So now it’s almost April right? How are those New Years Healthy starts coming along? 2019 resolutions still kicking? I love the energy around healthy living in the start of the year yet I know somewhere around March or April these things start to slide (me included…no perfection here!)
Rather than getting on the band wagon for the New Year I’ve decided that my contribution is to help make those January commitments long-lasting, sustainable lifestyle changes.
How do you do that you ask? By shifting your mindset around who you are, what you are capable of and who you believe yourself to be. Sounds simple right? It actually isn’t as hard as you think.
On a daily basis I work with clients on the small daily tweaks that shift mindset slowly and surely to reach goals they never thought they could achieve.
Most of us don’t even realize how much the dialogue in our mind drives feelings, behaviors and habits that turn into low energy, sleeplessness, weight gain, inactivity, binge eating, stress and even forms of depression. How often have you reached for a cookie or a piece of chocolate, told yourself you deserve it, then had another and before you know it you’ve eaten 4 or 5 and then say to yourself “well, I’ve ruined it, now I might as well have the whole bag”. Then proceed to beat yourself up about it for hours afterward and sabotage the whole day with poor choices. You might be telling yourself “this is typical, I can’t ever stick with eating healthy” or “I just have no self-control”.
The same thing can happen with exercise. We want to get out and go for a walk or run or get to the gym regularly but there is always something else that needs to be done. Or…”I didn’t get much sleep last night, I’m too tired to go work out” or… “I don’t have the time to fit this in today, I’m just too busy”. The weight doesn’t come off and you don’t feel any better but you just can’t get “motivated” to start. The irony of this dialogue you have with yourself is that none of it is true and everyone does it.
If you have no energy, actually getting some movement into your day will GIVE you energy! If you think you have no time, when you take just 10-20 minutes to toss in some exercise you actually are more efficient. You get more done with the energy you created with exercise.
The dialogue in your head typically isn’t the truth and YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT! You can choose to tell yourself something different. What if you decided get up every morning and just do a 10 minute walk outside or on the treadmill in the basement that you’ve been using for a clothing rack? What would happen?
What if you just woke up, did your morning routine, grabbed a cup of tea or warm water with lemon (sneaking in a morning energy and gut healing tip) and then headed out for JUST 10 minutes? Just tell yourself “i’m only going to go for 10 minutes and then I can do whatever else I think I need to do”. That’s it, just 10 minutes.
Chances are that after only 10 minutes you would start to feel more energetic and you would likely go for longer. Even if you didn’t go longer, 10 minutes is a fabulous start to a new morning routine if you haven’t been doing any exercise at all. A 10 minute walk, a 10 minute run, a 10 minute body weight exercise or weight training.
Often clients will say to me “but 10 minutes? Isn’t that just a waste? doesn’t it have to be at least 30 minutes to be worth it?” My response is “how much are you doing now?” and of course they say “nothing”.
My point exactly.
If you are doing nothing now then 10 minutes is definitely worth it and it’s the start of being consistent with a new habit. Anyone can do 10 minutes of anything. If you tell yourself you HAVE to do 30 you are more likely to never get started. Just get consistent with a very small goal and once you have done this consistently for 3-5 days a week then increase the time and then the intensity. Mindset shifts….
How do I start a healthy eating habit? How do I find some “self-control or motivation”? Again…its about what you are telling yourself when you start to make a choice that isn’t part of that vision of who you believe yourself to be or envision yourself to be. Shifting your mindset around nutrition and food is about starting with small choices. Maybe you just start by eating a healthy breakfast, start the day off right. Maybe you just say “no” to that one cookie knowing it will lead to another and another. Maybe you just eat more vegetables.
Each time you are compelled to make a food choice that isn’t in your best healthy interest, stop…and ask yourself one question “is this choice going to get me where I want to go with my health?”. Conjure up a vision of your healthiest self and honestly answer that question before you make your choice. Mindset shift….
Here’s the best secret of all… give yourself at least two weeks with any nutrition change. Your gut microbiome shifts in as little as 5 days when you eat whole, real and healthy foods. When you change your microbiome and populate with healthy bacteria they start craving healthy foods instead of the unhealthy ones. That’s a huge part of where your cravings or lack of self control come from.
On top of that, your taste buds change every two weeks! At that point you will be craving a whole different set of foods if you are eating lots of plant based meals, cutting sugar and limiting gluten. Stick with it for two weeks and you will be over the hump. Shift your mindset around what you know you are capable of doing, who you want to be and what your vision is of yourself.
One more key thing to establishing new habits is to pay attention during the day to what feels better or different on the days that you make better choices. How do you feel throughout the day when you choose to exercise in the morning? How do you react or not react to stress when you have incorporated a mindfulness meditation practice into your day? Noticing these small subtle shifts in the course of your day will help you to connect the power of healthy habits to living a better life on a daily basis.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind as a guideline for healthy habits in 2019
Pay attention to what that dialogue in your head is telling you, shift to the positive and use it as a tool. “I love healthy food”. “I make excellent choices toward my health”. “I love to walk, it gives me energy”
If you’ve made a good healthy choice for yourself…give yourself a pat on the back and really hold onto that feeling of gratitude for your health. It’s a way of shifting your neurological pathways toward positivity.
If you make a choice that isn’t the healthiest, DO NOT beat yourself up about it. Chalk it up to life and move on. Every moment, every action is an opportunity to move closer to the person you believe yourself to be, healthy and strong
Start a new habit by starting small. 10 minutes of movement, 5 minutes of mindfulness or meditation, eating a healthy breakfast or just drinking more water! Whatever the first goal is that comes to mind, cut it in half by 50%. “I want to run 5 days a week”. start with 2 or 3.
When changing your nutrition give yourself two weeks! It will happen I promise!
When making choices about what to eat ask yourself “Is this choice going to get me where I want to go with my health?”
Don’t beat yourself up when you stray, let it go and get back on track. Forgiveness is key.
Pay attention daily when you make healthy choices, how do you feel? What is better about your day?
Seek gratitude for the things that are good in life. Life is incredibly short and living with gratitude can make all the difference.
For more information on implementing these shifts visit karenbush.com and schedule a complimentary 30 minute discovery call.