It’s that time of year again. The day after we make all of those wonderful New Year’s resolutions and realize that we now need a plan to put all those good intentions into reality.
But where do you start? If your goal was to get in shape, you may run out and sign up at your local gym. But how do you go about getting fit or more healthy? Or take trying to eat better. Should you rush out to the store and stock up on kale?
My advice is to start slow. Taking baby steps has been the key to all of my successes in terms of eating better or working out.
That means rather than buying an expensive gym membership and going to the gym every day before work- which may lead to getting burned out- I would suggest taking smaller, more manageable approaches to getting in shape.
For example, my office is very close to a park. So on my lunch breaks I walk to the park and do a couple laps around the grounds before returning to work. Or you could start your day with 12-15 push ups, 12-15 squats, and some wall sits before hoping in your morning shower. Additionally, I like to do a 15 minute workout routine 3 times a week after work when I get home, but before I get settled in for the night. These small changes are easy to incorporate into your current life, and don’t require tons of planning in order to implement.
The same things apply to eating healthy. Rather than jump into a new lifestyle head first, why not start out slow? Take for example, how you approach breakfast in the mornings. If you are one of those people who skips breakfast- or who grabs some fast food on the way to the office- why not change how you eat each morning?
Some healthy alternatives to skipping breakfast or eating fast food would be to keep bananas on hand so you can grab one on your way out the door and eat it on the go, or make some protein rich breakfast balls (see my video on how to make them below) that you can keep in the refrigerator and munch on as you are getting ready for the day. This way you are getting healthy nutrition that your body needs in order to start your day on the right track.
The goal is to implement lifestyle changes that you can stick with. So if you can only manage a 15 minute walk around the block twice a week- don’t beat yourself up about it. These things take time. And once that 15 minute walk becomes a part of your weekly routine, then you can step things up a notch and try to walk for 20 minutes, or try walking 3 days a week instead of just two. That way you are easing your mind and body into lifestyle choices that will last, instead of a fad that will fade away once your motivation does.
I’ve heard time and time again from healthcare professionals and fitness trainers that it takes 21 days for your mind to form a new habit. That means eating a healthy breakfast every morning for 21 days, or taking that walk around the block for 21 days until your body learns that activity as a habit. And trust me, once something becomes a habit, life starts to get super easy.
The plus side to learning these healthy habits, is that it becomes infinitely easier to implement other new healthy habits into your life.
Take our breakfast example. Once your body learns to expect a healthy breakfast, transitioning your lunchtime meals into something more nutritious becomes far easier. The same thing goes for a workout routine. As the body becomes accustomed to working out, adding new moves (or just adding more sets to your current workout) becomes easier to manage.
So remember, lasting change rarely happens overnight. Just take things slow and steady, and you will stick with those New Year’s resolutions so that they become the lifestyle changes you’ve always wanted!
And if you have any questions, leave them down below and I’ll answer them as best I can.