How to squeeze small positive habits into your life.
By Karlijn, Wellness Coach
Driving the children to school, coffee mornings, commuting, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, parenting, emails, cleaning, helping out at school, volunteer work, being a good spouse ...how can you find the time to take care of your body?
"You have to commit to it," say the people who appear to have plenty of time on their hands. It's not easy to make room for a workout when your daily schedule is already filled with so many things to juggle. So here's what I've come up with: try to squeeze small positive habits into your life. The key is to seamlessly integrate positive habits and behaviors so that they become a natural part of your day. Something is always better than nothing! Here and there, you can find 10 minutes for your health. Try committing to one of these ideas and see if you feel any different. Eventually, they'll become a habit.
1. Go black and never go back. If your order at the coffee bar ends at "ino" or worse, at "iato", you can be sure it's full of calories. Go black – in otherwords, zero calories. Even real "coffee with milk" drinkers will get used to black coffee. Skip the cake and cookies on the table at your coffee mornings. Bring a big bowl of strawberries, a healthy snack for you and to share.
2. Get up. If you're like me, you love to chat. Feel like a chat with a friend? You might as well burn some calories at the same time. Why not try talking a walk in the forest together? Have to speak with your mom on the phone? Rather than sit on the couch, try walking around the house instead while you talk. The simple act of walking will also increase your creative output.
3. Find choices. Sometimes you may feel as if you have no choice – that if you want to become healthy, you have to eat 'this' and do 'that'. It can make you feel like a prisoner. But choices are the solution. The more choices you have, the happier you will feel. So start some brainstorming some more options.
4. Drink. Never drink sugary drinks or soda. Never. No "light" versions either. Never. Drink water, and a lot of it. Do you find that difficult? Add some lemon juice, strawberries or slices of cucumber to a big jar of water. Put the jar where you can see it. Drink a few sips each time you pass. At the end of the day you'll be amazed at how much water you drank. Of course, you can also drink a glass of red wine from time to time.
5. Do a mini work-out. Even with a busy schedule, you can build in mini work-outs. For example, 'wall sit' while you brush your teeth (put your back flat against a wall and lower your hips to a 90-degree angle). Do some lunges while you walk to your mailbox (step forward and bend your leg to 90 degrees, alternating legs). The neighbours may find you funny, but do you care? Plank for one minute (put your forearms flat against the floor and hold your body in a straight line). It really only takes a minute!
Finally, ask yourself 3 questions:
- What is my goal?
- What are the obstacles?
- How can I overcome the obstacles?
As a Wellness Coach, I can help you to find answers to these questions. What are your health goals for this summer? What habits will you integrate into your life? Leave your answers in the comments below.