With the constant demands on our time & responsibilities, it can be easy to neglect our health, making excuses that there isn’t enough time to eat right, exercise, or take breaks. But by not prioritizing your health, you perpetuate the problem and continue to lack the energy needed to find balance & happiness.
Here are 5 ways to get back on track for 2020
1. MAKE EXERCISE A PRIORITY
Whether that is through a structured routine or just through moving more throughout the day. Choose healthy food options by focusing on eating whole, real foods, not processed, convenience foods. And remember to take breaks every hour or so to stretch, adjust your posture, take some deep breaths, or take a short walk.
2. AVOID THE NEGATIVITY
Stop beating yourself up! Falling off track doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or that you lack willpower, it means you’re human that's making positive changes & that's something to be proud.
Talk to yourself as you would to a family member. Never feel guilty or ashamed for trying.
3. REALIZE YOU’RE NOT STARTING BACK AT SQUARE ONE
One of the most demoralizing parts of getting back on track is thinking that you’ve lost all your progress and have to start back at square one. This isn't true. When you miss a few workouts, you will begin to lose some strength, muscle mass, and aerobic endurance. But when you start back up again, you’ll make progress faster because your body will be ready.
4. SEE EACH SLIP-UP AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN
Framing your failures as learning opportunities is a great way to feel better & get better. Instead of dwelling on the fact that something went wrong, figure what exactly went wrong and why.
Sometimes it’s an obvious thing, like you got sick or injured and fell out of the habit. But sometimes it’s not so obvious and it’s worth thinking about to figure out if there’s something you could do differently next time. Maybe that means readjusting your goals to make them more realistic. Perhaps it’s about finding ways to make getting active more convenient and take up less time. It will depend on your situation and what you’re trying to accomplish, but think about it, and develop strategies that work for you.
5. FIND WAYS TO MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE
Though our specific goals vary, in general, we’re all hoping to make change last. Try to keep that in mind when you start again by using practical tips like:
- Set a schedule you can stick to and that takes into consideration your competing demands
- Enlist the help of a good friend or family member to regularly check in with you and hold you accountable
- Start smaller than you did last time and focus on consistency over intensity
- Remember that something is always better than nothing
- Place a greater emphasis on self-care (getting enough rest, drinking enough water, and finding ways to relieve stress)
A HELPFUL WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT
Often the worst part of getting back on track is feeling like we have to walk back to the starting line. It can end up feeling like we’re getting farther and farther away from our goals. Like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back.
A good way to avoid this trap is to picture yourself picking up the starting line and bringing it with you. There’s no doubt that at some point or another, you’re going to drop it or get tired and have to set it down—that’s part of trying, part of being human, part of the process.
But if you pick up the starting line, there’s no need to make the sad walk back to the beginning. When you build up the motivation to start again, you won’t be starting over, you’ll be starting right back where you left off, continuing on your path toward your goals.
Pick up the starting line and bring it with you, push the starting line closer and closer to your goal, and each time you start again you'll be that much closer to reaching the finish line.