StyleFit Ambassador, Kate Mac, Shares Tips on getting back into Routine for 2023.
Right, this one is for those of you who have great intentions and really want to improve your health and wellness but perhaps struggle to find the motivation, don’t know much about health and wellness and have no idea where to start or you try every year but things just seem to fall to the waist side. Let’s break some things down.
First of all, let’s just take a second to talk about ‘new years resolutions.’ Honestly I think fitness and health new years resolutions need to be progressive baby steps. Majority of people start the year with big promises to themselves for example – ‘I’m going exercise everyday, eat better and mediate.’ These 3 things are big shifts and often we make a big resolution and if we fail in the first month, people give up and think ‘I’ll try next year.’ Instead of 1 big new years resolution let’s look at changing your routine and adding things across the year. Setting small realistic goals gives you confidence and encourages you to keep going. I want to get rid of resolutions being only done in the ‘New year’ too. It’s February already and perhaps you’ve had a crazy start to the year with school holidays, getting the kids then back to school and only now finding your routine and rhythm again so now is your time to take care of you. So how do we do this?
A little way I like to set my goals is by breaking them down into 3 parts.
Now before you roll your eyes and click away from this article hear me out. I know these words get thrown around a lot and if you’re not crazy into the fitness and health scene you probably see this and think too hard basket. I get it. But, if you start with number 1 slowly it will naturally feed into the others.
I have been very into my health and fitness (go figure) for a long time so yes, its easy for me to say all this but with a newborn and a toddler I’ve had to learn the hard way that not everyone can get up every morning do a big gym class, stop and get a delicious protein shake, mediate for half an hour, journal or plan every meal and go to the farmers markets for the best organic produce (that’s a bit extreme but you get my point.) Before kids these goals were easy to achieve and I went hard, it was how I operated but right now I feel I’ve had to start from scratch again, set smaller goals and slowly ease my way back into that healthier lifestyle but with much less time (and sleep). I’ve had to learn what it’s like for many who are time poor from work or kids or just life in general and also how to start from a basic fitness level again.
So here’s how I’m approaching my goals for 2023…
The reason my first goal for the year is focused around movement is because I feel this is where the motivation for the next 2 come from. When you increase your exercise and start to feel good, you naturally start to look at healthier ways of eating and then that movement becomes one form of mindfulness. So, old me fitness goals? Gym everyday, mixing cardio and strength classes and teaching bike bar 8 times a week (I actually can’t believe I use to do that!) New me fitness goals? Getting out for a walk with my baby in the bassinet even just to get a coffee and walking around the house enough to complete my daily steps goal. (God knows what I’m doing all day but I actually achieve this in my house??) this was where I started, once I was feeling good I attempted a few runs but quickly realised that was a bit soon after birth and decided to stick to a fast pace walk and then added a few body weight exercises every 5 minutes or so on my walk. Where am I at now? My baby is now needing to be at home more for her sleeps so I’ve got an indoor spin bike which has been a life saver. I am a spin instructor so its easy for me to smash out a 30 minute session but I also use BikeBar TV. It’s online spin classes and actually something I created when COVID hit and suddenly it’s become a lifesaver for me. My point in all this is I’ve not thrown myself in, I’ve been adding to my goals each week and taking the pressure off. I’m enjoying exercise again and it’s motivating me to also nourish myself better and I feel I’ve had my me time and the mindfulness has occurred naturally.
So here’s my movement blueprint for you:
1. Start small – Get a brisk walk in, take in the fresh air outside, a walk is not a waste of time!
2. Add in – on that walk, every 5 minutes stop and do some body weight strength work. Maybe 20 squats, 20 sit ups and 20 push ups (on knees or standing and doing it against a pole) Make this your own – maybe your add on is increasing to a run for intervals and there may be some days your tired and don’t add in. That’s ok.
3. Look ahead – once you are in the zone, pick the type of exercise you like the most and lock in one class a week at your favourite studio. NON-NEGOTIABLE! Work it out with your partner and prioritise it.
4. Reflect – each month, have a quick reflection on how you’ve gone, look at your progress and start adding in again. Get 2 classes in a week, up your walk to a run, listen to your body.
Movement is my main focus and as I’ve said, get yourself into a routine of this, start seeing the improvements it will naturally feed into Nourishment and Mindfulness. But let’s take a quick look at the next 2.
KEEP IT SIMPLE! You don’t need to start cooking superfoods, drinking herbal remedies and cutting out all carbs and anything delicious straight away. You may not ever need to do those things. It’s very hard to completely change your diet in a day, we need to work up to these things and my favourite thing to do is simply ‘Add in’. If you’re use to having pizza don’t cut it straight away but try adding a salad to the side of it, some leafy greens and cucumber. Again – simple! Then keep adding more to your plate, more colours and different veges and then still have your pizza but start to cut the slices down and keep going from there. Soon you won’t feel like the pizza, soon it’ll become some chicken or fish and you’ll just start making healthier choices because you are exercising and feeling good.
Once you feel the motivation, start exploring some new recipes or if you are time poor invest in ordering the meal deliveries. There are some great options out there. I’m currently using Marley Spoon and love it! They do some fantastic healthy meals and I love ordering the vegetarian options to give my digestive system a break from meat (I’m not the best vego cook so this is really handy!) Last tip – Stock the fridge with goodness – If there are easy, healthy options you can just grab out of the fridge you will make better choices.
Mindfulness comes in many forms, I won’t go into much with this as I believe if you focus on movement and nourishment the mindfulness is already there. If you’re in a routine you are giving yourself your time – exercise is your time in the beginning and once you are on a roll you can maybe try doing active mindfulness strategies like applying yourself to breathing and meditation apps, reading that book you’ve always wanted to read or simply opting to do something simple like a swim in the ocean with just yourself. Whatever fills your cup that is your mindfulness.
Health and fitness isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Instead of setting unrealistic big goals and failing. Set smaller ones and tick them off one by one and feel empowered. Some days, weeks, months will be better than others but don’t drop it all if you fall out of routine. Life has many curveballs and it’s hard to nail that routine all the time. So your best to implement small changes and keep reflecting and adding in more and you will find all of it becomes a natural part of your new healthier life.