I used to think I was broken as a mom because..
I was afraid I’d never measure up to what was expected of me
There is more than just one right way for you to be a good ___________
Does that spark joy? -Marie Kondo
Happy New Year! I realize at the time I am writing this, we are actually already one FULL week into January. Some of you may be happily humming along with your plan working on your goals. Others may be wishing upon a star that this year will finally be different.
Yet others of you may be feeling more like me at the moment…a little behind where you’d like to be. Even as I write that, I realize how ridiculous it sounds to be feeling behind when we are only one week into a year that has 51 more to go.
In the spirit of keeping this short, sweet, and simple, I wanted to share three things you can start doing today to radically change the trajectory of your year. And bonus, because it’s only three things and they are pretty quick to execute, you will feel like a total rockstar.
3 Habits to develop this year
Go to bed earlier-
Yes. It really is that simple. Whatever your typical bedtime is, shave off a few minutes and get yourself into bed a bit earlier.
Some perks to this:
You won’t be quite as tempted to dive into the cupboards for some late night snacking.
The amount of time you spend scrolling social media looking at how awesome everyone else’s life is while comparing your own will go way down (as long as you put your phone up before bed).
You will be primed and ready for the next one…
Wake up earlier and start your day with intention-
I’m sorry, but this is a no brainer if you have kids. I used to be notorious for sleeping in until my kids came running in to wake me up or until I heard the baby cry.
This totally put me in a funk, and I felt like I was already behind. It didn’t make for good mornings for any of us.
So even if it is just 15-20 minutes, set your alarm across the room. And get yourself up.
You can sip a cup of hot coffee, enjoy the quiet, get in some journaling time to declutter your mind, or just drink that hot coffee thinking about how you want to show up today in your world.
Doing what you can with what you’ve got-
This one is simple, but not always easy. In fact, that could be said for the above too.
Take a quick inventory of your life in this season. Do you really have time, energy, or the capacity to hit the gym for over an hour a day, pick the kids up, make dinner, help with homework, and volunteer on all those boards?
If you can’t do what’s on your to-do list without feeling totally wiped out by the end of the day, I want to invite you to whittle your list a little.
Or modify. Maybe your workouts go from an hour a day to 20 minutes..still better than nothing. It might be time to let the kids ride the bus, or take yourself off the volunteer rotation.
The point is this, working with what you’ve got is so much better mentally, emotionally, and physically than trying to do too much with too little.
Whatever it is for you, do what you can with what you’ve got.
Your worth isn’t determined by how much you get done. And I promise you, the to-do list will still be there tomorrow 😉
P.S. Ready to get serious about making changes this year? Schedule a free consult to see if coaching is the next step you need to be taking.
You’re probably going to die when you hear this, but there used to be a time in my life when I would work out 6 days a week for almost 2 hours a day.
Sure, I was in the ‘best’ shape of my life, or at least I thought I was because I “looked” the part.
But working out was my life. I trained like it was my job. And I didn’t have much left in the tank for other things or people. I’m not sure what I was thinking back then. I was a full time student, with two kids under the age of 4, and my husband was in the military.
I guess I’m someone who tends to operate on extremes.
I thought I had to workout like that in order to get the results I wanted.
I was afraid that if I let off the gas, I’d lose my results.
I was afraid I’d gain weight.
Most importantly, I was afraid I would go back to feeling bad about myself-because I thought looking a certain way gave me my confidence.
There’s a better way though..and it doesn’t involve the all or nothing approach that seems so popular in today’s culture.
I couldn’t keep going the way I was.
My body might have looked like it was doing great, but I was nursing injuries from over training.
Mentally I was always thinking about calories, food, exercise, my body. Between raising a family, being a full time student, and all the thinking about those things..
I was exhausted.
While my mindset around exercise, my body, food, and all of that has been changing slowly over the past year or two.
This minimum dosage concept has been something that has come on more recently.
Between balancing family and building my business, I just knew I couldn’t make time for hours of exercise like I had in the past. And truthfully, I didn’t want to.
After I figured out in my schedule when I could work out and for how long, I figured out what I could do in the time I had.
Since keeping muscle mass is important to me (for strength and aging reasons) I knew I wanted to keep a couple of days for lifting.
But I also wanted to be sure I was incorporating some sort of cardio or conditioning as well for heart health, and because I like it.
Instead of doing several longer workouts throughout the week, I started doing full body workouts 3 days a week. Then on the off days, I will either walk or go for a short jog.
Well, as you know life doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. We can’t always predict what life will throw at us. But that doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands up and ditch out on our movement sessions.
For example, there are days when I don’t feel like doing my scheduled workout.
Maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before, so working out first thing in the am doesn’t sound all that appealing. I want to give myself (and you too) some grace for those days. It’ not all or nothing, and the ‘no excuses’ mentality around exercise is actually doing more harm than good.
Sure, you have to show up consistently if you want to see changes and improvements. But sometimes showing up for yourself looks different than what you originally planned.
The first few weeks of figuring out my new groove was a little rocky. Just like all new things tend to be..so give yourself some time to play around and practice.
