Maybe you were just starting to improve your exercise and nutrition, or were on the path to getting your healthy habits down to a fine art. Then, KA-BLAMO. You started back at work, or you increased your work hours, or you were struck with COVID, or your youngest brought gastro home from daycare (again!), or school holidays happen. Life happens. Everything gets disrupted. And those health habits you worked so hard to create, switch off.
Your weekly exercise routine? Forget it. You weekly menu planning? A total mess. A good night’s rest? Ha!
SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING
At times like this it can be easy to hit pause (or stop) and say “I’ll come back to this when things calm down”. You might be thinking this “isn’t the time” to be working on your health and fitness. I argue it’s exactly the time to be SAYING YES to YOU…. as in, it’s still just as important to continue prioritising yourself and your health – but in a simpler more compassionate way.
Let’s be honest…. life is never really going to slow down permanently. And we can easily get stuck in the vicious cycle of ‘all in’, then ‘nothing at all’. This ‘all or nothing’ approach really hampers us from getting anywhere (and quite frankly, leaves us feeling pretty sh*tty about ourselves and our health).
USE THE DIAL METHOD
Think of your health and fitness habits as a dial – rather than an on/off switch.
When life is cruising, you can dial things up. When life feels like a bit of a sh*t show, you can dial things down. It makes sense to dial some habits down during times you’re already stressed and exhausted right? Do less, simplify and/or do easier versions of what you usually do. The key is to never turn them “off” completely.
SIMPLE ACTIONS ADD UP
If it seems too simple, I assure you, it’s not. Small simple actions add up over time. Do what you can, when you can. I promise you it’s enough.
- Do something that is very, very small (ie. do 2mins of stretches in the morning, rather than heading to your usual 45min workout)
- Do something that feels super easy and simple (ie. 5mins of wind down time before bed is much simpler than a 30min bedtime routine)
- Do something that moves you in the direction you want to go (ie. if your intention is to eat more vegetables, chose actions that will help you move in that direction – like adding a side salad to your lunch)
This approach is about “being real not perfect” and “doing something rather that nothing”. The cool thing is, when you embrace this, you’ll never have to worry about “falling off the wagon” again.
TRY IT OUT
- Consider areas of your health you’d like to change / improve on
- Ask yourself “whats the MOST I could do?” – this is your habits DIALLED UP.
- Ask yourself “whats the LEAST I could do?” – this is your habits DIALLED DOWN.
- Fill in 2-4 other points on your DIAL (ie. what small actions fit in between your DIALLED ALL THE WAY UP and DIALLED ALL THE WAY DOWN actions?)
- Refer to your dial when life gets busy.
- Dialled down = park further away and take the stairs whenever possible, and go for a 5min walk around the block twice a week.
- Mid range = attend one Say Yes workout, go for one 30min walk and do 5mins of gentle stretches before bed twice a week
- Dialled up = attend three Say Yes workouts, go on two 30min walks and do 10mins of gentle stretches before bed most nights
- Dialled down = drink enough water most days of the week + add a side salad (or veggie sticks) to three lunches over the week
- Mid range = Dialled down actions + sit at a the table for most meals + eat a piece of fruit most days
- Dialled up = Dialled down and Mid Range actions + Prep most of your meals in advanced with each meal including a balanced mix of protein, vegetables and fats.
- Dialled down = 5mins of wind down time before bed
- Mid range = Limit caffeine after 2pm + Limit screens after 8pm + 5mins of wind down time before bed at least 3 nights of week
- Dialled up = Limit caffeine after 2pm most days + No screens after 8pm most nights + 20min bedtime routine most nights
- Dialled down = 1min of deep breathing three mornings a week + write in your journal once a week
- Mid range = Dialled down actions + 10mins time in nature most days
- Dialled up = Dialled down and Mid Range actions + a balanced mix of fun and active adventure on your weekend
READY TO SAY YES TO YOURSELF AND YOUR HEALTH? OUR KICKSTARTER PROGRAM IS A GREAT PLACE TO START (or re-start)!