I don’t know what it is about the looming month of November, but we tend to put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves at this time of year. Everyone is busy, running left and right, buried in work.
I met with a client this week who had rescheduled her last appointment because of her workload. When we met, I asked her how things were going and she said: “It’s total anarchy.” She had succumbed to pressure… and her healthful habits took a hit.
She had fallen off the proverbial wagon and wanted to get back on. And with that, here are 5 ways to get back on track.
1) Reconnect with your motive
The entire premise of this blog is to keep you motivated and connected to your reason why. You know, that thing that pushes you to lead a healthy lifestyle? Sometimes, we fall off the wagon because we forget why we got on in the first place.
So, step 1: reconnect with your motive for better nutrition. Grab a piece of paper and list 3 reasons why eating right is important to you. Is it health? Weight control? High energy? Whatever it is, write it and shout it. Go.
2) Set a new goal
Falling off the wagon is easy when you aren’t working towards something. It keeps you in limbo. From a productivity perspective, limbo is the land where nothing gets done.
That’s why setting goals (with an expiration date) is important- it keeps you honest and it keeps you motivated.
So, if you want to get back on that wagon, you need to decide on the next station and set a goal for yourself. I find training goals to be particularly motivating and seeing that it’s race season, why not see what’s going on in your area? Even if you aren’t a seasoned runner, there a plenty of short distances to participate or even walk in.
3) Draw a roadmap
It isn’t enough to simply decide to lose X number of pounds. You need to break it down. What do you need to make it happen? Which steps do you need to take to get there? Here are few basics
- Plan those weekly meals and lunches
- Rid your pantry of temptation foods and processed “foods”
- Stock-up on fresh fruit and vegetables… and enjoy them!
- Eat slowly and pay close attention to those hunger cues
- Hydrate. With water.
- Keep a food journal
- Sweat at least 4 times per week
When your roadmap is clear, you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there. You also have something to fall back on in case you lose your way.
4) Designate a health spotter
If you’ve ever been to a gym, you’ve seen this before: in weight training, the spotter is the guy standing by, ready to assist someone lifting weights for safety and often to offer support and encouragement. Well, I think everyone should have a health spotter.
Now attention to those who choose to assume this responsibility; this is by no means a food police. A health spotter is the person you share your goal with, in detail. They also understand your reason why. In turn, this person will assist you, provide support, cheer you on and keep you honest by giving you a nudge in the right direction whenever you fall off track.
5) Reframe your thoughts
The things you think to yourself everyday are like your railway conductor. Keep repeating something to yourself long enough and you’ll believe it to be true and steer yourself in that direction. Depending on your mindset, this could either keep you on track or steer you completely off path. Here’s what I mean.
A few weeks ago, I watched a nutrition documentary called Hungry for Change and a quote from the film really stuck. When it comes to junk food or any other bad habit,
Instead of “I want it but I can’t have it” say “I could have it, but I don’t want it” (<-click to tweet!)
Notice the difference? On the one hand, you’re embedding the thought that junk food is what you want. Eventually, this will enable you and you’ll wind-up off-track.
On the other hand, reframing your thoughts empowers you to stick to your guns and do the right thing, because it’s in line with your goal.
Eating right is important, nothing new here. And when you have a bigger-than-usual workload, it’s even more important. Eating right becomes a non-negtioable. Once you reframe your thoughts and view it this way, you’ll notice that falling off the wagon isn’t as easy as it used to be.
Have you ever fallen off the wagon? How did you get back on?