6 January 2022|Coaching topic, Health topic
Happy New Year to you all!
If wanting to improve your health in the new year feels a bit daunting, this blog is for you
After 2 years of having been in a pandemic, it has never been so important to reflect on our health!
Having said that, diving into changing everything round 360 degrees can be counterproductive. The last thing we need is to put more pressure on ourselves at the moment!
So if you are saying… “from today on I will start exercising at least 30 minutes every day, stop smoking, no more alcohol, no more coffee, only drink water and herbal teas, meditate every day, start doing yoga, eat 7 portions of vegetables a day, go to bed at 21:30, make sure to sleep 8 hours a night, see more of friends and family, start writing in my journal, allocate some time for selfcare, do intermittent fasting, start doing voluntary work, get my 10.000 steps in every day, grow my own herbs and ferment my own vegetables…”
Ok, I am exaggerating slightly here… but even just two or three of those would be too much and chances are high that you wouldn’t do any of it in the end. And this can also play a big factor in why so many New Year’s resolutions aren’t followed through.
I suggest to consciously make the decision to focus on one thing you can do towards a healthier you. And then break it down into really small steps.
Our life is governed by habits – around 90% of what we do is done unconsciously – luckily, because that makes our life so much easier! Our brain processes around 2000 bits per second! And you think you are busy now! Imagine you would have to tell your brain to put one foot in front of the other when you go for a walk or when you do what when you drive a car. When we learn to drive a car we have to go through all the steps in our head and focus really hard, but a few months later we think about what we need to get from the shops whilst driving and then we can’t even remember how we got there. We are on autopilot.
And yes, we also have those kind of habits that we would rather like to change. We all do, me included! Those habits are also happening on an unconscious level. So we are having to make a conscious effort for a while to change them into more useful healthier habits. And remember that habits at some point were formed because it gave us something positive, some kind of benefit. For example, eating fast food takes the prep work out and we save some time, or for me, when I was still a smoker around 15 years ago, it gave me a little break from work.
I would like to invite you to think about what you could potentially change that can make the biggest impact. What kind of habits have creeped in that you can change now and prevent other health issues further down the line? And also think about what the positives are for you to have this habit in the first place. When we bring this into our conscious mind, we are aware of it, and what we are aware of, we can change.
Setting small goals will more likely set you up for success and you will feel good about yourself, which will motivate you to carry on.
I have a few ideas for you of healthy habits you can start getting used to:
- Reducing sugar in your diet – start by choosing one day a week where you have no sugar whatsoever. No sugar in your tea or coffee, no biscuit, no cake, no squash, no sugary cereals, no bread, no ready meals… and on that one day, just focus on eating wholefoods like vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, fruit, brown rice for example.
- Drinking more water – if you never drink any water, but live on fizzy drinks or squash for example, focus on drinking just one glass of water daily for the next week and then increase it by another glass for the following week.
- Cutting out processed food – you can start by limiting it to once a week, or if you are someone who eats fast food every day, start by eating it only every other day.
- Eating more veggies – in case you have decided to include more vegetables in your diet, have some cucumber and cherry tomatoes with your egg in the morning, or a side salad with your omelette, or choose a side of broccoli instead of chips when you go out, or buy a steamer which makes it so easy to steam the veg in whilst you prepare the rest of the meal.
- Protein for breakfast – if you are someone who always eats a couple of slices of toast with jam or some sugary cereals for breakfast, focus on increasing your protein intake at breakfast as this can reduce cravings later in the day. Have scrambled eggs, or porridge with almond milk and a handful of walnuts, or yoghurt with berries.
- Move more – in case you have decided you want to move more, start by going for a 10 minute walk daily after dinner for a week and increase it slightly the week after. Or start by doing a 10 minute full body stretch before going to bed.
The key with any new habits is to consistently do something small which fits into your life towards a healthier you. Once you complete a whole week of your new chosen habit, you will have proven to yourself that you can trust yourself to complete it successfully and it will motivate you to do more further down the line.
I am ready to help you would like the help and accountability of a health coach, you can book yourself a free 30 minute chat with me and we talk about how we will work together to turn your goals from ideas in your head into actions, decisions, change and improvement.
I am looking forward to speaking with you.
(The information presented in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or doctor or other health care professional).