We at FreshTalk do believe it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference. As we are halfway through February already, we wanted to share some tips on how to still feel great, even when it is so cold outside, it hurts!
1. Commit to 1 small change.
Deciding on Monday that for the the whole week (month, or more) that you are going to eat healthy, read every evening, walk 10,000 steps and not have any red wine is setting you up for failure. Let's take a step back, like really back. Instead of all of these things, what about:
I am going to have a smoothie for breakfast every day this week.
I am starting with 5,000 daily steps, and do it 4 days this week!
I will read 15 pages each evening this week.
Those are much more manageable, and reasonable. If you didn't have time to do all these things before, you are not going to be able to just start them all now. This leads to feelings of disappointment, failure, and those feelings of "overwhelm" that makes most things seems just too hard to accomplish.
2. Don’t wait for Monday (or a new month or a new year).
Do it right now. Do it this afternoon. You don't have to write off certain days as the "oh well, I already had a donut for breakfast, might as well carry on and have a not so great lunch". Start this minute, there is no rule saying you can't.
3. Prioritize daily habits.
This is so important. You can make stretching for 2 minutes in the morning - to get the blood flowing and a great start to your day - as imperative as brushing your teeth. The same goes for a cup of green or herbal tea; it can be as non-negotiable as your cup of coffee. Now here's how to make it actionable:
Set your morning alarm for 7am. Set your stretching alarm for 7:03am. Proceed to stretch it out for the allotted amount of time.
Have your coffee, and place your big box of tea beside your desk/coffee cup/kettle/your face. Wherever it needs to be in order to be remembered and be drank.
This can be done with anything. Whenever I am trying to get into the swing of something, there are phone alarms and post-its all over...until waking up and doing my 20 squats (I challenged myself in January) is second nature to me.
4. Get a support buddy.
Calling all accountability buddies! Start a text chain, use slack for work buddies, make a WhatsApp or Facebook group. Find 1 person or people who have a similar goal. The best part? They don't even have to be in your immediate group.
5. Ditch the diet mindset.
Diets don't work. Sure, they work for a limited period of time (but we all know by now, that is mostly the water you are losing from your muscles), and then when you go back to eating like a normal human again, you pack the weight back on. Instead of placing limitations on what you can and can’t eat, prioritize filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods.
6. Meal plan and prep for success.
There is a misconception that meal planning and prepping is making breakfast lunch and dinner for the next 5-7 days and all of the meals contain at least 1 of the 3: oatmeal, broccoli or chicken (or hey, maybe all three?!). Meal prepping can be something as small as cutting up your fruits and vegetables and pre-cooking some chicken and shredding it up. That way it is ready when you are hungry OR just feeling peckish.
Hydration is so important. You need it for your digestion, energy levels, skin, to avoid brain fog, and so much more! Our body is made up of over 70% water, so you need to make sure you are topped up.
Action plan: Write it on sticky notes or set alarms on your phone to drink 2-3L of water a day! Don't forget to hydrate before you dehydrate (drinking water before you consume anything dehydrating, like caffeine).
That's it. That's all. We hope these tips are helpful and don't feel overwhelming, because it shouldn't be. The smallest things make the biggest difference!