A guide to Wellness Routines
Begin with Why
Before you get a chance to get overwhelmed, I encourage you to start with a pen and paper. The strongest foundations begin with why you want to build and maintain a health regimen. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Would you like to increase strength to be able to keep up with the little ones in the family?
- Would you like to drop 15 lbs to fit in your clothes better?
- Are you realizing that it doesn’t get any easier as we get older and are understanding the importance of building a routine now?
Be as specific with your goals as possible. A good goal will follow the SMART principle.
Goals must be
- Specific – Be as specific as possible: lose 15 lbs. Gain upper body strength. Eat quality foods. Really narrow down exactly what you are trying to achieve.
- Measurable – This is where it gets even more specific. How much upper body weight would you like to gain? Do you want to be able to do push ups?
- Achievable – Be real with yourself. Set goals that you know are appropriate for you. You may not physically be able to run a mile in under 4 minutes, so try to achieve something that you know you can achieve.
- Relevant – This piggybacks off of achievable. Your goals need to be relevant to you. Just because your neighbor is doing a crazy mountain endurance race this spring, doesn’t mean that is an appropriate goal for you.
- Time Bound – This one is important. Set deadlines, put your goals on the calendar. This is your accountability system. Losing 10 lbs in 3 months is an achievable, relevant goal that has a deadline on it.
Once you have established what it is you are trying to achieve and when you would like to achieve it, work backwards! If you know you need to drop 10 lbs in 3 months, that is 0.8lbs each week. That seems totally doable!! No need to get overwhelmed at all!
Set Yourself up for Success
With your foundation laid strong, and your “why’s” as the biggest tool in your toolbelt, you are already set up to begin the process of reaching your goals.
I want you to have a plan as you go into this. Don’t just fly by the seat of your pants all willy-nilly. Understand that Willpower Doesn’t Work. (There is a great book by Benjamin Hardy by the same name, it’s worth checking out.) You must change your habits to get results. Instead of not having a drink in the evening after work, remove yourself from your normal habit and go for a walk. You’ve got to change your environment. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do things you have never done.
Meal planning is a great topic for setting yourself up for success.
Step 1: Start with your schedule. Know when you need a pack lunch, when you already have lunch scheduled with friends, when your kids will have extra crazy schedules so that you can be prepared with snacks in the car.
Step 2: Go to your cupboards. Know ahead of time what ingredients you have on hand so that you create meals around those and stay on top of your grocery budget.
Step 3: Shop online! City Market Clicklist is a gift from God himself! As you are planning out your meals for the week, put the ingredients straight in to your favorite online grocery program. This keeps you with in budget by preventing pesky impulse buys and saves you time by making chores more efficient.
Step 4: Meal Prep as you put groceries away! When we are mindful with our schedules, and plan to have time to prep as you put groceries away, it speeds things up later in the week. Chop onions, lettuce for salads, and snack carrots as they go into the fridge, store them in containers and pull them out as you are ready throughout the week. Meal prepping doesn’t mean making all 21 meals for the week all at once, but it does mean having tedious prepping done all at once to cut down on time and dishes as the week progresses.
Step 5: Make breakfasts ahead of time. I don’t know about you, but in our neck of the woods, mornings are always hectic. Save time and ensure quality food for your family by whipping up breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches all at once for the week. Store in the fridge or freezer and see how smoothly your mornings sail!
The beginning of the week always feels so strong! I have my goals for the week, I have a plan, I have my meals prepped… now the hard part.. Actually doing what I set out to do.
The best piece of advice I have is to utilize your calendar. Know that today, no matter what, the things I have on my calendar have got to get accomplished. I know that things come up throughout the week and plans change, but remember your why. This is why we spent so much time laying a strong foundation. When the girls want to get a drink after work, but you know you are trying to cut back on the cocktails, take a big swig of ice tea and remember why you set out to accomplish these goals. It is more important to me to be strong and healthy than to potentially miss out on a happy hour. There will be more happy hours. They don’t have to be gone forever. Just for right now while you work on yourself. It is your greatest investment. Imagine the reward. It will feel soooo good to see the best version of yourself in the mirror and know that you did what was right instead of impulsion that derails you. Now this is the hardest step. Trust me, I struggle with it daily, but as the great Zig Ziglar says, “Motivation is like bathing, you must do it daily.”
The most important part! Don’t forget to reward yourself. Daily. After you put your body through a workout, have something to look forward to . A soak in the hot springs, a hot shower, your favorite tea. Come up with something to work toward. Pretty soon, before you know it, not only will you feel your best, but you will look your best as well, and people will notice! Accept compliments, because, you know what? You earned it. You work hard on yourself and you deserve to feel good about it. Hard work is a good thing. Don’t forget.
I encourage you wholeheartedly to become the best version of yourself in any season.