We all remember being asked (told) to lay out our clothes for the next day of school, to pack our sports equipment or load the car the night before the trip. There are reasons for these steps. They take some of the stress out of the upcoming activity and allow for time to make needed adjustments. For anyone who has ever packed for an out of town trip the day of, you understand this concept. Planning and preparation allow the activity to be carried out without additional emotion or effort.
Healthy living is no different. You don’t want the shock and awe effect. It’s easier economically, emotionally and you are able to do it under time constraints.
1 PLAN AHEAD
Plan ahead by preparing snacks, pre-freezing smoothie contents and reviewing recipes. It is easy to say “I don’t have time….”. However, if you have used some free time to plan and prepare you’ll be more likely to follow through. USE HIGH GRADE FUEL! This means your food choices. Take some time to consider snacks and food options with higher nutritional value.
Replace items in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer with better alternatives. Do this as you go. When you run out of a particular item, replace it with a healthier one. You do not have to empty the pantry, fridge or your wallet doing this all at once. The replacement method will help you make incremental changes.
Repurpose food items that can be converted for another use. If you went on a fresh fruit raid and didn’t get it all eaten, move it to the freezer and use in smooties, as ice cream toppings or for baking.
4 SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Schedule time to get organized and to work on your ever evolving plan. Also be sure to give yourself time to exercise. This can be as few as 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter where you start, just that you start. You can begin a stretching routine just after you wake up, just before you go to bed or both. Start walking. Go for a hike. Spend some time in the gym. Whatever you enjoy, just get moving.
TIP: Make it easier on yourself by planning this time in your day and providing yourself with the tools you need. For example: if gym time is your choice make sure you have several sets of clothes in your gym bag and that the bag is in the car. Take your sneakers off and leave them with the bag after your workout. This way you are ready to go at least 2 more times!
5 MAKE IT FUN!
Eating healthy and feeling better should bring joy to your life not dread. Bad food choices can be the result of addictions and bad habits or convenience. Try taking away a food that isn’t in your best interest. Do this for a week. You may even need and practice week to wean your way down. The next week add a food you had not previously been eating. Experiment with some new recipes and bring on the variety.