Since becoming a health and fitness coach I have learned that there are ebbs and flows and September is one of those months where my clients are starting fresh. It’s the time of year when people say “no way, I can’t conquer starting my fitness journey right now. It’s not a good time for me.” I often hear that in late August and early September. My clients are mostly busy working women and moms so it is understandable that they truly are extra busy during this time of year. However, it is actually one of the best times of year to begin something new if you approach it with the right mindset.
There is something exciting about starting fresh, a new sheet of paper to write on and another chance to transform your lifestyle and habits. My advice to you would be to jump in on the excitement of a “new school year” and create a new change in your own life.
This starts with you getting real with yourself and asking where do I need the most help? Am I not getting enough sleep? Is my nutrition off? Am I bothering to make time for myself to exercise? If the answer to any of these questions alludes to the need for change, then I encourage you to decide to take a stand and be the person who creates that change for yourself.
While change is hard, being unhealthy and unhappy is also hard. It’s up to you to decide to pick your hard this month.
All of this starts with you setting some goals for yourself. They might be nutrition goals, weight loss or even sleep. Don’t overwhelm yourself and shake your entire world up at once. Small changes over time can lead to sustained long term habits. Decide what is the habit in need of change the most and go after that first.
I have found that the best way to stick to the new goals you are setting is to find someone to help keep you accountable. I encourage my clients to tell three friends about the new goal that they have and ask those friends to either join them in accomplishing the same goal or to at least check in with them to monitor how the progress is going. Social media also makes it easier to keep yourself accountable by sharing what you are doing and showing others how you are creating your own change. Your friends on social media with thank you for the positivity and new ideas.
I also think a lot of this change has to come from your place of “rock bottom.” Meaning that you are sick and tired of feeling the way that you do. I have worked with many different clients and the ones who were most ready were the ones who finally said enough is enough. I think you need to ask yourself are you at that point where you want to honestly change more than you want to stay the same.
If someone were to ask me what my secret is to balancing everything that I do, I would attribute it to my organization skills. That is one area that I really am great at. I am a planner. My life has daily to- do lists, weekly meal plans, and a scheduled out itinerary for most days. Basically I live and die by my calendar. While this is not for everyone it is what works for me. I would encourage you to give these behaviors a try. You might find that it helps calm the storm of chaos that a busy life brings with it. Maybe I am the only one who feels like this but as a busy mom, especially when I was working full time I feel like I have run a marathon all before the clock would strike 8:00 am each day. Each morning when the alarm goes off it’s a race to get everything accomplished and where I need to be on time. Below you will find my a few of my top tips for getting organized and started with your lifestyle change.
- Get to bed on time. I used to burn the candle at both ends trying to wake up early and stay up late. All that did for me was make me lousy at a lot of things. I was cranky, it took a toll on my health and let’s be honest your quality of work and focus on four to five hours of sleep isn’t all that stellar. Plan for 7 – 8 hours each day. Even if you means you have to set a reminder on your phone to hit the pillow. You will accomplish more when you are well rested. Try to cut the screen time at least an hour before bed if you want to fall asleep easily. Although if your life as hectic as mine, it will probably only take you a second to drift off to dreamland.
- Create a meal plan – Each Sunday my family and I make a habit of sitting down together and deciding what we want to eat for the week. I use pinterest for inspiration and we write it out on a little white board in the kitchen. As I meal plan I also make my grocery list. We shop shortly after we make our plans then prep some of our foods and meals that evening. It makes for a busy Sunday but I wake up thankful on Monday that I have a game plan for the week. This allows us to skip ordering take out for dinner and spending lots of money on unhealthy lunches and food on the run.
- Create a night before routine – Each night during the school year we pack our lunches together. I used to try to pack lunches in the morning and all it did was make me late for work and I often felt rushed. In addition to packing the lunches, we set out our outfits, put everything we need for the day by the door and I also make a to-do list for the next day the night before.
- Enjoy the calm before the storm – When I began my health and fitness journey it was because I was sick and tired of never having any room on my to-do list for things that would benefit my own health. I decided I needed to make the time before the day started. I couldn’t head off to the gym so I started working out from home at 4:30 am each day. Yes I realize this is super early but I found that time of day to be very peaceful. It allowed me to start the day on my time without any distractions. No requests from my little guy, no emails or messages coming in. Life was quiet at that time of day. Admittedly, I hated every minute of it at first, but I quickly began to look forward to the calm before the storm each morning. My family’s day started off much better when mom got her early morning workout in. It made me feel like I could handle whatever was coming at me that day. Little by little that habit of getting up early turned into my normal routine.
Wishing you the best for a month of starting some new healthy habits for yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to do. You just have to first be willing to be be uncomfortable while you put in the hard work to get you there.
If you are interested in an extra layer of accountability or need help with your health and fitness goals please feel free to reach out to me. I run monthly support groups and would be happy to include you in one of them. It would be my pleasure to chat more with you.
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What about you? How do you start fresh in September?
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