Its so easy to fall off the wagon.
I have done it. I really enjoy exercise, and yet there can be full weeks that go by that I don't make time for it unless I have the right environment setup. That is what I want to teach you how to do today.
By setting up the environment for eating well, or exercise, you create a structure that sets you up for success.
I call this being trigger happy! When you see something that reminds you to do the right thing, its a trigger. It is triggering you to make a good choice.
There are already triggers all around you. A powerful one for my is sweets. When its someone’s birthday at my house, (after) I am triggered by the cake that is on the counter in the kitchen. I know I already had a piece the night before, but I also know its so yummy, and just a few bites won’t hurt.
Same goes for tasty temptations in the pantry. They can call your name when you are hungry and searching for something quick to eat.
So, you want to create happy triggers! Being trigger happy means that you get the unhappy ones out, and make doing the right thing easy.
1. The most fun way to do this is with motivational images.
When you surround yourself with quotes like “just do it” you are sending messages to your brain to make it happen.
You can also use a quote on your computer desktop, or phone home screen.
Many home decor items have inspiring words on them also. Or, you can make your own by putting pictures in frames, or writing your reminders on a chalk or whiteboard.
And there is always the trusty post it note. these need to be rotated, or you will not even notice them after a few days.
2. Setup your environment for success.
You can add all kinds of great ideas and inspiration around you, but when your resolve is low, it is nearly impossible to resist temptations in the kitchen. or wherever you stash your goodies.
I can hide my chocolate in an inconvenient place, and will be able to leave it there until I give myself permission. But, if I have it sitting out in the open (assuming my kids don’t find it, which would never happen) I would have a much harder time waiting for the right time to indulge in it.
So, clean out your pantry shelves at eye level. Make sure they are stocked with less enticing choices, like flour, canned foods, herbs, and spices.
Clear off the counter tops. Maybe you can stash the cake in the microwave. it is out of sight, but probably not at all out of mind. That is why its a good idea to only have treats like this in the house for special occasions.
I am the only one in the family who is eating clean. I confess it here and now. I would love for my kids and husband to join me, but they aren’t there yet. When you force it, you meet resistance, and it doesn’t change anyone. it just makes them angry.
So, I have lots of foods in the house that can be tempting. I keep them in cabinets or a high shelf in the pantry. It doesn’t stop the kids, but it does help me to ignore the fact that we have them here at all. It helps me not eat them, and also keeps family peace.
3. Make sure you are stocked up with produce.
The best way to ensure you are eating nourishing foods is to have an abundance of them on hand.
I don’t have a microwave, so it takes a bit of preplanning. Its worth it though. I always have ingredients for a smoothie, cooked rice, plenty of fruit and veggies that I can eat raw. And, bags and bags of frozen vegetables that only take minutes of steaming on the stove. I will talk more about snack options in a post later. For now, at least avoid foods with flour and sugar.
4. Be ready to move it.
To make sure you get some movement in every day, be ready for it. Have a gym bag packed and ready to go at all times. Put it out in the open, especially if this is a new habit for you. When you see that bag calling your name, you will be more likely to say “what the heck” and take off for a while.
Have your exercise clothes on, if its is suitable for what you are doing. When don’t work out first thing in the morning, it helps me to put on my exercise clothes. I keep them on until after I have done my workout.
At least leave your walking shoes out…or kettle bell, or yoga mat. Something that reminds you that even 5 minutes of exercise will benefit you today.
5. Set an alarm
The last trigger happy idea to share with you is to have alarms set in your phone. Try to set an appointment with yourself to get moving, and set the alarm as a reminder to keep that appointment.
I hope these tips will help you set yourself up for success. Please know that by success I do not mean perfection. By skipping a day or a week of workouts, you have not failed. Things happen, and some weeks are harder than others. Start each day new, and with a positive belief that you will get it done. Even if it is just doing one set of 6 push ups. Don’t set the bar too low either. Aim to stretch yourself, but don’t beat yourself up when you don’t reach the goal.
Click below to get my grocery list so you can have a “trigger happy” kitchen.