Achieve Wellness

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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Have Some Fun

Sometimes we can get so caught up in striving to reach our goals that we forget to stop and smell the roses.

This week take and hour or two (maybe more) to do something that brings you joy. Whether you take a long walk, play a board game with family, indulge your creative side through painting or coloring, or even take in a sporting event allow yourself to let lose and have some fun.

If you do, you will find it easier to traverse the path to your goals.


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Review Your Goals

Welcome to week #8 of 2018, the week when most “New Years resolutions” become a distant memory.

So, what about you?

Are you sticking to the goals you set for yourself this year?

Do you even remember the goals you boldly set for 2018?

This week is a great time to recommit to your goals. If you have not written out your goals, get them on paper. Next, set a reminder on your calendar to review your goals on a regular basis.  You can decide how often you review your goals but read them over at least once per month.

Once you have reviewed your goals, ask yourself, “Am I taking action to achieve my goals on a regular basis”?  Any action, however small, gets you a step closer to what you want to achieve.  Even baby steps are better than no steps.  However, if you are not paying attention to your goals life may get in the way and you might forget to take those steps.

I review my goals every 5 days.  I read each one and ask myself what I have done over the past few days to move closer toward successful achievement of the goal.

You do not have to be taking action on every goal every week.  For example, one of my goals is to take a painting class this year.  It is not a high priority goal and so I have been focusing my attention on my financial and career goals.  But, each week when I review my goals I see my painting class goal and am reminded that it is on my 2018 “to do” list.  Had I not committed it to paper and if I was not reviewing it regularly more likely than not it would not get done.

If you are serious about sticking to the goals you set for yourself this year, recommit to them by writing them down and reviewing them regularly.  Take action, even if it is just a tiny step, and your success is assured.

 

Need help recommitting or acting on your goals?  I can help you create an action plan that will get you moving in the right direction.  Email me at achievewellness@ymail.com for a complimentary 15 minute consultation.


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Have a Gym-Free Workout Plan

We all have days when we do not have the time or motivation to go to the gym, however that is NO excuse for skipping a workout.

Having a set of gym-free workouts on hand can ensure you beat the gym time blahs.  Whether it’s a body weight workout on YouTube, an outdoor boot camp, a kickbutt Spin class, or a restorative yoga class, having a few backup ideas can keep you on track with your fitness goals regardless of time or motivation restrictions AND keep fitness fun and stress free.

 

 

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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Some Exercise is Better than No Exercise

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We all experience days when we are short on time, but that is no excuse to skip a workout.

Even if you do not have time for a full workout, aim to get at least 15 minutes of exercise in per day.  Try taking a brisk walk, doing bodyweight exercises (squats, lunges, and pushups anyone?) while watching TV, or do a quick yoga class on youtube.

 


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Tuesday Tip of the Week – Find a Buddy

Whether your goal is to lose weight, run a marathon, or just start eating healthier, having a health and wellness buddy can help you stay on track.  Sharing your wellness journey with a friend or family member gives you someone to be accountable to and keeps you motivated.  Studies show that having a support system increases your chances for success.

While it is best to find a buddy that shares your goal, anyone who can offer support and guidance can be your ally.


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Build a Foundation for a Healthy New Year

A few days ago I was speaking with a potential client.  She said she did not want to get started with a diet and exercise plan until after the holidays.

On the surface, this may seem like a sound plan.  Why start a diet that you know you won’t be motivated to stick to?  After all who wants to count calories, skip the egg nog and buttered rum drinks, and miss a holiday party to meet their personal trainer.  NO ONE!

Personally, I think the holidays are the best time to start taking steps toward your health and fitness goals.

Losing weight and getting in shape are about more than just exercising and cutting calories, they are about making lasting lifestyle changes.  Making changes to your lifestyle does not happen over night, it takes time and practice.  The holiday season provides a terrific opportunity to start making these changes.  Waiting until the new year to initiate sudden, drastic changes can make reaching your health and fitness goals a daunting task.  The holiday season lets you begin to make small changes that lay a foundation for bigger changes down the road.

