We are on the verge of the New Year so that means the hype is building for companies and guru's to prove that they have the best pill, fitness equipment or fad diet to help you finally reach your fitness and body composition goals. As I continue to read about weight loss pills that are dangerous for the consumers (like this one called WOW ), I am sure I don't need to convince you that weight loss pills do not solve long-term problems.
I really love this picture because I feel it holds true to so many things in life. So much to do and not enough time. As someone who loves to fill my plate just as much as I love crossing things off my long to-do list, it is not exclusive to procrastinators to leave everything to the last minute. Sometimes, we let time pass by too quickly not recognizing that every day brings an opportunity to bring us closer to our goals. The bigger issue is that we can lazy and make excuses so that when we feel the pressure, we expect results. Thus, it is when we feel like there is not enough time, people are motivated by quick results....results that never last and rarely work.
However, despite dedicating the past 11 months to trying to motivate, inspire and educate you on how to create lifestyle habits and to bring you to a more balanced active and healthful lifestyle, it is likely that a few days, weeks or months of over-indulging and/or minimal physical activity have caused you to reach your breaking point. Of course, there's no better time than the New Year to resolve those habits that are moving you further away from your goals but why is it that after 11 months, you are fed-up with habits...habits that result from actions and actions that result from thoughts?
Certainly, if you need help from a professional, seek help before you find yourself setting 2014 resolutions after 364 days of doing the same things yet expecting the same results. For most people, you have the capability to change habits but perhaps you are confused as to how to make changes that will bring long-lasting results?
If you are someone who constantly finds yourself questioning if habits are bringing you closer to your goals, here are 5 of my daily tips that may help you live a more balanced lifestyle:
1) Get a good night of sleep. Try to eat dinner at least 2 hours before bed and create a balanced and satisfying meal that does not leave you stuffed and does not leave you wanting an after-dinner "snack". If you aren't hungry enough to eat an apple, you aren't hungry (but OK to enjoy up to .5 ounce of dark chocolate or 1.5 ounce dark chocolate daily). Instead of eating or stimulating your brain w/ the computer, phone or TV, try to go to be 30-60 min earlier than normal in order to get a restful night of sleep.
2. Develop a healthy coping mechanism. I use Campy to de-stress me instead of food or alcohol. Find something that makes you feel good when you feel overwhelmed, sad or stressed. Look up quotes, funny animal pictures or just take a walk. Food and alcohol don't solve problems.
3. Create a routine that allows for consistency. If you find yourself like a zombie by Friday due to your training routine alongside balancing work, family, etc. consider a "rest" day on Wed. Too busy to make a lunch every day of the week - aim for bringing your lunch 3 days a week instead of eating out 5 days a week. Always find yourself dragging at work by 3pm, save your favorite email or project for the afternoon so that you have motivation to stay strong all day long.
4. Prepare meals when you aren't hungry. Don't expect to spend 30 -60 min on food prep if you are starving and with low blood sugar. Seek out times during your day to make a few items for meals when you wouldn't normally eat. Cook grains or start the crock pot in the am as you are getting ready for work or pack your lunch for tomorrow immediately after you finish dinner (before you sit on the couch or get to house-work).
5. Don't expect quick results, set yourself up for success not failure. Need to lose weight? How about aiming to lose 2 lbs in 1 month instead of 10? If you happen to lose 5 - you will be more delighted than if you fail to lose 10. Don't expect every changed habit to result in a change in body composition or performance. The body is a very exceptional thing. Don't confuse progress with backtrack. If you find yourself happier, healthier, more productive, more energetic, more satisfied, more balanced or more consistent than yesterday - you have made progress. If you find yourself in a cycle of habits that keep you frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted, isolated and sad - it only takes one change to prove to your exceptional body that you are ready to make progress.