How to Start Your Wellness Journey
Today is the day. You’re ready. You’re motivated. You’ve hit a point where you’ve had enough of living how you’ve been living and feeling how you’ve been feeling. Inside your adrenaline is pumping up. Game face on. “Let’s go.”
Hold up. You’ve been here before and here you are again. I get it because I had been in that place at least 100 times in my life. To be honest, those thoughts still creep into my head and try to get me to take on some drastic, rigid, ambitious plan. Aka Quick fix. I know now that those plans are never sustainable. I hear those thoughts and talk myself off the ledge.
I have lived through it and know that living a healthy lifestyle requires endurance, a shift in mindset, building new habits, and ultimately adopting a new way of being and seeing yourself. So my advice is to slow down. (I know this might be the last thing you want to hear when you’re ready to get after it)
And, I love you too much to let you keep doing what you’ve always done. You deserve more. Do it differently and let this be the last time you begin again.
Let’s get started and build a strong foundation.
1. GET REAL
Let’s start with putting things into perspective. You didn’t get here overnight. It takes time to change your thoughts and habits. It’s more complicated than just eating better and exercising more. It’s a juggling act of also balancing the other areas of your life that need attention and nurturing like work, family, friendships, finances or whatever else is on your plate.
2. BREAK IT DOWN
The goal is for this change to be sustainable so start small and keep it simple. Focus on creating habits you want, not what you don’t want. I don’t want to give up wine forever, so I don’t give it up on my way to where I want to be. Instead, I build it into my lifestyle in a way that works long-term. Minimize the overwhelm of getting started by identifying ONE habit you want to change.
- Choose something you want to do vs “should” do
- Pick either an activity OR nutrition goal
- Narrow it down by identifying which one will bring you more joy and satisfaction.
- With that category in mind, think about what you can add to your lifestyle vs take away
- Make it easy peasy. Rather than planning all your meals, pick just one. For most people that’s breakfast.
3. COMMIT TO ONE GOAL
Here are some examples:
- Hydrate: Add 10% more water to your day
- Produce: Add in one more serving of veggies or fruit to your day.
- Portions: Add a 3pm healthy snack like an apple with peanut butter
- Alcohol: Add a mocktail, kombucha, or soda water with lime to replace a drink.
- Sweets: Add a healthier dessert to satisfy a sweet craving
- Steps: Add 500 to 1,000 more steps a day
- Fitness: Add either more days or more time spent exercising
THINGS TO AVOID:
- Drastic and all or nothing goals. For example, if you currently have 1 glass of water per day don’t expect yourself to drink 8 right out of the gate.
- Being perfect. Think about this as practice and experimenting.
- Test an idea out. If you fall, learn from it and try again with a different strategy.
- Adding too much variety. Choice leads to decision-fatigue so pick something you enjoy and stick with it
Ok, you’re ready! Pick just one goal, do that for a week, see how you feel and evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Then add on, tweak it, or keep it the same for another week.