I have put together a few tips to help you establish lasting lifestyle changes this holiday season:

  • Start keeping a food journal.
    • A food journal will help you monitor the amount of calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates,protein, and fats) your are eating per day.  Seeing what and how much you are actually eating can be a wake up call and may help you start making better nutritional choices.
    • Even if you do not try to make any changes to your eating over the holidays, a food journal will get you into the habit of tracking and monitoring your new dietary program once the new year arrives.

I recommend either myfitnesspal or myplate to my clients.  Both have extensive nutrient data and basic food tracking on the free versions of the app.

  • Get 15-20 minutes of physical activity every day.
    • If you are planning to lose weight or improve your fitness in the new year, getting into the habit of working out on a regular basis will make going to the gym easier once January hits.  Taking a walk on your lunch break, using the stairs, doing exercises or stretching while watching TV, or riding your bike after dinner can get you into the habit of scheduling time in your personal calendar to exercise.  Once you begin to see how easy it is to find time to exercise and the better your start to feel physically and mentally the more likely you are to continue into the new year and even increase your workout time.
  • Pay attention you how you feel after you eat or drink.
    • The simple act of noticing how you feel after you eat or drink certain items can lead you to make wiser food and beverage choices.  If you notice that you are frequently fatigued, bloated, and distracted the day after binging on hot cocoa and Christmas cookies, you can use this knowledge to remind yourself to limit the amount of sugars and other carbohydrates you eat in a sitting.  If you notice that you’re always hungover the day after snogging several eggnogs at the office party it can serve as a reminder to drink fewer drinks or choose another alcoholic beverage.

This leads into our next tip:

  • Eat consciously.
    • Many of us mindlessly shovel food into our mouths without taking the time to consider what we are doing, especially when we are socializing. Practice becoming mindful of what and how much you are eating.  Pay attention to the experience of eating.   Before you eat ask yourself a few questions:
      • Will this help me reach my goals?
      • Do I really want to eat/drink this?
      • Am I hungry?
      • How will this make me feel tomorrow (sick, guilty, ashamed, terrific)?
    • You may ask yourself if eating a second slice of pumpkin pie helps you achieve your weight loss goal.  Even if your answer is, “NO, but I’m eating it anyhow”, you have created awareness about your eating habits and you can store this insight for use when the new year arrives.
  • Watch out for emotional eating (or not eating)
    • The holiday season can be stressful and this can cause us to eat and drink not to support our health but rather to satiate our emotions .  If you are one of those folks who gets extra anxious or emotional during the holidays, take note of your eating and drinking habits.  Consider whether your desire to eat an entire fruitcake is because you love fruitcake or because your stressed out about seeing your family on Christmas.
    • On the flip side, if you tend to lose your appetite when you are anxious, set a reminder to yourself to eat a little something every few hours, like a small handful nuts, a greek yogurt, or a few slices of turkey.  Not eating can be just as detrimental to your long term health goals as overeating.

Taking a moment or two to think about what we are about to eat gives us the opportunity to take responsibility for our eating choices, a skill you must master in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the new year.

Finally,

  • Make an effort to eat clean and healthy 80% of the time.
    • While you do not need to follow a diet during the holidays, making a deliberate attempt to make smart nutritional choices the majority of the time will help you counteract the effects of holiday eating and drinking. For example, if you know you have a big holiday party coming up, focus on eating foods that are low in calories but high in nutritional value, like lean protein and vegetables, for a few days ahead of time.  That way not only will you have offset some of the less nutritious choices (and calories) you may eat at the party, but you will feel like you’re indulging on a delicious treat rather than just another cookie.
    • Also, consider your portion sizes.  Chances are you will need to cut back on portions once you start the new year so start practicing now.  Rather than a heaping pile of mashed potatoes, try cutting the portion size by 1/3 or 1/2.

The great thing about adopting a few of these changes during the holiday season is that you do not have to be perfect.  Think of it as practice for the big event.  Because you have not attached these habits to a specific health goal yet, you can make mistakes, learn from them, and get better without feeling guilty or as if you have failed.

While practicing these tips throughout the holiday season may not result in weight loss  or improved your health, they may prevent you from gaining additional weight or even getting sick.  After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  In addition, you will have laid a strong foundation to build on for amazing health and fitness success in the new year.