Happy New Year!! I hope that your 2018 is off to a fab start! I don’t know about you, but as much as I love the holidays I love how refreshing it is to take the decorations down, clean up from the end of year festivities and purge from the past year in preparation for the new year ahead. There’s so much excitement, hope and possibility of what we can do with the next 365 days!
While I have lots of goals; like staying off of my phone more when I’m around my kids and to drink more water (specifically to drink half of my body in ounces of water each day), etc… my main goal for the year is to wake up before my kids Monday-Friday. You may think, oh so easy! But for me this is a really big challenge. I am SOOOOO not a morning person. Or rather I’m SOOOOO much of a night owl. I love the quiet in the house when everyone is a asleep. I enjoy staying up to complete projects. Since I tend to stay up way too late, I end up hitting the snooze button more than once in the mornings. On the days when I’ve woken up early I do love the feeling of how much I can accomplish in the morning.
Pre-kids, and pre owning my own business(es), my husband and I would get up really early to workout before work. And I loved that! Now that we both work from home and we have three kids our schedules fluctuate day to day and I’ve come to rely on my kids to be my alarm clock. So bad! I truly believe that the day will flow a lot better if I wake up before the kids do. I did this over the summer in order to run outside before it got to be 100 degrees out, and I really did love it! But I fell of course and now I’m excited to get back to it. I think Charlie (my early riser) will be shocked when I’m downstairs when he wakes up!
One thing that I hope to accomplish early in the morning is my workout. I’m good about working out. It makes me a better wife and mom and I feel so much better. Working out is my “me time” and therapeutic. But sometimes I workout at 8:30am, sometimes at 10:00am, other times at 4:00pm. It’s all over the board. I prefer to workout first thing in the morning. It helps me wake up, gives me energy for the rest of the day, starts me off on a healthy and positive way, it’s out of the way and I don’t have to think about or worry about when I will fit it in, and I genuinely make better decisions with food and eating if I’ve worked out. I’ve found it difficult in general to keep a routine for myself and for my family ever since we had our third baby. And I think starting my day earlier (before the kids are up) will help with this.
The start of a new year is a wonderful time to reevaluate your goals and to take small actionable steps to achieve them. So I wanted to share my top 7 tips for achieving a fitness goal. If you have any tips on how to stop hitting the snooze button in the mornings I would love to hear them! 🙂
My Top 7 Work Out Tips:
1. Choose Your Days & Times
Like I am doing, select the days and times that work for you. Write it down, put it in your calendar, commit to it. Consider waking up earlier (like me) to fit your workout into your day before life gets busy.
2. Start Small
Ease into it. Every journey starts with a single step. Even if it means starting out by waking up and doing a single push up then two push ups the next day. Or running 1 mile then increasing to 2 miles the next week. Establish your routine without being overwhelmed. I’ve heard that in general it takes 6-12 weeks to create a habit. Focus on establishing your new routine. The love for working out and living a healthier lifestyle, and desire not to miss a workout, will follow. Focus first on getting active and developing a routine before adding in any changes to your diet or meal plan. I find I eat so much healthier and make better decisions with food when I’ve worked out. Make adding physical activity to your lifestyle the focus and main goal starting out, and the healthier food decisions should come a lot easier.
3. Do Something You Love
If you don’t love it you’ll dread it. Try several things until you find something you love. My workouts have evolved over the years. I used to love to workout at the gym and liked the step machine and the elliptical. And I did a ton of classes, resistance training (“body pump” classes), yoga, pilates, step, etc… It wasn’t until right before I got pregnant with Charlie that I got really into running. And ever since I love running and “need” a run a few times a week or I don’t feel like myself. I also love barre classes and more recently resistance workouts again.
4. Quality over Quantity
Doing 10 push ups correctly is so much more effective than doing 100 push ups half assed or with improper form. Giving your all for 30 minutes is much more effective than haphazardly wandering the gym for 60 minutes. Likewise rushing to fit a workout in every day is not as effective as dedicating 30-60 minutes 3 times a week to put your phone down, leave your work on your desk, leave your kids with a sitter and focus on you and your body without distractions.
5. Change it Up and Keep it Fresh
Like I said above, my workouts have really evolved over the years. It’s fun, and good for our muscles to change things up. That could mean planning your week so that you are not doing the exact same workout each day. Such as running or walking 3 times a week and resistance training 3 times a week. Or it could mean remembering how much fun you had riding your bike as a kid so why not try a SoulCycle class. Or recall how much fun it was dancing at a recent friends wedding, so maybe you want to try out HIIT Fitness. If you are getting bored, change it up! Exercise should push you and challenge you.
6. Join Forces with a Friend and/or Join a Fitness Group
It can be tremendously helpful to have a support system. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner. Join a fitness group or schedule workouts with a group of friends. This is especially helpful if you enjoy the social accept of fitness and working out.
7. Stay Off the Scale
I hardly ever weigh myself. I can tell just by how I feel if my weight is a bit up or a bit down. The numbers on the scale are just that, they’re numbers. What matters is how you feel. Instead try to “measure” your success based on how you feel rather than on the numbers. You aren’t going to reach a goal weight or size (aka a number) and then be done with working out. You will reach a point where fitness is a natural part of your lifestyle. A great tip is to take progress photos that way you’ll have a way to track your progress. And progress photos are a fab source of motivation.
Most of all have fun with it!!