By Rachael Taylor
Right now I'm trying to do 31 days of yoga in a row. I joined a January, beginning of the new year challenge in September (hey better late than never, right?) and I started it in the middle of the month. Breaking all the rules here! But if there's one thing I've learned about developing new habits is that you just have to start. Just start. And contrary to popular belief, there isn't a perfect way to start. I used to think that I couldn't start something unless it was the 1st of the month. Because that way I know that each day corresponds to each workout. It fits so well into my perfectionist box and I'm all charged up. And then what happens? The first three days I am ON IT. I crush those workouts. I even stretch, eat more vegetables, drink more water, and all sugar has been cut out of my diet. I'm flying first class on Health and Wellness airlines.
#1stday, #2ndday, #3rdday, #goals #goalscrushed, #winning. And then the fourth day comes and I stretch in bed and I think "man I'm really sore shouldn't I rest my muscles? I mean I don't want to injure myself. I'm going to take the day off and just skip today it'll be fine." But then that fifth day comes and I find all these reasons as to why "I just don't have time!" And then what gets added back in? Wine. Chips. Hummus. My buds sugar, salt, and fat bro it all up on all day snack binge and by the sixth day I'm back to where I started. Challenge shoved under the rug, emails unsubscribed, and internet cookies deleted so I'm not reminded of my once again failure to "start something new."
So why am I talking to you about this? Because this is happens to all of us. And we have the power to change it once and for all.
Don't get all perfectionist about it.
If you need to cut whatever exercise routine you're doing in half to make it fit into your day or you need to do it at lunch or night instead of in the morning that's ok. Each day doesn't have to be the same, you can exercise and do good movement it doesn't have to be so structured.
Choose a time frame that you'll be able to realistically commit to.
If you only have an hour in your day to exercise, remember that you will need to stretch, shower and eat afterwards and that's part of your routine. Commit to a 30-minute program or movement so you still get the benefits of moving and stress release without feeling crunched or pressured to get it all done now. You are less likely to cancel due to the excuse "I just don't have time for it today!"
Pick something you actually enjoy.
If you don't have a normal routine of moving or exercising and have decided to fly Health and Wellness airlines don't pick something that you hate or that hurts. I cannot stress this enough! If you hate running, don't pick running. If you hate yoga, don't pick yoga. Find something that you enjoy doing, that you would like to be a part of your day, and you'll set yourself up for success. Some ideas of Movement are biking, roller-skating, jumping on a trampoline, jump rope, hula hooping, yoga, dance, cartwheels, Zumba, Nia, jogging, hiking, swimming, gardening, Pilates, walking, skateboarding, rock-climbing, horseback riding, surfing, tennis, basketball, soccer, golf, fencing, playing tag with kids, Frisbee, martial arts, stair hopping, clean your house, skiing, snowboarding, running, lifting weights, HIIT classes, jazzercise, carrying children, archery, TRX, cardio barre, acrobatics, boxing, and rowing.
Only choose one thing to change.
I cannot stress this enough. Don't change your diet, your water intake, your alcohol intake, and add in an entirely new movement routine all in one fell swoop. It's a shock to your system and your body will freak out. Speaking from firsthand experience, your body will go "aaaaahhh what are you doing???" and immediately crave sugar, salt, and caffeine to balance out all this change. Eating sugar and salt and those foods that you crave give your body an instant Serotonin boost which in turn immediately lowers your stress level. If you change too many things at once, your body gets in a stress response and will demand the very thing you are working so hard against. Don't set yourself up for failure. Pick one thing to change, stick with it, and then when that's a habit, and only then, can you choose something else.
If you want to try something, then go for it.
You don't have to be so structured. Some people do better with only doing one new type of movement or exercise for 30 days. They master it and then either continue on or add in other things. For others, that sounds super boring and that's totally fine! You could give yourself a challenge of trying a new type of movement every day for 30 days. Or alternating between Pilates and running every day. Or rotate swimming, yoga, Zumba, and hiking on the weekends! The goal is to figure out what sounds fun, what would work practically in your schedule and current lifestyle and then just jump in!
Keep In Mind...
"I can't afford it" is no excuse at all.
So many of these things are free! Completely and totally free! You can even join free yoga meetings and meetup hiking groups if you don't want to do it alone. The internet has endless resources for all different kinds of movement for either completely free or very little cost, like a Starbucks Americano kind of cost.
"I don't have time" is also nonsense.
You make time for what's important to you, regardless of it's commitment. New season of House of Cards, 10 hours in total? No problem. But 30 minutes of Pilates a day is too much? If you're worried about actually committing to times, tell a friend or better yet get them to do it with you. If you're motivated enough to see a difference, the time to move will magically appear in your schedule I promise.
And that my friends is how you get moving!
That's why I can start a 31-day yoga challenge in the middle of the month and knowing that I'm going out of town this weekend. It's not about perfection, it's not about doing it all correctly, it's about finding something new that sounds fun to try and then doing it. It doesn't have to be this big dramatic thing.
What New Habit Are You Going To Pick Up This Week? Leave a Comment Below and Share With Your Friends! And Remember...
The best changes are the small ones we make over time, the ones we add into our lifestyle to bring out the best versions of ourselves.
Ready for a Change But Not Sure How to Get Started?
I'm here to help! When you want to change your lifestyle, your eating, your movement, your habits it can be overwhelming I know. Sometimes we need a brainstorming session about WHY we can't have what we want and HOW we can get there. That's what the Initial Discovery Session is all about. When you book that initial session, you are the center of my universe for an entire hour. We work on figuring out what's holding you back and how we can change it in the next 90 Days through the Total Transformation System. Book your session in my schedule now as my hours are limited and don't miss out on learning how you can transform into the best version of yourself!
Today is the day you take back your life.