It’s the final week of the Get Healthy, Stay Healthy Challenge! Thanks to everyone has who participated so far!
If you missed the challenge, you can always hop in and do all 8 weeks on your own, or pick and choose challenges based on the areas that you want to improve. The best thing about this challenge is that it is totally customizable and can be adjusted based on your own personal preferences. There’s no right way to live a healthy life, so don’t think you need to follow a specific diet or rules to get there. Do your own thing, make small changes to your current lifestyle, and learn what works best for YOU.
That said, the final week’s challenge is staying on track and identifying ways to get yourself back on track if you fall off the health wagon. We all go through periods of when we’re super healthy, but then slack on our habits—myself included! I honestly think it’s part of healthy living, but, of course, you want to be more ON track than off track.
Here are my top tips for staying and getting back on track:
Even though I’ve maintained my weight for many years now, there are times when I fall off of the healthy-eating-and-exercise wagon. Most of the time, it’s not too difficult for me to stick with my healthy habits, but when I come home from an indulgent vacation or start to favor TV time over exercise time, it usually begins a downward spiral, which, not surprisingly, leaves me with some not-so-healthy habits. (Hey, sometimes old habits are hard to break!)
Slipping up every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but when the pounds start to creep on, I know I need to get back on track with my eating and exercise. Here’s how I veer back on course when my healthy habits start to slip.
Don’t dwell on the past
Instead of dwelling on the mistakes I made in the past, I focus my attention on the future. If I’ve gained a few pounds, I remember that they aren’t permanent. If I’ve indulged a little too much or skipped too many sweat sessions, I don’t get down on myself. Beating myself up about mistakes I’ve made won’t help me eat healthier or exercise more, so I make a mental note to work hard and move forward with my health and fitness goals.
Make a change NOW
Instead of waiting to start a diet or new exercise routine on Monday, I make a change right away. Some of my favorites: I throw on my sneakers for a brisk walk around the block, I search for healthy recipes on the internet, or plan my workouts for the week. Jump-starting right away boosts my motivation to get on track and keeps me from falling further into bad habits that got me off course in the first place.
Schedule your workouts like appointments
I use my personal calendar to keep me organized with all aspects of my life– from project deadlines to doctor’s appointments to grocery lists and social events. I record everything in my calendar, including my workouts. On Sunday afternoons, I spend some time scheduling my workouts for the week, just like I would with any other obligation. I usually pick a couple of group exercise classes and schedule them like appointments that I can’t miss. Seeing my week all laid out with plenty of time for exercise helps me get back on track with my workouts.
Use a little bribery
I’ve recently discovered one of the best ways to motivate myself is with a little bribery, especially when it comes to my workouts. For example, if I buy a cute workout top or download a few new songs onto my iPod, it always seems to motivate me to exercise. And, hey, if that’s what it takes to get me back to the gym, I consider it money well spent!
Read health blogs for inspiration
When I need some help getting back on track, I read some of my favorite health blogs for inspiration. I almost always find a recipe, new workout, or some words of advice that makes me want to change my tune. Plus, seeing others striving to be their healthiest motivates me to do the same.
Or better yet…
Start your own health blog
I started Carrots ‘N’ Cake to keep me accountable during the months leading up to my wedding, so starting with my very first post, I announced to my readers what I wanted to accomplish (toning up and looking great in my white dress). Sharing my experiences on the Internet makes me accountable to my family, friends, and even strangers, so I stay on track with my health goals. And, bonus: my blog readers provide me with constant support and motivation– they’re a virtual support group whenever I need it!
Use your social networks for motivation
In addition to my blog readers, sending out a message on Twitter or Facebook to my followers can also help spur some motivation to get myself back on track. There’s been more than one occasion when I’ve wanted to blow off a workout, but my Twitter friends come to my rescue to encourage me to get my sweat on!
Remember consistency is key
Getting off track every once in awhile isn’t a big deal, but lots of slipups can really add up, so I try to keep this in mind when I want to get myself back on track. I know if I want to see results, I need to be consistent with my meals and workouts. And, of course, I don’t want to backtrack with my progress, so I remind myself that the little things really do add up, which gives me the motivation I need to get back (and stay!) on track.
In case you missed them, here are all 8 of the challenges:
- Week 7 Challenge: Make Over Your Snacks
- Week 6 Challenge: Run 1 Mile
- Week 5 Challenge: Drink More Water
- Week 4 Challenge: Eat Clean
- Week 3 Challenge: Try a New Healthy Recipe
- Week 2 Challenge: Log Four Workouts
- Week 1 Challenge: Keep a Food Journal
Question of the Day
How you do get yourself back on track when you fall of the healthy living wagon?