I am declaring 2021 as My Year of Health. 2020 was the perfect storm. I was dealing with menopause. My workload as an online educator exploded due to the pandemic, which meant more time spent at my desk and less time moving. I struggled to maintain work-life boundaries, leaving me with less time for self-care. I abandoned many of my healthy stress reduction techniques like meditation and journaling, and, instead, found myself mindlessly overconsuming. Plantar fasciitis meant that I had to avoid high impact exercise. Always the overachiever, I not only gained the COVID 15, but almost doubled that. I ended the year feeling overwhelmed, tired and unhealthy.
Still, 2020 is over. Time to reset. Being a health coach doesn’t mean that I am perfect, but it does mean that I know what to do to get back on track. Perhaps some of my tips will help you as we move through the year together.
Spend some time thinking about and writing down your goals for 2021. It’s not too late just because January 1st is over. My number one BIG goal for this year is not to let my work sneak into my personal time. I think that this is the cornerstone goal that will help me succeed at all of the others. I have made this goal public and enlisted the support of my husband. I have been specific and realistic about what this will look like. But what I want to focus on today is the other goals I ended up listing.
There were SO many of them including losing weight, sleeping more, journaling, meditating, doing yoga, reading the huge pile of books on my bedside table…. Too many. Pick one and start small. Make it almost impossible to fail. That will give you the sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated and moving forward. Want to exercise? Commit to ten minutes of deliberate movement each day. Want to eat better? Start with a healthy breakfast.
Add one healthy habit, or subtract a bad one, each week. Maybe in your second week you will add five more minutes of movement, or include healthy snacks in your eating plan. Maybe you will focus on something new.
So, for my first week of 2021, I have chosen to subtract a bad habit. My glass or two of wine on a Friday was beginning to be an every other day ritual. While I think I was hoping to destress, I know that wine has the opposite effect. In addition it adds calories, disrupts sleep, slows metabolism…. Enough said. This week I will be ensuring that IF I decide to have a glass of wine, it will only be once a week.
What is one small step you can take this week to improve your health in 2021?
And remember: progress, not perfection.