8 min read
…and make It stick!
The self-care trend is going FULL FORCE and not stopping anytime soon, and it shouldn’t! Focusing on ones overall wellbeing should be a priority in all of our lives. At the center of all we do and all that is important to us, is, well… us. So we best make sure we’re on top of our game.
I remember feeling overwhelmed when I initially started. My main frustrations were because of all the attempts that I had made were short-lived and I wasn’t able to maintain them on a consistent basis.
My driving force was to just get started, which, might I add was an important step to first establish. I was struggling with my new role as a wife, also moving away from family and the life I knew, to go build a new one (and a better one might I add) with my amazing husband.
I also had buried grief from the loss of my father, and low self-esteem on top of everything else. I was moody all the time, spent MANY nights crying, and had been dealing with back and hip pain due to putting on extra weight.
Once I learned a good variety of ways to begin and succeed in improving my overall wellness, things started to become more manageable and sustainable. Keep in mind though, I did NOT make all these changes at once. So pick a couple at a time to focus on and gradually integrate them all into your life and routines.
1. Minimize Your Meat Intake
Usually, one of the biggest struggles to getting started is that we just don’t feel like it or have the energy to do so. It takes the body A LOT more energy to break down meat than plant-based foods and the extra effort needed from the body can leave you feeling more sluggish.
I’m personally a vegetarian, and since cutting out meat consumption I have noticed an improvement in my own energy levels. I do understand though that some people aren’t willing to cut this out completely, which is totally fine, but it is a fact to consider or even something you can implement a couple days per week which can help give you a nudge in your desired direction.
Surprise, surprise, it’s part of the list and it always will be, lol. Move your body every day! Find things that you ACTUALLY enjoy. Whether it be yoga, running (this one is definitely not me lol), weights, going for walks/hikes, dancing! Especially at the beginning, you want to start with something that you won’t be dreading before you even start.
Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram can all be helpful resources in finding something to do, or your local YMCA or community center may have some things to try.
If you’d specifically like to know my own routine, feel free to contact me and I’ll happily share. Whatever you choose, try and at least commit to 20-30 minutes daily.
3. WATER, WATER, WATER
Replacing soft drinks, juices, sweet teas, etc can be an easy change to start to implement. Limiting alcohol as well will be helpful. Not just calorie wise but for mental clarity as well and to help our bodies to continue to remove toxins and wastes.
And I think we can all agree that we don’t make the wisest choices while our thinking is impaired.
For those of you who don’t like the taste of water, try squeezing lemon/lime or adding things like fruits, mint, pineapple or cucumbers can help with flavor.
The same way we track our money to keep accounts balanced, we need to also track ourselves to learn our patterned behaviors, to see what’s working and what isn’t working.
It helps to organize your thoughts and to locate yourself. This allows you to make better future decisions so that you will have even more of a positive impact on your self-growth journey.
5. Find Other Like-Minded People On A Similar Journey
A positive and supportive environment always makes staying on track with your goals so much more easier. Don’t forget that age-old saying as well, “you are the total sum of the five people you spend the most time with.” Choose your surrounding influences wisely.
For extra accountability, you can also talk to and include important people, like your spouse or partner, in what you’re trying to achieve. This has been a big one for me.
6. Read Food Labels
Choosing what to buy at the grocery store can be a bit daunting, but a general rule to stick to is, if it has more than five ingredients labeled, try and avoid it. Whole foods are always best. Also, know that the order of the ingredients on labels are listed from what is mainly used in the food item to what is least used.
So for example, if sugar is listed as one of the first ingredients, there is more sugar than anything else listed after it. If this is the case, this isn’t the most nutritious food for you to be choosing.
*Bonus tip, the lower the Sodium (salt) level in the food the better. High sodium increases blood pressure and increases water retention in the body.
7. Study Your Habits and Create Boundaries
As an example, I have a rule for myself; I CANNOT go more than two days without exercising. I realized from studying my past habits that after three days of not working out, it starts to become a very slippery slope and is harder to get back on track.
So I learned from looking at my past downfalls, that by creating non-negotiable boundaries for myself, I could prevent a lot of repeats of the same downward spiral. If I want to remain consistent, I can no longer skip more than two consecutive days of exercise.
8. Associate All Choices With A ‘Package Deal’ Mentality
What I had to do was understand what my goal was and what circumstances I was trying to heal from. By changing my mentality, I made it clear to myself which choices would support which outcome.
So my choice to workout NOW TRANSLATED AS, “by choosing to exercise I am choosing to believe in myself, to invest in myself, and to be sick and tired of living miserably.” In turn, by choosing to NOT exercise, now translated as, “by choosing not to exercise I am choosing to continue to live with my aches and pains and continue to live in a miserable state.”
These are the ‘Package Deals’ that I assigned to my two separate choices. This way they have more internal weight. I also recognized that taking action towards my goals, as well as not taking action, were both choices that come with repercussions that I now have to take full responsibility for.
9. Understand The Road To Success Isn’t Glamorous
As you work hard to transform your life, there’s no inspirational movie montage of your life set to motivating music constantly playing in the background. The path of success is filled with mundane daily and repetitive tasks that seem extremely insignificant and boring.
I found reading ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy helped me to go further into this understanding a lot better.
Whatever you do though, stay consistent and disciplined. Whether you decide to make a positive change in your life or not, know that there is an easy and hard aspect to all things in life. So you might as well go through the trenches for the outcome you want to have.
10. Feed Your Mind With Positivity and What Serves You
The power of the mind should not be underestimated. Just as we need to feed our bodies with quality nutrition, we need to do the same with our mindset. The obstacles that will no doubt come your way need to meet with a trained mind that can withstand the resistance.
This should especially be done on a consistent basis because we are all constantly evolving and changing. We need to keep up with what is current in our lives and what we need specifically in each phase we go through.
Podcasts like Relationships & Chill, books, scripture, talk shows, anything educational, uplifting or motivating lyrics/content are all great resources for you to choose from to strengthen and fortify your mind.
In conclusion, having a variety of ways to tackle an issue/goal is KEY. Having some type of strategy or plan in place is necessary to help you through any type of struggle. Just as it is important to visualize yourself succeeding in whatever task you’ve set out to do. Also, you should try to visualize and plan for different ways you might be challenged in bringing your goal to fruition.
Remember that this is a constant and ever-changing process, so be patient and take things one day and one new habit at a time. Eventually, you’ll begin to have healthier habits as routine and start to see your old habits drift off to the wayside.
Whatever it is you’re trying to work through, I hope that you continue fighting to reach your highest and fullest potential.
If you are interested in taking your health and fitness goals to the next level, please fill out the contact form (Select Recipient: Coach Elulu) and let’s set up a plan!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my post and please consider subscribing to our weekly newsletter (The LoveLetter) and the Relationships&Chill Podcast for more amazing relationship, dating and self-improvement content.