Hello and welcome to 2014! It feels good to be back. Back on the blog, back to routine and back to healthier habits. Ahhhhh, sleep and salad.
There is no other time of year that stirs up so much desire to make healthy changes in our lifestyle is there? A new year feels like fresh starts and opportunities to be the best version of ourselves. Plus – let’s be honest – the addition of the indulgent silly season helps spur us into January with a myriad of good intentions we’d like to make in our lives.
Which is great! I’ve got a few myself too. But how we do make sure these stick? Here are a few sneaky secrets of mine to help you on your way!
1. Always start with love
Choose to nourish your body with fresh, wholesome produce because you love and respect yourself – not because you’re afraid of putting on weight or getting sick. Eat a salad because it’ll bring you vitality, rather than focussing on the calorie content. Respect and love yourself – as well as your food.
Avoid fear based thoughts when indulging in your favourite treats, such as ‘chocolate is bad and I’m going to feel guilty afterwards. I won’t have it again, so I’ll just eat the whole box now.’ These kinds of thought patterns can lead to bingeing, because there is a sense that you are denying a part of yourself.
This applies to exercise too. This year I plan on increasing the amount of resistance and high intensity training in my exercise regime. Instead of focussing on the fear of how my belly looks in a bikini or motivated by the potential guilt trip of skipping a session, I’m loving the idea of strengthening my body consistently and building it up to be the best it can be! Sound good?
2. Take one step at a time
Avoid overwhelm by taking it slow. Pick one area of your lifestyle you’d like to improve and explore that. Then move onto another area once you’ve naturally eased the previous changes into your life.
For example, you might start including greens at every meal for a month or so, then source out some organic, grass fed meat. You might gradually switch your beauty products over to organic (this is the way I did it), or try cooking with a different type of wholegrain in your household every week.
3. Let people know what you are up to
Create a support system for yourself by letting those closest to you know what you are up to. Share with them your intentions to make healthy improvements in your life. Not only will this make it easier for you in social situations, but you might find a friend (or two), who would love to join you on your healthy escapades!
Personally, I intend on taking 3 months (give or take) off drinking alcohol this year. I don’t drink a helluva lot anymore, but one of my words for 2014 is VIBRANT and I know taking a fair chunk of time away from alcohol will certainly crank the vibrancy levels. So I’ll be letting my friends know that I won’t be drinking at social occasions and suggesting lots of beach walks and farmer’s markets catch ups. Fun!
4. Dream big – but get real
Dream big baby! You want to run a half marathon this year? Awesome! But when are you going to carve out time for training? You want to meditate every morning for 20 minutes? That’s swell (and one of my intentions too), but how will you create the right environment to prompt you to do so? You want to increase your vegetable intake? Brilliant! So what pre-planning will be involved to ensure you’ve got fresh produce in your fridge everyday?
It’s important to dream BIG when it comes to your health – our bodies are amazing and everyone is worthy of vibrant health – but we gotta get real with ourselves. Ask yourself what needs to be done to get there, how it will fit into your routine, what sacrifices (if any) need to be made and then get back to visualising your healthiest dream.
5. Make it easy for yourself
This is something I share with my clients all the time. Once you know what needs to be done, you’ve got to make it easy for yourself. Laying your yoga clothes out the night before will help you get to that 6am class with ease. Freezing bananas, spinach and coconut water will have you downing green smoothies amidst the morning rush. Ordering your organic produce to your door (one of the best decisions I have ever made), means your fridge is well stocked – and you avoid temptation at the supermarket. Win!
6. It’s a journey – enjoy it!
We all have areas of our lives and health we’d like to improve. Don’t beat yourself up for not being ‘perfect’ and in fact, ditch the concept of perfection all together. Progress is wonderful, perfection is unattainable and really, it’s undesirable.
Life moves in ebbs and flows and ups and downs; understanding that sometimes our nutrition and self care does the same thing is key to developing a healthy relationship with food, our bodies and ourselves.
Stay conscious of what you are eating, but not obsessive. If you ever feel like you need to ‘get back on track’, just get back to basics; water, exercise, fruits, vegies and sleep. And lose the guilt trip. Beating yourself up about a ‘slip up’ for days, does far more damage than the ‘slip up’ itself.
Above all, enjoy the process of discovering new ways to nourish your wonderful self.
Here’s to a healthy, happy and freakin-amazing 2014!
Remember, it’s all yours for the taking gorgeous.
Tell me in the comments below, what are 3 healthy intentions you’ve set for yourself this year? Also, If you found this post useful/inspiring/informative/just plain fabulous, I’d be so grateful if you clicked on one of the buttons below and shared it with your pals!