Last week we talked a little about nutrition and how important I personally feel it is to overall healthy living. Creating a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than counting calories and counting down the pounds to perfect.
I did receive a few comments about how much work it is to have to pay so much attention to logging food and really paying attention to what you eat. Yes, it can be but what I’ve really learned from logging food and paying attention is a little about portion control and fueling my body. Being more accountable by writing down what I’m eating helps keep me accountable and it works for me.
So enough about that, what else have I found helpful? Setting short term goals. When I was younger the only measure of success for me was losing weight. For women this can be so deflating. My weight on the scale fluctuates at times 5-6 pounds within only a few days. When you are working hard and not seeing results it can often lead you to fall off the wagon and sometimes continue to derail. Setting smaller goals to help keep you motivated and focused is a much smarter choice. Here are a few things which have worked for me.
- Get moving – set a weekly activity goal. Whether you start with two days or five just set something that you feel is reasonable and find something active to do. Even if it is just playing in the backyard with the kids get moving!
- Use a program such as couch to 5K or 10K and use it to start slow and work towards a goal. Want a real challenge? Go ahead and register for a race so you have a finish line to shoot for.
- Do you enjoy strength training? Set a goal for increasing the weight you are currently using.
- Stop using the elevator. I feel so accomplished each week if I choose the stairs every day to my office.
- Get your family or friends involved and compete with each other. Who can log more steps? Who can hold a plank the longest? Can any of you complete a burpee challenge?
- Use a fitness tracker such as a Fitbit and set a goal for daily steps.
- Have baseline blood work and follow up six months later
You know what makes setting goals even more fun? Picking rewards!
- Log your food all week and make healthy choices and reward yourself with a cheat meal.
- Meet your activity goals and reward yourself with new workout clothes
- Complete a race and reward yourself with a massage
As your goals begin to get bigger your rewards can too right? Right now I do have a long term goal to stay committed for the next 6 months. I typically make it a good six weeks and many times life gets a little crazy and I start falling off the wagon. I currently have a Fitbit HR and I do love it but seriously would love an Apple Watch after reading reviews. Let’s see if I can make it.
The biggest thing here is to not get discouraged. You are going to have bad days and life is going to happen. The trick is to not let one day or one bad meal turn into a downward spiral. Everyday your biggest goal should only be to be a little better than the day before!