It’s easy to get overwhelmed. We look at our goals, our dream physique, or our ideal “healthy lifestyle”…then we look back down at ourselves and feel like we have a long way to go. It’s easy in those moments to lose heart.
"Sigh....This is going to take so long..."
Just keep your head down.
One of my favorite simple sayings is “keep your head down”. It portrays the idea of blocking out all the distractions, the influences, and the temptations. It means staying focused on the task at hand, one tiny step at a time. It’s not letting yourself swerve off of the path that will eventually lead you to your goals.
Keep your head down and get to work.
However, I know the thought of sticking to an elaborate workout plan, charting all of your meals, spending time prepping, and being diligent daily is daunting. It's helpful to tackle smaller, simpler changes that will make a big difference in the long run.
So keep your head down and get to work on these little things.
Six Simple Strategies You Can Do Today
1. Stop being so sedentary. As Americans we have a habit of relaxing and sitting every chance we get. We sit in the car, we sit at our desks, we sit down to eat, we sit in front of the TV at night, and then we lay down and sleep at night. We just don’t move very much. Try to look for little ways to include more movement in your day. Walk to the park, walk to get lunch, stand at a counter to do everyday tasks, get up during the commercials of your favorite show, and play more with the kids. Just moving more does not take that much more effort, but it will help you expend a lot more energy throughout the day.
Praise the Lord, for Fitbit, right? It provides a good incentive to keep moving!!
2. Stop flavoring your coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker, learn to love black coffee. The sugary, flavored coffee creamers have zero redeeming quality, and they start your day off with a sweet tooth (not to mention a big insulin rush first thing in the morning…not a great idea!). Just skipping the creamer (or the full-on lattes and mochas) can equal a big reduction in your overall energy intake, helping you take another step forward towards your goals.
3. Take a multivitamin (and Omega-3 supplements). Ideally, you would eat a wide variety of foods that provide everything your body needs for optimal functioning, but most people do not eat a perfectly balanced diet. If you’re deficient in anything, your body suffers to some degree. The simple act of taking a multivitamin and omega-3 supplements (up to 6,000mg/day) can cover your bases and make your body function much better. You’ll probably feel the difference.
4. Drink more water. You know those super-healthy looking people that have the trendy water bottles with them all the time? They’re on to something. You’re probably dehydrated right now, and as a result your body is a bit more bloated, lethargic and has a hard time processing nutrients. Get yourself a cute little water bottle if you need to, but you should be drinking water all day long. Don’t worry about the exact ounces. Drink a glass when you first wake up, have water with every meal, and then drink from your water bottle in between meals.
5. Drink green tea. This could become a mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or evening ritual…it doesn’t really matter. Try to drink one cup of green tea every day. This simple trick will give your metabolism a little boost, help build up your immune system, and especially keep your mind on a healthy trajectory (who craves Cheetos when they’re drinking green tea?!).
6. Get enough sleep. Even for those that do everything right, working out consistently and eating perfectly, they’ll have a hard time feeling truly healthy if they don’t get enough sleep. While you are sleeping your hormones get to work. You have various hormones that help heal your tissues, reduce your stress, encourage nutrients to be used for work instead of storage, along with a host of other jobs. You want these hormones working hard and you need to sleep to make it happen. Go to bed earlier, create a bedtime ritual, and take some melatonin if you need to. Just make sure you sleep!
I’m going to stop the list there. There are certainly a host of other little changes you can start implementing that will help move you in the right direction, but again, you might get overwhelmed.
Always keep it simple and totally doable.
Move more, drink your coffee black, take a multivitamin and omega-3 supplement, drink more water, drink green tea and get more sleep. That’s it. This is not a workout program or a diet overhaul. These are tiny habits that may make a world of difference. The trick is that once you start incorporating these little changes into your lifestyle on a regular basis, you will have more energy to workout and you will have the desire to eat better. You’re setting yourself up for success.
Keep your head down. Don’t get overwhelmed and distracted. Do these simple things and you’ll be on the right track.