12/26/16

Are you ready to change your lifestyle habits? Start TODAY!


Do you feel like there's a lot on your to-do list but today is just not a good day to get done what you need to get done?

Do you find yourself constantly waiting for the perfect moment, the right amount of energy, enough motivation or the best resources to start something and well, today just isn't that day?

The truth is that there is never a perfect moment to start something. Yes, that means on January 1st, that day will be no better or worse than today, tomorrow or March 21st.

The biggest obstacle that most people face when changing habits is getting started. The first step to getting something done today is to just get started.

If you have found yourself slipping into some bad habits over the past few weeks or you feel like it's time for a change in your life, here are a few tips to help you get started so that you don't put off until tomorrow, what you can get started/finished today.

1. Have a plan - Write out your day before it happens so that you can plan for what needs to get done today before today turns into tomorrow. Before you add anything else to your to-do list, prioritize your tasks. Make schedules and deadlines for yourself so that you hold yourself accountable to your plan. Don't over-complicate your life by giving or accepting more responsibilities than you can handle in one day.

2. Schedule time for yourself - Putting everyone else first will leave no time for yourself. If you are spending too much time pleasing or taking care of others, you will lose a sense of your self and what you need to do to create your own happiness in life. This commitment to yourself will improve your well-being and overall productivity.

3. Organize your life - Are there times in your life when you have asked yourself "there must be a quicker way to do this?!?!". If yes, establish a practical daily routine that helps you get more things started and finished in a timely manner. Meal prep, exercise/training, sleeping, house/job organizing, scheduling and cleaning all require a bit of effort and work but once you create a routine, you will feel like life is more organized and thus, you can get more done.

4. Think small - Big results are the sum of many small changes. Avoid the common mistake of trying to go big and make extreme changes in your life, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Make your changes so incredibly easy that it's nearly impossible to fail. For example, instead of telling yourself that you will work out for 90 minutes every morning this week, aim to work out for 20 minutes three mornings this week. You will likely get more accomplished over the course of 7 days, thus helping you create better habits to support a future early morning exercise routine. Same goes for cooking at home. If you want to cook more at home, don't overwhelm yourself by trying to cook 7 days a week. Aim for two or three nights of following a recipe from a cook book (and shopping and prepping ahead of time) and for the other nights, give yourself some slack and be ok with semi-homemade meals. Sustainable habits are a product of daily habits.

5. Reward yourself - We are more likely to keep doing things that make us feel good. This is why we don't want to change too much at once or make extreme changes. It is important to celebrate new behavior changes or a new routine by acknowledging that you are making progress. Rewards should always make you feel good and should keep you motivated to create a new lifestyle. Once your behavior becomes a new habit or part of your lifestyle, it's time to reduce the rewards. I encourage you to not use food as a reward but instead, treat yourself to a massage, a movie, a new workout item/equipment, something cozy for sleeping or something personal that will help you keep up with your new habits for intrinsic purposes - because it makes you feel proud, healthy or self-confident.