One of the many souvenirs I brought home from Spain was a clicky left knee. I had spent the last six years constantly moving in a gym so, when the majority of my days consisted of studying Spanish at a desk for hours at a time, I began to experience the tightness and pain described to me by my corporate job clients. It has been over a year since I returned and during high stress periods the clicking will turn to a sharp pain. This, combined with waking up one morning last week with lockjaw, due to stress, prompted me to get back into yoga. Sometimes it's as simple as one thing. One positive thing we bring into our lives or one negative thing we decide to take out. We all know the expression "Rome was not built in a day!," well neither is a healthy lifestyle. One of my new favorite expressions is "you will never regret doing something!" By keeping that "something" simple, you pave a stronger road towards success. Here are just some things to keep in mind...
1. Choose one thing to add to your daily routine. This could be a yoga class, walking to work, a 20-minute power routine in your apartment, drinking a certain amount of bottled water each day, or adding a vegetable to your dinner. Sky is the limit, but just pick one!
2. Choose one thing to take out of your daily routine! This usually has to do with nutrition, but it could be anything. Take out the 3rd cup of coffee you have in the afternoon, the dessert you have after dinner, the glass of wine during the week, or a toxic relationship pushing you towards all of these bad habits!=)
3. Set a time! I always tell my clients, "don't think about it like you will never eat chocolate cake again (that's absurd and a bit inhuman) but that you are not going to eat chocolate cake today!" Most studies show that it takes about two weeks for a choice to feel like a habit. I encourage you to go a bit longer, but it also depends on what you are giving up. I am doing a 30-day yoga challenge because my pass is 30 days!=) (Plus I am just a hot mess in life right now so yoga needed!)
4. Tell somebody. You will be surprised how much support you will receive by sharing your goals. You might even find a buddy that has been secretly wishing they could also give up buffalo pork chops as a late night snack and offer to do it with you. Even if you don't have a partner in crime, you will be making yourself accountable, not only to your friends and family, but also to yourself.
5. Start Now! Literally once you are done reading this blog, START! You know certain ideas have been running through you head while reading this so now all you have to do is pick one and start. Don't pass go, don't collect $200, START! If you let your self think about everything that could possibly get in the way of making this choice, then you will never make it. Life only gets harder; it only gets busier.
*On a side note for my masochistic followers: If you are a candy addict, do not pick the month of October to take candy out of your life (maybe out of your breakfast) but not life! Part of keeping it simple is making realistic and obtainable goals. Save the anti-candy campaign for May when the beach is taunting you!=)
Hope this helps and remember "simple" does not equal "easy." Running a 5K isn't easy but it's no marathon!;)