
When will you make it happen? Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? Tuesdays and Thursdays?
A plan answers the What, How, Where, Who and When behind your goal, so you're crystal clear on the steps you'll need to take to produce the outcome.
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 tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.