So, 2017 was to be your year to make changes to your health. How are those big health wins going so far? Guess what? We’re already in April! What wellness goals do you really want to achieve, and how are you going to achieve them?
My tagline for Healthy Woman, Happy Woman is “Small Lifestyle Changes, Big Wellness Results.” I’m convinced that slow but sure wins the wellness race rather than an all-out sprint that leaves you breathless, so let’s look at five small steps that can lead to big health wins.
1. Refine your “why”
What’s your motivation? What does succeeding at your health goals look like to you? Here’s where daily journaling helps. Solidifying your intentions via pen and paper (or technology) each day creates self-accountability. As you check in with yourself daily, you realize what needs tweaking. More green veggies? Less stress? Let that check-in be the “ground zero” that centers you health progress.
2. Switch it up!
A sure-fire way to not maintain your health goals is to keep doing the same old thing. every. single. day. You’ll get bored and your goals will seem less and less doable. Plan your meals for the upcoming week and incorporate one new recipe, fruit, veggie, grain, or self-care habit into your regimen each week. Have you tried Swiss chard? Dragon fruit? An Epsom salts bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil? The possibilities are endless, and you WILL feel and see the difference.
3. Make “right turns”
UPS drivers use as many right turns on the road as possible, both for safety and to save them time and gas. A “right turn” for you might mean banning ice cream from the house so that you don’t inhale a carton in one fell swoop. It may mean putting out your exercise gear the night before so that when you wake, you can hit the ground running with no excuses. Think about what your “right turns” might look like and pursue them with intention!
4. Hack your food prep
Keep a well-stocked pantry and replenish your fresh produce at least weekly. Put aside time on Sundays for prepping fruit and veggies for ready-to-eat snacks or smoothie packs for blending in the mornings. Prepare overnight oats or chia seed pudding, or even a smoothie bowl to streamline breakfast. The key is to be prepared so that you won’t be jonesing for fast food or sugary treats. That way, you stay on track with your wellness goals.
5. Build in accountability
Winning at health and wellness is not for lone rangers. Can you do it all alone? Maybe, but it’ll be way more difficult than if you had a coach (ahem!) or a friend to check in with so that you don’t drift back into bad old habits. How about a fitness buddy so that it’s less easy for you to cop out of that strength training routine?
Here’s how my first client, Carline, described being held accountable as she started her health program with me:
“For me, saying out loud to someone: ‘This is what I want to do’ started the process. Knowing that I had to be accountable motivated me. Alison suggested I set my goals incrementally; this is something I would not have done myself.”
So…which small steps have you been taking toward big health wins in 2017?