Motivation for “the New Year” by Steph Beth Nickel
Does September feel like the beginning of a new year to you?
Even though, my “baby” is 28 and graduated from school many years ago, this time of year is one of my favourites.
Here in Southwestern Ontario, the weather is still nice … although, as I write this, it’s quite warm and muggy outside. But I won’t complain. This weather won’t last long.
As we say goodbye to our summer routine and embrace the days and months ahead, it’s a great opportunity to re-evaluate our health and fitness goals.
Here are three suggestions to get you started.
1. Make a list of everything you must accomplish in an average week.
After doing so, you may think you have no time for healthy eating and exercise, but remember, you will have more energy and will work more efficiently—plus, you’ll have a more positive outlook—if you eat well and get regular physical exercise.
2. Choose one healthy habit to incorporate each week or each month, whatever is most likely to set you up for success. Most of us can’t make all the changes we want to at once.
Having a tote of fresh fruit and veggies delivered every other week has motivated me to cook healthy meals from scratch more often. However, I can see myself falling into old habits now that the novelty has worn off. Using up everything that comes in the tote, which is 100 percent customizable, is one of my top two fitness goals.
The other is to be physically active for at least twenty minutes per day. Theoretically, that should be easy. My hubby loves to go for walks in the evening and I have a subscription to Body Groove and have ordered a couple of their DVDs. I love these workouts and just have to make it a habit to do them.
3. Discover what motivates you.
An accountability buddy? A FB group? A reward?
My hubby is like my “almost silent” partner. Even after a long, strenuous day, he likes to go for a walk in the evening. He always invites me to join him but never pressures me. Even when I don’t want to get off the couch, I’m always glad when I go with him—and usually end up walking farther than I intended.
I belong to a FB group of local peeps. We earn points, cheer one another on, and have the chance of winning a monthly prize provided by a local merchant. Who wouldn’t be motivated by the chance to win a $50 gift card to their favourite store? (If you don’t know group members personally, especially the admin, check out the legitimacy of the group and don’t provide any personal information unless you’re 100 percent comfortable doing so.)
As the FB group grows, the chances of winning decrease. However, I can always promise myself a reward after so many days of healthy eating or exercise. A new outfit? A trip to Chapters? A day curled up with my books and journals?
As we move into our fall routine, let’s set achievable fitness goals, celebrate each victory, and forgive ourselves when we don’t quite make it.
Happy New Year!
Before changing your activity level, exercise routine, and/or eating habits, consult your health care professional. What is safe and beneficial for one person can be harmful for another. Note that you implement the information in this post at your own risk.
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Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.