So you’ve reached a stage where you’re ready to walk the talk and take steps towards living a healthier lifestyle. If you haven’t determined your true goals as to why, I would recommend you check out the last blog post about “The #1 Reason Why People Fail to Make Healthy Changes.”
I wanted to share 5 actionable steps that will help you to start making small improvements over time. Once you’ve decided to create time in your weekly schedule to prioritize your health first, here are some steps to help you make carry those changes throughout weeks, months and even years!
1. DEDICATE 15 MINUTE INCREMENTSTO YOUR HEALTH
This might look like giving up 15 minutes of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook to devote to cooking a healthy meal (yes take some time to put together a good meal and can also help to save money)! This won’t take much time especially if you chop and prepare your foods ahead of time and store them for cooking throughout the week. It all starts with 15 minutes one week… and then 30 minutes the next, and soon enough you’re already in the habit of setting aside time for your health and replacing those low-value activities with what’s more important. Not that you need to spend hours on this per day but dedicating SOME time to do something good for your body.
2. REPLACE TEMPTING FOODS WITH HEALTHIER ONES
Rather than filling your cupboards and fridge with ice cream, cookies and chips… opt for healthier food. When you fill your kitchen with fresh whole foods, you’re more likely to EAT those things and avoid snacking on other things. Something I’ve always said was, ‘if you don’t want Satan knocking on your door, don’t invite him over!’ In this situation, if you don’t want to be tempted by those salty crunchy chips in the cupboard, don’t buy them in the first place! Eliminate the temptation the best that you can.
3. prepare your gym bag and leave it by the door
If you bring your gym equipment and clothes with you to work, you can’t give yourself the excuse that you don’t have you’re a change of gym clothes and therefore can’t exercise once you’re off! What’s out of sight is out of mind, so by setting yourself up for success, you’re one step closer to actually working out!
4. go on a walk when having phone conversations
I’ve began doing this more lately. When I’m having a phone meeting with friends or clients, I’ll go on a walk during these conversations. This helps me to increase my activity level while I’m focused on conversing with people on the phone. It also goes by quickly and suddenly an hour on the phone also meant that you were walking for an hour! Ta da!
You can also take this another step further and surround activities like walking at the park to catch up with a friend vs. going to the bar or having happy hour! Not that this needs to become your constant go to, but allow this to be an option where you surround quality bonding time and conversations with exercise!
5. make time to meal prep
I usually meal prep and grocery shop over the weekend so I’m more likely to eat the foods I cook which are 1.) more affordable than eating out and 2.) healthier options. Preparing your meals in one day can be challenging because it takes a lot of time, but it’s well worth it to allow more time throughout the week where you don’t want to cook after coming home from a long day of work. If we waited until we “felt like it,” a lot of important things would never get done. So schedule it in, and stick with it!
These are just some of the many things that we can alter or change throughout the week to prioritize eating healthier and being more active! Start small and just try doing one thing on this list for the week. You might surprise yourself with how good it feels to accomplish something you set your mind to! The hardest part of anything is staying consistent and choosing to do things despite not feeling like it. Practicing discipline is a wonderful life-skill to keep yourself accountable.
I've created a free handout covering the Top 5 Exercises for Fat Burn! If you're wanting to ramp up your exercise routine to get the most out of your time, check out the handout below!