When it comes to the struggles of losing weight or getting into better shape, I get it. I know how daunting it can be to look at your overall goal and realize just how far away you are from achieving it. We often times look at our long term vision and feel overwhelmed and discouraged by how much further we still have to go. There is no cheating and no shortcuts when it comes to losing weight and getting fit. This is why I believe it’s extremely important for us to break our ultimate goal up into smaller, bite size chunks. Daily goals and intentions we can focus on that will eventually lead us to where we want to be in the long term.
Here’s a list of seven small things you can focus on that I’ve found to help clients tremendously in their efforts to live a healthier life:
1) Eliminate soda from your diet!
This could be a big one for a lot of people. We may not realize it, but those two or three cans of Mountain Dew we’re consuming every day are sending us down a slippery slope of weight gain and absolute desolation for our insides. For all you soda drinkers out there, if I could do anything, I would implore you to implement at least this ONE habit into your life. You would be so much better off because of it.
2) Eat consistently and weigh yourself regularly
It’s important to have some sort of way to track your progress. I always recommend sticking to a consistent eating regimen and weighing yourself every morning to see if you’re moving in the right direction. That way you can make adjustments as needed and make sure you’re staying on track!
3) Pick a day or two out of the week to prepare your meals ahead of time
This can help eliminate the guessing game and impulse eating that normally comes from improper planning. Knowing what you need to eat and having the meal already prepared in advance can save you from that last second taco bell run because you’re late to your daughters dance recital.
4) Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach
If the temptations kick in every time you walk past the donut aisle, don’t make it harder on yourself by going to the store hungry. When you’re feeling full and satisfied, it can make it much easier to get in, get the foods you need, and get out without picking up any other extra goodies.
5) Always remember to eat breakfast
Start your day out right. We are creatures of momentum, and starting your day with a wholesome breakfast can go a long way in helping you make healthier choices throughout the remainder of the day.
6) Get enough sleep
Our energy levels are going to play a big part in helping us achieve our fitness goals. When’s the last time you felt like going to the gym when you were tired and exhausted? Probably NEVER! Allowing yourself at least 6-8 hours of sleep will help you feel refreshed, energized, and in a better mental state to make conscious, healthy choices.
7) Focus on drinking more water
I have to emphasize this to almost every client I work with. Water helps in so many ways and will absolutely help in your weight loss or overall health journey. Not only does it help your body metabolize and digest food more efficiently, it can also allow you to feel more energized and alert throughout the day. Nearly 60% of our body is comprised of water, so think twice next time you consider skipping out on the good old H2O.
Okay, so now you know what you need to do to get yourself on track towards your goals. The next step is implementing them consistently until they become a HABIT. You know the old adage “out of sight, out of mind”? Well this little saying couldn’t be more applicable when it comes to your health goals. If you’re going to get serious about improving your health, you need to write your goals down somewhere you’ll see them as often as possible. Put them on a sticky note and post them by your computer in your office. Write them on a card and carry them in your wallet. Put a post-it note on the fridge. Keeping these small goals and intentions top of mind will help tremendously in following through with your commitment.
Remember, changing an area of your life can be tough, but just like working out, it gets easier with time. If it’s too overwhelming implementing all of these changes into your routine, start with one. Go 30 days without soda, then tackle the next one. As your will power and commitment grow, it will be much easier to continue to implement new healthy habits into your routine. We all start somewhere. Just focus on each day in front of you and do everything possible to get a little closer to your goal, because the little things ALWAYS become things over time.
QUESTION: What strategy have you used in the past to implement a new habit? How did it work? COMMENT BELOW and help provide some other ideas for how people can stick to their goals.