Read Time: 6 Minutes
Guest Author: Zach Dera, CSCS
It is no secret that leading a healthy lifestyle comes with its fair share of challenges. Things get in the way and staying on the path towards a fitness or wellness goal can be difficult, but that does not mean it is a bad thing. We are surrounded by exciting opportunities and important tasks that are constantly filling up our lives and taking away from our capacity to do other things. Everyone has come home from a busy day, and the last thing they want to do is cook a healthy meal or lace up their shoes and get out for a workout. By making a few small adjustments, winning these battles can become a lot easier, keeping you moving forward in pursuit of your goals.
The following are three solutions that encapsulate some of the biggest challenges that can prevent the achievement of a goal. Practicing these can allow wellness to remain a priority regardless of other lifestyle factors.
1) Make the time
A major reason why people have missed workouts or choose to eat fast food over a healthy meal is time. Between school, work demands and other non-exercise related commitments, free time can be almost non-existent. Trying to fit a workout into an already busy day can be difficult, let alone the time needed for cooking, recovery and adequate sleep. Everyone is on a different schedule, but by taking a look at what you do in a day you can find the time needed to put in the necessary work.
Plan out your day before it happens and prioritize your wellness in the same way you would with work demands. Schedule an hour throughout the day to do a workout, and do not waiver. That is your time where you do what you need to do. The same goes for recovery, cooking and sleeping. Make time where you can cook healthy meals for the next few days, set a time where you put everything else down and go to sleep. Scheduling these things in with your other demands and holding yourself accountable ensures that they get the attention that they need to keep you on track towards your goals.
2) Limit distractions
Your time is valuable, and the achievement of your goals takes a lot of it. When you do find the time to dedicate to your well-being, focus is critical. Text messages, phone calls, emails and social media can get in the way and before you know it, the hour you set aside for a workout has been spent scrolling on your phone. Maybe the people around you are not as focused on wellness as you are and they do not understand the attention and effort that it requires. Minimizing these distractions will make the pursuit of your goals easier.
Set boundaries with yourself and others. Set time limits on your phone and follow them in a strict manner. This adjustment will help keep track of how much time you spend scrolling on each app without realizing it. Set a bed time on your phone about half an hour before you plan on going to sleep and follow this in a strict manner as well. This will help you to put your phone down on time to get enough sleep and limit blue light exposure. Let friends know where your head is at in regard to your routine, they will understand and respect the process. These small distractions can build up and prevent you from getting where you want to go. Stay focused and stay on track.
3) Think big picture
Living a healthy lifestyle is a series of constant small battles. You probably will not achieve your goals after just one day. In the same way, you will not lose all of the progress you have made after one day either. Just because you had a piece of cake on your mom’s birthday does not mean that you should give up. Wake up the next day and keep making the right decisions to get you where you want to go. If you let the small things control everything that you do, staying on track can be much more difficult.
Be consistent with your decision making but remember that reaching your goals is a process. Find out what works best for you and stick to that. If you plan to have a meal out with friends, factor that into the rest of your food for the day. If you know you have a busy day at work coming up, schedule a recovery day accordingly. Know that you can not win every battle on your journey, and do not let the losses get in the way of winning the next one. Stay focused on getting better everyday, control what you can, and adjust when you need to.
These may seem like simple solutions, but they can have a big impact on how you remain in pursuit of your goals. Everyone experiences different challenges on their own path that require unique solutions. Find what works for you, prioritize this, and hold yourself accountable. If you find a way to do these things, staying on track can and will be easier.