September has that back-to-school feeling that makes you want to get your ducks in a row and basically sort your life out – so overall, not the typical time people think about building a healthier habit. I don’t know you but September is pretty much my January when I like to focus on healthier habits. I like to declutter everything including my thoughts, make a plan for the next 6months, and set some exciting goals.
I also know that it is the time of the year where many of us like reviewing our overall health habits and see what we can improve, start, or let go of. Personally, I’d very much like to get my ass back on the gym train (I’ve hopped off that one two years ago now) and keep supporting my gut health.
What about you? What are you focusing on when it comes to your wellbeing and life in general?? If you are feeling overwhelmed, with no freaking idea of where to start a healthier habit or what to start with, here are 3 essential steps that will get you started and going. They will help you stay on top of your game and keep burnout at bay.
1. Get it moving
It doesn’t have to be a full-on-hour gym session nor do you have to do all the suggestions below, but the idea is to get used to moving daily.
Studies have found daily movement (walking, swimming, dancing) is an essential and often neglected component of a healthy lifestyle. It increases your mood and does wonder for your self-esteem, cognitive function, and overall wellbeing. (source). And don’t even get me started on productivity! Morning exercising is my not-so-secret weapon for increased energy and productivity.
Here are some easy ways you can move your body daily
- Digital workouts 20min a day – With a crazy influx of online workouts, a gym membership is no longer a must, you can work out from the comfort of your own home
- Swap your train commute for a bike ride to work
- Lunchtime walk and fresh air, away from your screen
- 5-10 min desk stretches
- Relaxing stretch before bed
Focus on getting your daily movement a strong habit for a week or two before adding on any new habit.
2. Get it prep’d
Most of my nutrition clients find it really hard to eat healthily when they get busy with work. And I get it, this is not a healthier habit to adapt easily. I’m the same. The only way around it is to be prepared. Having some food in your fridge means you can throw delicious and balanced meals together in just a few minutes.
I’m a huge fan of food prep (not meal prep). The difference? Instead of cooking one or two meals that you would eat throughout the week and get bored of come Wednesday, you cook the below 4 food groups and mix-match them as you please.
Disclaimer: I only take 30 min for lunch. I rarely get the chance to take a full hour, even though I work for myself. So I REALLY understand the “I need something quick” factor. I just want to show you that you don’t have to sacrifice healthy for quick. You can have it all my dear 🙂
So what are those 4 foods?
- 1 source of protein: Boiled eggs, roasted chicken or any other poultry, roasted chickpeas. These are easy options that can be cooked 3 days ahead of time. Alternatively, you can also have on-hand canned lentils, canned sardines, cooked and marinated tempeh, and tofu. All very easy to add to your lunch plates.
- 1 source of grain: Brown rice, millet, quinoa … Cook enough for 4 meals. Also, have some healthy wraps and seeded oat bread for delicious yet healthy sandwiches.
- A roasted tray of starchy vegetables. Fall is upon us so pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnips, celeriac are in season. Roast 1 or 2 of them together. Season with fresh potent herbs such as rosemary, oregano…
- A roasted tray of non-starchy vegetables: aubergine, zucchini, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower again seasoned and oven-roasted.
Prepping these four foods can take as little as 1h, yet save you hours of cooking during the week and bring you to a healthier habit with healthy and delicious meals – it’s a win-win!
The key is to first plan it, shop then cook it all at once. Veggies in the oven, grain, and protein on the hob. And you’re done.To make those week’s meals exciting and different, have on hand fresh green leaves, veggies, avocados, nuts, seeds you can add on to change it up.
You can do these foods preps every 3 to 4 days and perhaps at the weekend be a bit more relaxed and cook your meals from scratch.
3. Get it set and clear
Once we start getting back to work with exciting projects, ambitious goals, the hustle mentality slips back in and we often forget about ourselves, our boundaries (probably unset), and soon after comes fatigue, burnout, mood swings, and so on.
If you want to build a healthier habit take a moment and ask yourself these 3 questions:
What is your current priority?
Is it your current work project? Is it getting your energy or your health back on track? Spending time with your partner because maybe you want to revive your sex life a bit? Or try for a baby? Whatever it is, pick that one thing. And make sure you do something about it every day.
How are you currently spending your days?
Say for example you want to improve your libido or sex life, but have no time to actually spend with your partner because you have been taking on so much work… Your sex life won’t improve magically right? Set that clear goal, and CREATE THE SPACE for it to happen.
How can I make it happen?
Once you are clear on what needs your daily attention, find ways to put it in your schedule. If it’s your diet or your fitness then take time to prep those meals or move your body daily. If it’s a baby or the libido, make sure you have at least 4 evenings empty in the week where you can totally relax and spend quality time with your partner.
A kind reminder that you don’t have to do it all at once to get to a healthier habit, as a fact you shouldn’t. Start with the daily movement or the food prep or the boundaries. Make it a solid habit for a couple of weeks before working on the next thing.
Need some tailored 1-2-1 support to get you out of overwhelm zone and into energized, healthy and thriving? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org