I’ve been in a bit of a pickle since the beginning of 2017. See, I was SO READY to take on the next Tone It Up fitness challenge after a whirlwind few months (moving into our house and the holidays). I talked about it on social media, bought some new fitness gear, and stocked my fridge with healthy stuff. And then life happened. Nothing totally unexpected or big, but the commitment turned out to be something I wasn’t as ready for as I thought. January was nuts. I hit the ground running for my Fashion Feng Shui workshop and blog content, and we had family members staying with us for a month. All of the things I thought would be no problem totally ended up being distractions from getting back on track in the new year.
January came and went, my workshop happened, and I had gotten into a groove creating content for the blog. The guests left, and I was back in a place where I could do whatever I needed to do. But now, my comfortable routine was like clockwork, and I was not motivated to change it. At all. I don’t know what it is, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything differently. I guess I was a bit exhausted and just wanted to chill for a bit. It’s not that I was completely off the wagon, but just not doing anything particularly great for myself. This is where things can go downhill and you end up back where you started. All I felt like I could do was wait to have an a-ha moment. And that moment came, but not in the way I thought. In the past, I’ve had the most luck with fitness and health when I get to a point where I can’t take it anymore and am desperate for a change. But why do we wait for the desperation? At that point, we’re setting ourselves up for so much more work. At the same time, what this past couple months have taught me is that committing to an overhaul of your fitness and health is no small thing. It takes a lot of time, energy, and major motivation. It’s not something that just happens naturally. But once you cross over into the realm, it doesn’t feel so hard to be in it.
So here’s what my recent a-ha moment was. It was that this doesn’t have to happen as a major overhaul that I force when I’m not feeling totally ready to be “in the zone.” It can happen in small doses at first, to ease in step by step. It often feels so overwhelming to start over with every aspect of your life and routine. Right now, I’m taking things slow and getting excited about making each change one by one, starting with just one or two per week and going from there. So if you’re in a rut and not sure where to start, I’m sharing my list of changes that I’m working on making, slowly but surely. Start with one or two this week, and add another one next week, etc. With each change comes more motivation to do more, and before we know it, we’ll all be “in the zone” together! So here are my favorite ways to make small changes…
1. Make that bikini punch! I’m telling you, it’s magic. Or if it’s not your thing, make water your thing. It seems so simple but I think it makes a big difference when you commit to it. Plus it’s harder than it seems to stay hydrated, so if you can do it, it’s a good accomplishment!
2. Take a walk. Walk to an errand you need to do instead of drive, take the dog out, or just start your day with a quick stroll. It’s the easiest way to get moving when you’ve been stationary for awhile.
3. Buy pre-made salads. This one is my secret weapon right now! A healthy lunch is always so hard for me to come up with during the week and those bagged salads at the grocery store with pre-measured ingredients make it SO easy, and so much better for you than whatever snacks are laying around.
4. Try going to a new workout class. Even if you’re not going to make it a whole new thing, it might just give you a new perspective on your fitness and health and give you some inspiration to figure out what’s next for you.
5. Set a WOOD intention and buy yourself some new workout clothes. Just one outfit that makes you excited to “be a person who works out” again. If that gets you moving, it’s well worth the investment.
6. Commit to switching your go-to snacks for healthy ones. I don’t know how all those Girl Scout cookies got there but when they’re there, I eat them. If I’m trying even a tiny bit, there are some healthy snacks I will be equally happy to reach for. I’m a big fan of the pre-measured trail mix from Trader Joes (the one with the peanut butter chips), Chobani Flips, and the blondie muffins from Tone It Up (insanely good and so healthy). At least if the snacks you have are healthier than cookies, your midday cravings will be satisfied in the right way.
7. Drink tea. I find sometimes my random daytime or evening cravings can be satisfied by a cup of tea – green tea in the late morning, earl grey at 4pm, and ginger or some kind of bedtime tea at night.
8. Pick a meal in your day that tends to go awry and find some new healthy alternatives that you can have ready. We recently got into Oh She Glows vegan recipes, so every weekend we pick 2 or 3 recipes from her app or cookbook and those are our dinners for the week. It helps weed out any bad habits we’ve had at dinnertime, and they are GOOD.
I’d love to hear your favorite ways to spark a new routine when you’re not necessarily feeling ready for “the overhaul.” Leave them in the comments below! I’ll keep you guys posted on how things are going. I’m already feeling my motivation picking up, and with spring on the way, I imagine it will only get better!
Photography by Ashley Burns