Week 3: Establishing A Routine
People often think that diet and fitness are separate parts of their lives but really- It should be integrated into their daily life.
Sometimes all this takes is a little adjustment to your current routine and reframing your mindset. Sometimes establishing a routine is the first step, and thats ok! People’s who’s lives are well organized and structured save themselves from the burden of stress. Routine saves you from making ANOTHER decision (we make enough of those throughout the day) this needs to become mindless to work, part of your "muscle memory". Which also means you need to somewhat enjoy it.
structured plans result in:
More mental clarity and focus for more important decision. This often leads to the ability to make smarter, healthier choices.
Better time management (less stress)
Easier time maintaining their ideal weight or reaching a goal weight
Better quality sleep
More time for friends and family (improving relationships)
Realize this requires work + brain power at first. Remember in week 2 my metaphor on muscle memory and strengthening willpower? Well it is the same thing here with our neural pathways. These pathways are what allow us to wake up and brush our teeth in the morning without having to set a reminder to do so- we just do it. Same thing with tying our shoes or walking.
When learning to create a new routine with healthier daily habits you will initially spend more time in your daily activities mindfully practicing them + getting them done.
Research shows that after 30-90 days of "strictly" practicing the desired habit you will have more success with it sticking long term- without having to think about!
The power of rituals: create a fun ritual around the new habit you are trying to integrate into your life.(I.e. Setting up a workplace, putting on a certain playlist, taking 2 minutes to sit in silence and breath etc.) Just be sure they are fast simple & fun for you and hold a somewhat "spiritual" meaning. These rituals act as a padding to get focused and ease you into a "task switch".
To keep in mind:
There may be a lot of trial and error before you perfect a system that works for you. In the end you have to take all you have learned and create a system with your own mind that will work best.
Have patience and allow yourself to fail as long as you take advantage of those failures and learn from them!
Simplify. Just focus on perfecting ONE habit at a time. In this case it's a lifetime marathon not a sprint.
So how do you begin to easily integrate health and fitness into your daily routine?
HERE IS AN Example of a structured daily health + fitness routine:
THERE ARE 5 KEY STEPS TO CREATING A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHANGE
DEFINE THE BIG PICTURE GOAL- visualize it, are you prepared to become that person? are you welcoming this change or is something holding you back that will sabotage your success?
THINK DEEP + KNOW YOUR WHY- list at least 5 (go up to 20 if you can!) compelling reasons as to why you want to make this change.Hang onto these when your structured plans or mood changes. (I.e. I never regret eating healthy portions: I have more mental clarity and focus)
SIMPLIFY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE- what do you really need to do to reach this goal? Make it easy and fun!
Think in hierarchy first. (big decisions to small)
Then get more specific and break those DOWN INTO SMALLER tasks
WORK IT INTO YOUR ROUTINE- try to subtract before you add, be realistic here really think about it, what are the potential roadblocks or set backs? how can they be avoided?
EXPERIMENT AND PRACTICE DAILY WHILE GIVING YOURSELF CREDIT DAILY- don't forget to be proud of yourself for trying- it shows you really care about self and your health!
After this is created you will have to manage it daily. At first this will feel like a job but as mentioned earlier, it gets easier quickly! soon you will be able to teach someone else to do the same
Don't aim for perfection. Structured plans are good to refer to but in life it is best to able able to adapt to changes or disruptions from the norm. This is why we need to consider more than just a game plan we need to dig deep to find our whys to keep us on course:
MANAGING YOUR LIFESTYLE
1) Planning and researching:
Early stages: finding recipes OR LEARNING TO COOK, learning about healthy foods, menu planning for the week, food shop lists
Advanced/Daily: counting how many meals you need to prep, planning your meals according to your workout plan etc.
2) Sourcing healthy food: food shopping at the grocery store, ordering groceries online, ordering from a meal prep company
3) Meal prepping: prepping, cooking, portioning, and PROPER storing to minimize food waste and get the most bang for your buck!
