As humans, we often compare ourselves to others or wonder how we can reach the next best thing:
When will I reach my goal weight?
Why is it so difficult to control my relationship with food?
Where am I headed in my career?
Why does everyone else seem to have it all together?
This mindset can be exhausting as you try to create sustainable changes in your life. It distracts you from enjoying the present moment and acknowledging the steps you’ve taken to get this far. It’s important to remember there are always going to be roadblocks on your journey, whether you’re navigating your physical, mental, or emotional well-being.
Perhaps you’re feeling anxious about all the unhealthy foods that may have crept into your house during the pandemic. Or maybe you’re having difficulty keeping up with your routine while living with someone who doesn’t prioritize their health. It’s natural to encounter distractions or setbacks but learning from and pushing past those points is where you build resilience and improve your mindset.
What health looks and feels like will be different from person to person, and that’s what makes achieving health a bio-individual process. Wherever you are in your health journey, it’s important to remember that you are the creator of your own path. By recognizing this and choosing to stay in the present, you can grow more confident in your health choices and keep the momentum going on your personal journey.
It has always been my lifelong mission to help others. I had a corporate career, rose up in the ranks in a male-dominated industry and then changed careers in my 40’s due to a health issue with my youngest daughter. I became an Integrative Nutritionist, which looks at the body as a whole and not in parts, as well as a Health Coach so I had the tools to hold space for and really be there for people that wanted to make a change, as well as to inspire the extra push they needed to keep the momentum going on their health journey.
Here are two ways I encourage sustainable change in my clients’ lives:
- I create a safe space and foster positive coach-client relationships.
I do give personalized nutrition advice and meal planning ideas, but I also focus from a functional and holistic perspective, which means that everyone is different and will thrive off of their own unique wellness plan. This is my version of bio-individuality!
What it also means is that I’m going to acknowledge my clients’ unique nutritional and emotional needs, as well as their personal fears, concerns, and goals.
First and foremost, I make sure to validate my client’s feelings and acknowledge how challenging it can be to feel like ‘everyone else’ has it easier. Whether we struggle with cravings, food sensitivities, poor body image, poor health, or general feelings of being stuck, it can seem like there’s something wrong with us when others around us don’t struggle with the same things.
- I help clients find joy in their journey.
Focusing on the healthy habits that excite you can prevent a client from feeling overwhelmed about the journey as a whole. There’s a ‘fear of the forever’ that clients feel when it comes to creating consistent habits. I try to point out the healthy habits that are enjoyable for my client, so it doesn’t feel like a struggle to them. Whether a client enjoys working out, making a home-cooked meal, or getting to bed at an early hour, I help my clients identify, appreciate, and keep up with the habits that bring joy to their life.
And here are 5 ways to keep the momentum on your journey (with or without a Health Coach):
1. Find an accountability buddy
There’s strength in numbers. Enlisting a support system can motivate you to stick with your health goals and renew your energy on days when you’re just not feeling up to it. Your support system keeps your goals from feeling unreachable because they are on this journey with you (even if they’re simply cheering you on from the sidelines!).
You can build your support system by finding a friend to join you for your daily run or challenging a friend to complete a round of sit-ups with you at the end of each night (this is a great virtual activity, too). If you live with a partner or roommate, accountability could look like swapping nights to cook a heathy dinner or leaving each other notes around the house with positive affirmations. When one person feels discouraged, it’s comforting and encouraging to know there’s someone there for you to keep you on track.
2. Document your progress
When you write out your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, you’re reminding yourself of the work you’ve already put toward improving your overall health and happiness. This could look like keeping written or digital checklists, such as every time you exercise or choose a glass of water over a sweetened beverage. Documenting your progress is also great motivation to move toward the next benchmark on your list to reach your bigger goals.
3. Keep things fresh
Change up your routine by getting creative in the kitchen! If you are someone who likes to meal prep, it can be easy to stick to the same few dishes in your wheelhouse. While habits and routine are comforting, learning new ways to keep your health journey interesting will go a long way.
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy foods that taste great and promote health – by experimenting in the kitchen. Try picking a new selection of fruits for your smoothie or swap the meat once a week for roasted cauliflower tacos, for example.
Healthy eating shouldn’t feel boring – there are so many ways to integrate new textures and flavors by exploring new foods (bonus points if they’re colorful!).
4. Evaluate how your current habits make you feel
Your energy is an important part of your overall health, so creating routines that leave you feeling optimistic, confident, and productive can help you stay focused on your health goals and journey. Perhaps you’ve been mindlessly scrolling on social media or are often spending more than your weekly budget allows, leading to feelings of guilt. By perpetuating habits and behaviors that don’t promote great emotional health, you’ll feel less motivated to actually participate in the habits and behaviors that do promote health.
Creating healthier habits could look like putting your phone down during your morning routine and about an hour before bed. When it comes to your shopping habits, explore whether there’s an underlying reason for wanting to spend more, such as a desire for comfort or connection. By bringing awareness to how these habits make you feel, you’ll be better able to shift the habits that bring you closer to your goals.
5. Be kind to yourself
At its core, self-care means carving out time to show love and gratitude to yourself, while fueling your mind, body, and spirit in the process! Some parts of your health journey can feel stressful and overwhelming, so it’s important to give yourself the time and space to occasionally recharge. Self-care can look different for everyone, from a bubble bath at the end of a long day to a walk outside in nature.
Try giving yourself a break when you feel like you’ve been pushing too hard at the gym or allow yourself to indulge in a piece of dark chocolate. You can even take it a step further by adopting a mediation or yoga practice, finding stillness and clarity amidst the sea of thoughts that may flow through your mind each day.
6. Have gratitude for yourself and the process
Don’t forget to express gratitude for showing up for your health. Each day is an opportunity to remember where you started and reflect on how far you’ve come. Staying present and focused on your health journey can be difficult, and though you’ll experience setbacks or feel unmotivated from time to time, your continued and conscious commitment to improving your health will make you stronger each day.
I would love to hear how you are taking charge of your health! And if you need support and think a Health Coach for accountability is for you, then please contact me.