6 Simple Principles to Help You Reach Your Goals
It's March, so let's check in to see how people are doing on their New Year's fitness resolutions. Some of you might already feel like a whole new person. Others, who had started the year with high hopes to create many new habits may have fallen far short of those goals. Perhaps some of us failed to do enough planning to pull off all these new lifestyle changes. If this is you, you're not alone.
We get so freaked out when we think of all we need to do to accomplish to reach our big health and fitness goals. We obsess so much about being perfect from the get-go, and when something doesn't go exactly as planned, we get discouraged and drift off for weeks or months before we get back on track.
I do this too. Yes, doctors and health experts struggle with this stuff just like you do. To help people on their fitness journeys, I have developed these better simple guiding principles that will help you stay on track and accomplish your goals.
Do you want a better body, better health? Are you constantly wondering why you are not there yet? Stop focusing on what's wrong and start focusing on the current you and what you can do to achieve your goals.
When we just want and wish that something was different, we feel guilty, fed up and frustrated. Everything we should be doing: going to the gym, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep, feels like a chore. It's frustrating and all we can see is how far we need to go.
Just like Gandhi said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." You have to be the change you want to see in your life. A healthy person makes room for the gym, healthy meal, and sleep. Be a healthy person.
Eat regularly, eat smart, and eat well. Eat like a healthy, fit person - not a dieter. Dieters eat less, skip meals, and get obsessed over details (like that the tablespoon of cream in their coffee). Dieters miss the big picture and they have a shelf life - however long they can stand their eating restrictions.
Smart eaters eat well because they feel better that way, because their body deserves it, and because their mindset is that of a person creating a lifestyle that gives them the body and overall health that they want to achieve. They see healthy food as nourishment, not as punishment. Be good to yourself and eat smart and eat well.
Think of the outcome and think of your goals. Rather than focusing on the downsides such as the foods that you should avoid or how often you should be working out, focus on the great stuff. Appreciate how great it feels to wake up with more energy when you eat healthy whole foods and get enough sleep. Notice how clear your skin is when you skip the dairy. Focus on how much more productive you are in the afternoon if you don't overeat carbs at lunch. And of course, think about how great it feels to look at your closet and know all of your clothing looks great on you because you've been eating smart and working out.
Your emotions drive your thinking. If you're feeling restricted or punished, you'll be thinking how awful this all is. Instead, focus on feeling hopeful, happy, and excited that you have the tools to become the better version of you that you want to be.
Be grateful for your body just as it is. Feeling resentful, jealous and angry will only make this whole process painful and tedious. An attitude of gratitude on the other hand will make your days not only livable, but even enjoyable. When you see someone with amazing abs, think to yourself "If it exists, then it's possible." If it's possible at all, it's possible for me too. Quietly (or directly) thank this person for showing you this.
Remember that bloated slump you might find yourself in after holiday indulgences or after a vacation, and those times when you return home and healthy habits such as eating veggies and drinking more water seem so refreshing? Be grateful that you can actually feel happy about healthy eating habits and enjoy them,
Think of a time when you were sick or injured and you couldn't work out or even go for a long walk to blow off some steam. That next trip to the gym feels so good - and be grateful for it.
You can want more for yourself without hating where you are now. You can want a better body without berating the one you have now - as imperfect as it may seem to you, it's worthy of gratitude. Be grateful for what you've got, and you'll enjoy a much more peaceful journey getting where you want to go.
Some of you love exercise; some loathe it. We, all, need it. We are made to move. These bodies need to exercise to fire up our brain, pump our hearts, strengthen our bones and muscles, and yes, to look hot.
There are smarter ways to exercise and types that work better than others. But truth is, the smartest plan out there is useless if you don't do it. Find something you enjoy, and do it. If you're stuck, get some coaching on how to make your regimen smarter. Just keep moving.
Always look for more ways to move. Sprint your stairs. Walk more, and drive less. Drop and do 12 pushups right now. Opportunities are there if you're open to them.
It's quite simple really. As you decide to go to the gym, to order a big salad for lunch, to get more sleep, and to drink more water, do it with this mantra in mind: be, eat, think, thank, exercise, and repeat.
What seem like small everyday decisions, will add up to big changes, and to you looking, feeling and being better. This is real and will last because it's who you are now - it's not temporary. Welcome to a better life.
Dr. Brooke Kalanick, ND, MS, LAc is a naturopathic doctor and graduate of Bastyr University - the leader in natural medicine education, research and the training of holistically minded primary care providers. Dr Brooke specializes in PCOS and Hashimoto's hypothyroidism helping these fat loss resistant women feel, look and be better. Her knowledge of both conventional and alternative medicine helps her give patients back the control of their body, their hormones and their life. As a woman and mother who shares these struggles, she helps the women she works with live the adage: between perfect and giving up, there's better.