The point is, be patient as you figure out what your minimum dosage looks like. Chances are it will look different from mine, and that is totally cool. In fact, it should. We live different lives. Have different abilities, and different goals.
On any given day, especially when you’re not feeling it, take inspired action. For example, on the days I don’t sleep well, I may be more likely to opt for a walk and some yoga instead of something more intense.
Learn how to read and listen to your body. I promise, it will make this whole experience so much more enjoyable.
Taking the minimum dosage approach to my training (and really every other area of life) has saved so much time and energy because I’m not forcing it.
I’m able to do the very minimum of what needs to be done to get the results I want. And you will too when you implement these strategies.
This frees up time to do other things that maybe you wouldn’t get done or would be rushed doing. Again helping you feel less stretched, and more energized.
On those days when life feels super crazy or time is crunched, instead of just not working out or eating in a way that honors your body, do what little you can with the time and energy you have. Again, it’s not an all or nothing thing.
Using this Minimum Dosage Approach has given me so much time and energy back. And I know it will for you too.
Instead of being stressed out by trying to do too much in any one area, I’m able to get more of the right things done and have energy left over. How nice would that be?
Rather than just not working out because I don’t have time, I take what little time I do have and get it done. Whatever ‘it’ happens to look like that day. Pretty sweet, eh?
Most importantly, I’ve found my middle ground, which feels so much better than living in the extremes of all or nothing thinking. Imagine how much more peace you’ll experience in the middle ground 😉
Do you always feel like you’re struggling to find your groove? Like there’s never enough time? I want to help.
If you’re having a hard time finding more time, I want to help you get your time back..
Seriously, what would you do with an extra 3 hours a week? Sign up below to get some of my best time getting strategies sent right to your inbox, plus be among the first to learn more about The Mindful Eating Project…doors opening soon!
Diets are like relationships…toxic, dysfunctional ones. If you’ve ever been in a relationship like that or seen someone else in one, you tend to notice a pattern. They leave one only to find themselves in another one. Going through the same crap, just slightly different scenery.
This is because in relationships (much like diets) you can’t escape your own baggage, your own ‘stuff’. The only way that happens is when you work on it. If you go from one diet to another without doing the mindset work, the results will be just like the last one.
Just like in bad relationships–unless you work on your own issues, you will be taking them into every new relationship.
Time to change your relationship status
For most of us moving from one diet to another, we are coming into each new next diet with a heap of guilt or shame around our bodies. A lack of trust in ourselves when it comes to food. Oftentimes we feel beat up and discouraged from previous diets or past comments about our bodies. In desperation we go from one bad diet to another hoping the next one will be the one that helps us find our happy ending.
Here’s the fine print, most diets don’t advertise or tell you about: Without changing your relationship with food or yourself, every single new diet or attempt to lose weight will be a failure. It will leave you feeling empty and disappointed. And the results (if any) will be fleeting. Just like when you bounce from one toxic relationship to another.
Your body wants to be healthy, happy, and vibrant. It doesn’t want to be dominated by brutal workout programs or diets, it also doesn’t want to be abused by food or lack of movement.
When you honor your body with movement and food, it will take care of you, I promise. It will find it’s natural , healthy weight not the arbitrary one on the chart at the doctor’s office.
One way you can begin to change your relationship with food, your body, and ultimately you, is by changing the emotion fueling you to eat better, move more, or any other lifestyle change you are making.
Here’s the catch though, you can’t change your relationship with food until you change your thoughts and beliefs.
Ready to ditch the dysfunctional relationship?
One exercise that can help you is called the 7 Why’s. Grab a sheet of paper, and at the top write what it is you want—to lose x weight, to have more energy, to lose fat, whatever it is.
Then ask yourself why you want that. Then ask yourself again…and again and again until you’ve asked yourself ‘why’ 7 times. If you’ve been totally up front and honest with yourself you will have the real reason you want that thing. Which will be pretty telling of the emotion fueling the goal.
One thing I’ve noticed though in doing this exercise with myself (as well as my clients) is we aren’t always honest with ourselves about what is driving us toward our goals.
Another thing that can keep us stuck in our old ways is the amount of information we are bombarded with on a day to day basis around food, health, and weight loss we can get distracted. When we get distracted, we can’t give ourselves the gift of consistency. Which is what it takes to make any sort of change.
What do you really want?
By getting to the real reason we want our goals, and the meaning we’ve assigned to having that thing, we can let go of having to have our goal before you can feel what we want to feel about ourselves. This frees you to pursue your goals with a different heart. Instead of chasing your goals feeling like a chore, it is fun.
You’re no longer waiting on the goal to feel happy, fulfilled, or content because you get to experience those emotions here and now.
Having a healthy relationship with yourself changes all of the other relationships you have..including the one with food and your body.
Suddenly you realize you don’t have to be so consumed with what you’re eating or if you’re doing it ‘right’. Which in turn gives you more energy and time to devote to the things that actually matter..
If you weren’t so preoccupied with your body or food, what would you invest that time and energy on instead?
PS. Is it time to upgrade your relationship with yourself? Learn how to do that and so much more in The Mindful Eating Project (registration opening soon, click here to get on the waitlist)