Advanced: You won't have to portion and weigh food forever, this is good to do at first to get an idea of what proper portion sizes look like.
Goal is to keep healthy food in the house. But, KEEP IT SIMPLE.
DON'T OVER COMPLICATE THINGS HERE. It is as easy and you want to make it.
Once you find a dish you enjoy and is easy to prepare keep it up!
I.e. Ground turkey, ground beef, crock pot shredded chicken, veggie egg muffins
Use different seasonings and approved sauces to switch up flavors!
Soon you will have this down to a science and know exactly how much time you need to make it and when it will fit into your schedule so it becomes routine!
-Buy quality in bulk (save money + time) always have food ready to go for the following week
Costco also has a great selection of organics
Buy from a local farm where you can buy 1/2 cow or some grass fed frozen meat
-Food shop on a separate day from the day you meal prep.
This might be the most important rule to follow at first to avoid overwhelming yourself and setting up for failure.
KEEP PRE MADE FOODS FROZEN FOR EASY MEALS IN A PINCH.
EXAMPLES OF THINGS THAT STORE WELL: COOKED SHREDDED CHICKEN, GRILLED CHICKEN, STEWS, SOUPS, CHILI, SAUCES, PESTO, BROCCOLI, SWEET POTATO, RAW MEATBALLS OR BURGERS
HOW TO MAKE FITNESS APART OF YOUR LIFESTYLE:
Making sure you have proper meal to fuel your performance + aid in recovery
Making time to workout at least 3x per week for at least 30 minutes each session at high intensity
INCREASE YOUR DAILY ACTIVITY "NEAT": TAKING STAIRS INSTEAD OF THE ELEVATOR, SKIP THE DRIVE THRU AT THE BANK OR STARBUCKS, MAKE MIND MUSCLE CONNECTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY(I.E. ENGAGING YOUR CORE, SQUEEZING GLUTES GOING UP STAIRS)
Making sure you have proper meals and supplements to fuel your performance + aid in recovery
Making time for 1-3 hour sessions 4-6x per week
Getting in cardio (endurance) AND strength/power based training
Making adequate time for recovery and rest
PLAN YOUR GYM SCHEDULE & ROUTINE THE NIGHT BEFORE THEN YOU CAN PACK YOUR GYM CLOTHES AND MEALS WITH YOU SO YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES.
NOW, Work it into your routine. This part require the most work on your end because everyone has their own life and schedule. so you will have to take time to set this up yourself.
Example planning questions for gym routine:
what time will you be working out?
where will you be before hand? (home or coming from work?)
what time will i have to eat to have enough time to digest before my workout (90 minutes)
will i have to bring my meal in a cooler to get this done?
will i be going home after my workout to get my post workout meal? if not, be sure to pack pre and post workout meal.
What are your beliefs about eating healthy and exercise ?
We have beliefs that power our choices, even if we don’t always know what those beliefs are they drive our daily choices.
Identify the 3-5 most problematic behaviors you have when it comes to reaching your goals. Think through AND imagine the most common scenarios where YOUR plan may fail:
THEN SPEND TIME THINKING OF HOW YOU WILL AVOID THIS IN THE FUTURE:
Pattern interruptions for these potential speed bumps
Things you will tell yourself or do in weak moments (I.e. positive mantra, meditation technique, take a walk, call a fried)
Things you can subtract from your life (I.e. unhealthy habits such as snacking while watching your favorite TV show, or eating a granola bar as a mid day pick me up)
Fun rituals that can be created around these new habits
BONUS: DEEP WORK.
Sometimes we make things are more complicated then they really are.
When you finally just do it you notice that it isn't all that bad.
The power of the mind:
in order for this to work you first have to believe it is possible (because it really is) then visualize it.
visualize the person you will be. Start being that person now.
visualize how you will look and feel
visualize how a perfect day will work out "being that person" then do it
- allow yourself to live a life without stress. then cultivate it.
CHALLENGE: just for one week...
Every time you do something that you are dreading write it down then give it a rating after the task is completed.
rate 1-5 on how difficult it was.