How to Stick to a Healthy Routine
I think it's safe to say that sticking to a healthy routine can be challenging for all of us every now and again. Believe it or not, there are many simple little things that can help you stick to it. And if you've fallen off the band wagon, don't worry. You can get right back on it. I've said this before and will say it many times more - this journey is not about anyone else but yourself. Don't compare to anyone else and just do your best (like my dad would say).
1) Start Slow
Start off by slowly incorporating healthy habits into your routine. If you try to do all at once, it will feel like a never ending climb. For you, maybe it is to start preparing healthy meals, it may be to start going for daily walks with a friend or giving the gym a try once a week. Wherever you are, start there. It doesn't matter where it is, as long as you are making a step forward in building a healthy foundation.
2) Commit to it
Just like your family, your career, etc. your health should be as high a priority. It's important to make a commitment to your health. Some examples could be signing up for a class (like a yoga class, dance or bootcamp), getting a gym membership, purchasing personal training sessions or it could be as simple as working out with a friend. These are all things that can help you commit to staying active and healthy.
3) Give yourself breaks when needed
Listen to your body. When it's time to rest - rest. If you're being too hard on yourself, you may get discouraged easily. Don't be afraid to take breaks. Sticking to a fitness routine has it's ups and downs - you have to be there for whole the ride. I'd be lying to you if I told you that I've never gotten discouraged. I've had challenges of my own and it took me many years before I realized that it is okay (AND BETTER FOR YOUR RESULTS) to take breaks, as long as you can get back up.
4) Plan ahead
Organization is so important in our daily lives. If being healthy is important to you, just like your day job is, you should write it down in your calendar. Don't worry about missing a day or two. This is to help you plan around your schedule... if you already have plans - don't sweat it. This will assist you in incorporating healthy habits in your schedule.
If you want to get into the fitness routine and don't really know where and/or how to start - make a list of the things you want most. First, you can prioritize your goals, then make a list in how you will achieve them. Once you have your list, you can then prioritize. For example, it may be more important for you to prepare your meals for the week before even thinking about going to the gym, so make sure that is on top of your list and done before moving to the next thing to do.
6) Do not give up
Like most of us, it could very likely happen for you to feel discouraged. If there is anything I learned throughout this "wellness journey" (or whatever you want to call it), is that you have to be patient. Long lasting results TAKES TIME. Give yourself enough time to accomplish your goals and keep working towards achieving them, no matter how long it takes. You may have hiccups down the road and maybe this means you should take a little break. But nothing should stop you from getting right back into it, even if you've fell off for a while. Patience & consistency is key.
7) Ask for help
If you feel stuck or don't know where to start - don't be afraid to ask for help. This will get you on the right track and motivate you to keep pushing yourself. It's important to keep challenging yourself and to keep learning as you go. And if you are feeling stuck - it's probably a sign that you need a new challenge. So don't be afraid to step it up a notch. Do some research, read books, bring it up in group discussions or ask a health professional for help.
I'm sure many more things may come to mind when it comes to developing and maintaining a fitness routine. These are some of the things that help me. Don't be afraid to test things out for yourself. If you notice you are falling off track, re-assess your routine, make small adjustments and try again. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust it regularly. After all we are all humans and continuously growing. It's important to realize that your priorities may change with time, and that's okay. Try to keep a good balance and the results will eventually follow.
Until next time,