This past week I have been asking people why they think taking care of themselves is important. Naturally, everyone had a slightly different definition of what taking care of themselves looks like and means to them.
I personally take care of myself because I want to live a healthy life as I get older. I also want to be healthy so I can enjoy time with my wife and family. You could say taking care of myself is a family affair!
"You celebrate what you have already done and start the process all over again."
The habits that I have developed to take care of myself are:
1. Going to the gym
2. Taking time to prepare food for the week
3. Getting enough sleep
This can be a big time commitment for some and I know from experience these are generally the areas in most peoples lives that are let go first. We often have a lot of ambivalent feeling with these habits and "I know I should but" comes up a lot when talking about them. We often tell ourselves that we will start next week or January 1st but it never becomes a priority.
So, where do we go from here? How do we break this cycle? First, we have to identify why we are adding too many things to our to do list. Then figured out why we never seem to tick any of the "to do" items off our list. In my practice as a health and fitness coach I help my clients identify where they are right now with their habits and I ask where they want to go with them. By asking them what they deem important and then have them decide on a new habit to work on helps create motivation and compliance for change. When the choice comes from within the client takes control of their goals and generally finds more success in achieving them.
"You could say taking care of myself is a family affair."
The first step to making real change is identifying what areas of self-care you are letting fall to the wayside and identifying the pattern that causes you to do so. The next step is establishing new goals around this area of your life so you can take control and make real change. Lastly, you need to create an action plan to make sure you get where you want to go.
My last blog about habits is where this all ties in (check it out here). Working on a habit every week or two will help you create the “habits” you need to achieve your goals. We build on these habits over the course of a year and we soon have healthy habits come naturally. It can feel like we are all alone with our goals and habits but this should be a family affair so talk to your family and get them onboard.
Keep adding new habits as often as you can but just like your goals they have to be realistic and achievable, if you keep working on your positive habits you will have a very high level of success in achieving your goals.
What happens when you reach your goals? First you should celebrate what you have just done and secondly you should start this process all over, goals and habits are a life long endeavour. We should be trying to make ourselves better ever day.
Coach/Owner OPEX Fitness Regina