After struggling again and again for years to develop healthy habits, and continually falling short, failing, quitting, just to come back and try again, I’ve finally discovered a way to simplify this whole “healthy lifestyle change.”
Here’s the simple truth: you can’t do it all at once.
If you’re in the same boat as me, that is, you struggle to even drink enough water every day, you eat garbage and never find the time to work out, then getting healthy is hard. It’s a daunting task. We’re eating an elephant!
And how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
We’re going to change our lives because WE CAN!
You may not be able to do it all at once, it won’t happen over night, but YOU CAN DO IT.
One bite at a time…
Okay, so here’s the thing. You can work on 3 habits at once. 3 goals. 3 simple intentions that will make your life better.
Every Monday, I set my intentions for the week. Right now I’m working on:
1. Drinking enough water (that’s half your body weight -lbs- in ounces. Example 100lb person would drink 50oz per day.)
2. 15 minutes of movement every day. Most often I try for Pilates or a Barre workout, but a simple walk is great too!
3. Clearing my kitchen counter tops every night.
This is the third Monday I am setting these same intentions, some times I’ve done great at them, and other times I’ve slacked off. There’s hasn’t yet been a day in the last two weeks that I’ve done all of these things.
But do I quit setting the same goals because I’m not hitting them? Heck no! I’m more determined to try harder.
Be sure to set SMARTE goals.
You’re going to have the most success at setting and achieving goals if they are SMARTE goals. In case you’ve never heard of this before (or simply need a refresher) a SMARTE goal is:
S- specific, setting the goal of “Pilates class three times a week” is going to be easier to track and achieve than “workout”.
M- measurable, HOW will you know you’ve done it? Can it be measured?
A- achievable, is got to be something you CAN actually do.
R- realistic, don’t set yourself up to fail, small steps in the right directions are far better than large leaps not taken.
T- time bound, in this case the time is in our weekly planning. Big goals can have bigger time frames, but these simple lifestyle goals should be for THIS week, then we’ll check back in next week and see if we still need to actively work on it.
E- emotion driven, know your WHY!! If you don’t have an emotional reason for creating the new habits, you’re not going to kick butt at them! You’ve got to want it.
There’s a big WHY behind my 3 current intentions.
I’m training for a half marathon this year. I’ve wanted to run this trail race for the last 3 years but pregnancy and knee problems have stopped me in the past. They didn’t just stop me from the race, they stopped me from training at all.
1. When you are training for a race like this, hydration is important. If I’m already accustomed to drinking my minimum requirement for water each day, I’m not going to have to worry about drinking enough while running.
2. In 11 weeks I will start my training program. Problem is, the program starts at 3 mile runs. I can’t run 3 miles…. So next week I start my pre program training to work up to 3 miles. This pre program starts with 20 minute moderate walks. If I’m already used to 15 minutes of fitness every day, then the 20 minutes, 3 times a week, isn’t going to scare me.
3. Not race related, but clearing my countertops at night, means I start my day with a clean kitchen. It’s 1 less daunting task ahead of me for the day, it’s a refreshing feeling to walk into a clean kitchen. This one is more healthy for my soul than anything else.
1. I want you to come up with a WHY statement. Why do you want to have healthier habits?
2. What 3 little changes can you make this week to help achieve a greater goal?
3. Share your 3 intentions with someone! Having someone to hold you accountable is a big motivator to stick with it.