Summer vacations and family fun can often disrupts healthy eating patterns. Now that September is here, it is a great time to fall back into good habits. Here are three common challenges and some helpful solutions to help move forward with positive change to your health:
1. Challenge: Inconsistency
Mindful mantra: Consistency trumps commitment
A few years ago, I listened to small business expert, Marc Leblanc, talk about the difference between consistency versus commitment. I became aware that while I was committed, I was failing with consistency in some parts of my personal and professional life. I realized that focusing on the mantra “consistency trumps commitment” can help me “walk the talk” instead of just “talk the talk.”
Carving out a minimum consistent goal of two non-negotiable fitness efforts per week in my calendar has made even the busiest weeks achievable and usually something I can exceed. (Previously, I set the weekly target much higher and failed to book these as appointments in my calendar. I always hoped I could fit it in somewhere, and when my schedule wouldn’t allow this, I was defeated).
Think about healthy eating the same way – perhaps grocery shopping and batch cooking dates need to be booked into your calendar as non-negotiable appointments to make sure you consistently have healthy supper meals. Perhaps your family needs to pack their lunch for the next day immediately after supper to ensure the mornings are not rushed and lunches are fully balanced.
2. Challenge: Procrastination
Mindful mantra: Pounce on Priorities
I wonder how many people are spending more time watching the food network and reality cooking shows than actually cooking?
What really matters to you? What is a must-have versus a nice-to-have in order for you to be happy and healthy? Pounce on your priorities first and minimize time wasters such as endless hours of television, social media posting, and Internet searching.
If you are unhappy with your weight or your health, waiting until you feel like going for a walk or hoping you will one day start craving veggies is not likely to happen. As the old saying goes, you have to “fake it till you make it.” If you act as if you are someone that enjoys exercise or eating a salad, in time you actually will.
Remember that all of us need enough variety, rewards, and relaxation to keep motivated. Since perfectionism often leads to procrastination remember that there is a difference between being the best and doing your best.
3. Challenge: Overwhelm
Mindful mantra: One in, one out
You can do anything, just not everything. You can’t do it all – work life balance is a myth. Accept that balance means some days things will be in check, others will be anything but. The key is remembering that your family, work, and personal self all need to be taken care of – but just not at every minute of each day.
Consider my husband’s analogy to treat your schedule like clothes in your closet. One new item added should be followed by one item out for donation. Slow down and check in with yourself before saying yes to opportunities that come your way to protect your time for what really matters. All choices (even the good ones) also have consequences.
Registering your kids in sports after school, or attending a fitness class after work is great, but can mean that evening meals can take a hit. In order to keep healthy family meals flowing for your family, what needs to shift? Perhaps enough healthy leftovers need to be prepared the day before or carving out time on Sunday afternoon to prepare a few meals for the week to come.