I am a health & wellness coach who is committed to helping folks achieve optimal health in the holistic sense of the word- body, mind, and spirit. I have been a life-long athlete, gardener and farmer, and a bit of a health nut. I live in the Columbia River Gorge with my two kids and a dozen well worn trail running shoes.
I just recently completed all of my requirements to obtain my Health & Wellness Coach certification through The Health Coach Institute. This is an accredited health coaching curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant. It produces some of the best health and life coaches out there because we learn how to transform our client’s lives through habit change.
I am super proud of the work I poured into this program and the continuous learning that I devote weekly to become the best health coach I can be.
I have a natural affinity to moving my body everyday. I love the release of endorphins, I love to be outside, and I love to feel strong. I have been an athlete since about 6 years old when I started playing soccer. So it is generally not a challenge for me to motivate to exercise regularly. I try to move at least 30 minutes a day.
However, I know it can be hard for many people to find the time and the motivation to exercise. I don’t want to belabor the excuses here, you all probably know some of them. What I want to talk about are potential solutions. How can you make daily movement a HABIT? Here are some ideas that I recently snagged off the NPR Podcast Life Kit, plus some ideas of my own.
Reward yourself for exercising. Put $1 into a glass jar for every hour you workout or every mile you walk or run. Give yourself a timeline and deadline to try this. At the end, empty out the contents, count it up, and reward yourself with a new outfit, date night, or mini-vacation. I did this last summer and earned enough to buy myself a couple awesome fall outfits.
Punish yourself for NOT exercising. Here is an ingenious way how. Each time you skip out on a workout that you planned or scheduled, put money in a jar or savings account. Decide at the beginning what charity or political candidate you don’t like that will receive all the proceeds. If you keep skipping your workout, next thing you know you will be writing a fat check to a person or organization you don’t admire.
Find a buddy to workout with. Adding external accountability helps. You don’t want to disappoint a friend that you signed up for a class with or are scheduled to go on a bike ride with, do you?
Set yourself up for success. Put your workout clothes on first thing in the morning. For those that work out of the home, this may be a little awkward sporting a leotard and bike shorts at the office, but what the heck. Everyone is going business casual these days anyways. Or just wear it underneath. You are more likely to workout if you are actually wearing the right outfit. And for those who don’t work or work from home, this will definitely help get you out the door or moving in your house.
When all else fails, dance party. Seriously. There are some days, especially shorter winter days, where I fail to get to the gym or outside for a run/bike/hike. So I turn on some hot salsa dance beat tunes and have a dance party with my two kids. We have such a great time and end up laughing our heads off. Great way to work out any stress lingering at the end of the day as well.
Being thankful and giving gratitude was not something that came easily to me. I decided to change that thought pattern about 1.5 years ago when I began a daily gratitude practice. For me, it looks like sitting down in my comfy gold chair after my morning meditation, yoga, and coffee-making routine. Then I use an app on my phone called Insight Timer, where I am part of the Daily Gratitude community. It is there I enter my daily gratitudes. Somedays they are several paragraphs long, other days it is just a few words. I don’t make any rules about how many or how much gratitude I must give. Whatever comes to mind is what I write down. I have recently switched to writing my gratitudes by hand in my journal, but I still love reading other people’s gratitudes on the app. It fills me with even more gratitude to see what people from all over the world are thankful for.
Taking time to be thankful, to appreciate what you have, and grateful for the blessings big and small in your life will start to shift your mindset from one of “not enough” to one of “enough”. Your glass will be half full instead of half empty. This mindset will spread into all facets of your life and improve the quality of your relationship with yourself and others.
So go ahead and give it a try. Spend 7-14 days writing or thinking about what you are grateful for. Once you try it for that long, it just may become a habit that will stick.
Make time for the things that matter most in your life. Start to clear out or say “No” to the things that matter less. Declutter your life, declutter your mind. Improve your performance, your relationships, and your health.
How do you do this? Fill out this easy worksheet below to help you pick your top 5 priorities in your life. This could change monthly or annually, it is not set in concrete. The point it to help give your life direction.
The Top 5 Most Important Priorities in My Life
Use this worksheet to clearly define your most important priorities as well as reasons why each priority means so much to you.
Bonus tip: Hang this somewhere you can see it every day!