As hard as it is to believe, we are now at the halfway point of 2020. The middle of the year is a great time to check in and reflect on any resolutions or goals you have set for yourself this year.
A common theme among New Year’s resolutions is that the intentions are great, but the means to achieve those goals may not have been as sustainable as we had imagined.
My resolutions were along the lines of working out every single day, eating like an Olympian, and reaching some Zen-like state of being. Was I able to achieve these lofty goals without a single hiccup or skipped workout? Of course not!
After working through some trial and error (probably a bit more error), I have developed some realistic and achievable methods for building a lasting wellness routine for myself. Let’s look at the key factors in my success to help you design and execute your own health goals for your mind, body, and spirit.
The 3 Pillars of Wellness
Before we can get into the specifics of a lasting wellness routine, we must first identify the three core elements of true wellness.
- Nutrition: Any healthy lifestyle is built upon giving your mind and body the nutrients they require for peak performance.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity should be a part of anyone’s wellness routine to optimize physiological health. Plus, exercise can greatly reduce the chances of developing physical and mental health conditions.
- Mental health: No wellness routine is complete without taking measures to maintain our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
1. Be Reasonable, Be Specific
If I were designing my wellness routine and I included a goal of breaking the world record for the fastest 40-yard dash, that wouldn’t be very realistic. It would be equally ridiculous for me to have the vague goal of “looking a little better.” The goals we base our wellness routine on should be achievable and measurable.
Last year, my exercise goal was to be able to run 10 miles on a treadmill. I had the entire year to reach that goal. Starting off by running a mile or two at a time, I slowly increased my distances and was constantly looking at my progress. I am very proud to report that I was able to reach this goal!
Achieving this goal did not mean I couldn’t have a single carb for months at a time. It didn’t mean I needed to run every day, all day. It just meant I needed to consistently work toward an obtainable, specific result.
Your wellness routine should include a precise and reasonable goal. Mine happened to be around exercise because it was conducive to my wellness, but your goals may be quite different. Maybe you would like to stick to a Cleanse Day program. Maybe you would like to set aside time to meditate each morning. Or maybe you would like to improve your diet by having an IsaLean® Shake every day. All of these would be great benchmarks for a lasting health program.
Regardless of your specific end goal, you’ll need to include micro goals in your well-being routine to be able to measure your progress, stay focused, and see results.
2. Share Your Goals, Share Your Progress
It is so much easier to compromise a wellness routine if the only person who knows about it is you. Sharing your wellness goals with someone else is a great way to stay focused and accountable and could possibly lead to having a wellness buddy.
Every professional athlete has a team of trainers, coaches, nutritionists, and doctors behind them, so why would we think we can build a strong wellness program alone? Utilizing experts and healthcare professionals helps you build a health program on a foundation of success.
New to the gym? Take advantage of a physical trainer. Not sure what foods can boost your healthy diet? Speak with a nutritionist.
Therapy is also based on sharing and monitoring progress. Maintaining good mental health requires the same amount of openness and willingness to be honest as setting a food or exercise goal.
Staying organized can also be very effective. Any good wellness routine should be based on regularity and progress measurement.
3. Sustainability Is Key
It seems like every day there is a new fad diet. While it is fantastic to develop a nutritional program that works for you, there are some diets that are just not going to work for certain people on a long-term basis.
You’ll need to find a dietary balance that works for you. Some folks will see early success with an extreme diet, but those diets usually don’t last long and may even be harmful. A progressive and gradual reduction of carbs is far more sustainable over a longer period of time than removing all or most of the carbs in your diet immediately.
The same can be said for a reduction in calories. It may seem logical to drastically lower your caloric intake to see drastic weight loss, but it isn’t that simple. Any drastic change to your diet can cause complications, and often, a period of eating very little is followed by overeating.
4. Foresee Obstacles and Stay Motivated
Obstacles will always present themselves, but planning for obstacles is the key to overcoming them. Common obstacles may include schedule conflicts, getting through events or parties without compromising your diet, complacency, injury, and major life events.
A balanced wellness routine isn’t all or nothing. If you have a day or two where you stray from your routine, it’s OK to jump right back in without being hard on yourself. If you stray farther away, there are a few contingencies that you can implement to get you back on track.
- Call someone when you’re stuck. Connecting with a professional or someone who knows your goals can really help you bounce back.
- Dive into resources about what is causing you trouble. Our IsaFYI blog series is full of resources addressing ways to avoid and overcome obstacles.
- Ask yourself this question before issues occur: What type of response do I want to have when I encounter a problem? This way, you’ve preemptively planned for overcoming a snag in your routine.
- Consistently revisit your plan and goals to monitor progress. Identify and solve any roadblocks in your path to a healthy and happy wellness routine.