As women we have so many pressures on us, we often take the brunt of childcare, we spend a great deal of time looking after others and the act of bringing beautiful children into the world often leaves our bodies entirely different to how they were before.
Being fit and healthy is seen as something we strive for, we look at our parents and we swear that we will do things differently and look after ourselves to avoid disease, weight gain or the health issues they face.
We want to look good, wear nice clothes, society judges us by how in shape we look and so we promise ourselves we will exercise and eat well to get in shape.
The intentions are good, the reasons mostly strong and we all know we should do it.
But is that pressure we feel a positive force or do you sometimes feel it is all just too much, the changes you need to make just too great and do all the good intentions actually end up having a negative effect?
I’ll start tomorrow, just one biscuit won’t hurt, there is no time to cook a fresh meal, I just have no time to exercise, I can’t go to that exercise class as I’m just not fit enough!
Excuses, I have heard (and used) them all…
They stop us in our tracks and give us all the motivation we need not to do anything.
We start off with great guns all motivated and excited, the first week goes great you did three exercise classes and ate salad every day.
Then you forgot to do the online shopping order and the fridge is empty.
That class is just too hard to get to as you have to drop your daughter at a friend’s house.
The second week just wasn’t quite as good but next week you will get back on track right?
All or nothing
To be fit you have to exercise for 1 hour three times a week, eat salad every day, never eat chocolate, never eat a take away etc etc.
We set ourselves so many rules and high expectations that when just one aspect doesn’t happen we stop. That’s it, I’ve failed. Might as well finish that whole packet of hob nobs then.
Does any of this sound familiar?
What should you do instead?
There are three things you can do to make sure you avoid falling into these traps, to make life easier. So stop the excuses right now, put in some consistent daily effort and let’s find some positive actions you CAN take.
1. Write it down
There is so much research that backs this up, if you write your goals down you are significantly more likely to achieve them. So how about if you wrote down the actions you need to take every day to achieve your goal?
2. Take one action a day
If writing down your goal every day sounds overwhelming think of it this way. There is one small thing you can do every day to help lead you towards your goal. If you have a ridiculously busy day that one thing could simply be to pack a fruit snack in your bag, simple.
Taking consistent action even if that action is small eventually forms habit and habit leads to big changes.
You probably already have a to do list so make sure on your to do list every day is one action that is just for your health and well-being.
Exercise doesn’t have to be 1 hour three times a week, just 10 minutes daily would be far better than not making the class because you can’t spare that amount of time, think differently about how you fit exercise in, allow yourself to be satisfied with the little bits of effort and then build it up, bit by bit.
3. Review your progress
Work in weekly sprints, at the end of each week review what you have done, what worked well? What do you need to improve? This will help you to be clear about what you need to do in the coming week and allows you time to appreciate your progress.
There, that’s a lot less pressure than trying to do it all at once.
Let me know if this strategy works for you.
If you like it you may want to keep an eye out for what is coming next. I am launching The Consistency Project next week, if you want to be a part of it contact me and I will make sure you receive the details first.
It’s free and it’s a little experiment I want to try with you, all you have to do is download the tracker and complete it daily for two week – easy right!? Share with me how you get on and let’s see if we can get you consistently working towards your goals and where that might take you.
Have a great week, relax and take the pressure off yourself, life is busy but that shouldn’t mean you can’t make 10 minutes for yourself.
p.s. I’ve been away for a while working on my programme, it includes motivational coaching, workouts and I’ve spent a lot of time implementing the new ideas I am learning on my Nutrition Coaching Certification course. The whole programme is finally coming together and I am really looking forward to sharing it with you soon.