Updated: Jun 17
One healthy choice often leads to another, which is why starting your day on a healthy foot can be so powerful in supporting your healthy living goals. Think about that a minute. If you cranked out 15 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning, will you want to follow it up with a donut or are you more likely to reach for a healthier alternative? Most of us will feel drawn to make the healthier choice, feeling inspired by our recent healthy win.
So how you can you kickstart a healthy day? I'll give you 5 winning ways!
And don't worry, each of these steps are small and simple, so whether you do one or all five, you'll be racking up healthy wins in a way that pays big dividends all day long!
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5 ways to kickstart a healthy day:
1. Wake Rested. Getting a good night’s sleep (7+ hours) allows you to start your day feeling rested, refreshed, and reenergized - ready to tackle the day. Regularly obtaining adequate sleep has also been shown to improve memory, boost immunity, sharpen mental focus, increase productivity, improve mood, reduced pain and inflammation, and support a healthy waistline. Now those are some pretty good reasons to hit the sheets!
Pro tip: create a bedtime routine for optimal sleep success. Going to bed and waking at the same time most days of the week, shutting down electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, practicing deep breathing exercises, and keeping your bedroom free of electronic devices and other distractions are key to setting the stage for a good night's rest.
2. Choose A Winning Mindset. As Henry Ford once said, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” What you tell yourself matters, and it starts when you first open your eyes, before your feet even hit the ground. Perspective is one of the most powerful mindset tools you have. When you arm yourself with an I CAN attitude and actively look for opportunities to make small wins happen, you are better prepared to handle anything that comes your way, looking for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. While it's unrealistic that you will be able to control everything that happens in a day, you can choose how you respond to it. And that’s a real game changer!
Pro tip: how can you reframe your perspective and foster a winning mindset, even on your worst days? With the help of these 7 tips and tricks:
Focus on your passions
Find the positive
Check in with your emotions
Be true to yourself and selective with your commitments
Seek out solutions
Monitor progress rather than results
Surround yourself with inspiring and motivating people
3. Energize Your Day. Starting your day with exercise is a win for mind, body, and spirit. And it doesn't have to be an hour long ordeal. It can be a simple as a series of light stretching exercises or a 15 minute bodyweight routine, or as extensive as a 30 minute walk/ jog outside or participating in a morning fitness class. Engaging in some form of physical activity first thing in the morning has been shown to increase energy, boost mood, and improve mental clarity all day long! And let’s face it, it feels pretty good to check something off your to-do list before before your workday's even started.
Pro tip: start simple. Pick 2-3 exercises you can do while getting ready in the morning, such as squats while brushing your teeth, calf raises while drying your hair, and counter push ups as you are getting dressed. In just minutes a day you will be racking up valuable fitness points!
4. Start Your Day With A Well-Balanced Breakfast. A nutritious and well balanced breakfast can help you perform as your best by giving your body (and mind) the energy it needs. And starting your day with a balance of protein and complex carbs has also been shown to reduce mindless munching and overeating the rest of the day. Ever find yourself hangry by mid-morning, energy crashing by noon, or struggling with mental focus? Might be time to up your breakfast game.
Here are a few of my favorite breakfast combos:
Open Faced Egg Sandwich: 1 slice whole wheat toast topped with 1/3 avocado, 1 egg and 2 slices fresh tomato
Open Face P.B. & J.: 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1-2 Tbsp. nut butter, 1 sliced banana, ½ C sliced strawberries, topped with 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
Overnight Oats: ½ C oats, ½ C milk of choice, ½ large apple (diced), 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 squirt raw honey. Mix ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and place in the fridge overnight.
Power Greens Smoothie: 1 scoop protein powder of choice, 1/2 C milk of choice, 1 banana, 1 C baby spinach leaves, ½ green apple, ½ pear, 1 slice fresh ginger, 1 tsp. flax oil, blend with ice for desired thickness.
5. Plan The Day. Set your intention and create a simple plan. A bullet point to-do list, for example, will help you stay focused by setting a clear priority list of the day's tasks. Assess your day - what is already on your calendar (i.e. meetings, working lunch, outside appointments, deadlines, etc.), and determine the two or three top priorities on the list. Then set realistic goals and expectations about what you can accomplish based on your day's schedule, leaving a bit of room for the possibility of the unforeseen. A supportive plan with flexibility will help you feel empowered to make the most out of the time you have by setting a clear course of action with the ability to reroute as needed, so you can keep scoring wins no matter what comes your way.
Pro tip: set aside a consistent time each day to write out your plan, brainstorming a general to-do list. Then divide the day's tasks between work and life. In most cases, work tasks will consist during daytime hours and personal life in the evening hours. Honor the tasks listed in each category to promote a healthy life balance, not letting work overlap into personal (or vice versa). Setting healthy boundaries will empower you to honor your work and self-care commitments so you can show up as the best version of yourself in all areas of your life!
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Are you are a busy woman who wants to live healthier and happier? Discover the small steps that make a big impact! Come join me inside my women’s-only Facebook Group - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy women go for the tips, tools and support that simplify eating well and exercise so they can restore their confidence, achieve their health and weight loss goals, and live a life they love in a body they are proud of. And each Wednesday I go live inside our group sharing my best pro tips, tricks and strategies to help you live your best life!