One Step

Of course, Churchill couldn’t have accomplished what he did without the support of his wife, Clementine.

Hi Everyone! As we head into the last weeks of summer, I’d like you to the time to identify your biggest health and fitness challenges, and take action. What I want you to do is take an honest self-inventory to determine quickly what area is important enough to focus on right NOW. A classic mistake we all make is to try to make massive change in several areas at the same time. Taking that approach pretty much guarantees one or two days of gusto & high enthusiasm, followed by a quickly dropping level of commitment when we can’t keep all our plates rotating in the air at once.

So, I want you to begin now by reflectively writing a few short thoughts about each of the areas I’ve listed below and what benefits you would derive personally by making even a small change. Be honest but not disparaging of yourself; negativity has no place here.

Then, I’d like you to choose just one area to focus on this week. Just one thing … and then commit to it. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section or privately by e-mailing me. My role is to provide you with supportive feedback, including a simple course of action. Focus on this one area of improvement, whether it is diet-related, exercise, or finding a regularly-scheduled quite moment in your day. Consistency is more important than big moves. Walking 1/2 mile 5 or 6 days a week is more important than walking 5 miles once a week. You are looking to develop a single, positive habit.

We all feel over-scheduled, and when things get busy, the positive things we seek to do for ourselves are usually the first thing thrown overboard the HMS Well-Being. It’s time to change your priorities. Start by adding an automated reminder in your smartphone or tablet device, or simply use a Sharpie and post it bold on your paper calendar. Enlist a friend or family member to help you stay diligent and conscious of your action. Or, contact me! My whole mission is to help people make these kind of positive course corrections. I speak from experience. If I told you I had relentlessly pursued fitness and health without a single misstep, it would be far from the truth.

You’re going to have missteps. I guarantee it. That’s part of the process. What is important is how quickly you regroup after a stumble, get back in the saddle and, as Winston Churchill phrased it, “Keep buggering on!” Remember, keep short notes of what you’ve done and when. Once you get rolling, you’ll find it easier to build on your actions and make serious progress. Give yourself at least a week, with ups and downs.

So here are a few categories and questions to get started with. Feel free to add your own and ask your own questions. Remember to share if you wish: having companions on the journey is its own reward.

Exercise:

  • Do you exercise? If so, how often?
  • What type of exercise do you do and when do you exercise?
  • What would be the one exercise you could easily incorporate into your daily routine right now? What is one thing you could do to move more throughout the day?
  • When could you carve out 15 to 30 minutes in your day consistently to take this action?

Diet:

  • What does your diet usually consist of?
  • How many meals do you eat a day?
  • When at home, where do you tend to eat your meals and snacks?
  • What are you doing while you are eating?
  • What are your favorite foods?
  • How often do you go out to eat and why?
  • Where location in your home do you usually eat – kitchen, living room, etc.?
  • What activity are you engaged in while you are eating?

Sleep:

  • How many hours of sleep do you get a night on average?
  • How late do you stay up?
  • Are you on your phone or computer before you go to bed?
  • What habits and/or rituals do you do before going to sleep?
  • Is the room you sleep in comfortable?
  • Do you eat or drink before you go to bed?

Mindfulness: 

  • Do you take time for yourself?
  • How do you like to relax?
  • Do you get caught up in other people’s schedules, issues and drama?
  • What are your major distractions?

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to be answering your questions and addressing more specifically strategies you can adopt to address each of the areas I’ve listed above: Exercise, Diet, Sleep and Mindfulness. Really, the umbrella that all these categories fall under is Self-Care, and that’s the inner change that is going to occur as we continue this discussion!

I seriously want to hear what thoughts and reflections you have come up with. Again, leave a comment or email me directly and let me know what you are hoping to do to stay on top of your health and fitness. I’m here to help.

With love and encouragement,

Jane

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