The mini-habit challenge: the ANTI- new years resolution

With less than a month of 2017 left, I wanted to start thinking about a simple way to help busy mamas change their health habits.

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I was doing some research and found that even the tiniest action (i’m talking like a 5 minute walk, or flossing 2 teeth, or drinking 1 freaking glass of water) can really make an impact.

 

How??

Two reasons.

The first is there is very little pressure. One glass of water seems WAY more doable than drinking 64 oz tomorrow right? And you could probably fit in a 5 minute walk, but if you have to go home after that… who cares… you did your 5 minutes!

And five minutes is WAY easier than telling yourself you will go to the gym everyday this week.

The second reason is because after you begin making tiny changes, you realize that you could probably handle a little more. And it’s the beginning of a major snowball effect (with little to no stress or pressure).

 

So how does this all go down??

 

Step 1: Pick something YOU have been wanting to improve. Don’t care about flossing?? Pick something else! This is for Y O U.

Step 2: Tie your action to something you already do.

  • Example: if you make coffee each morning, drink your water right after you turn on the  coffee machine.  You could also fill your bottle while the coffee is brewing. If your goal is to walk 5 minutes, you could go for your mini walk right after you take your kids to school, or right when your husband gets home from work.

  • Other options: after you take a shower, after you brush your teeth, while you're in the carpool line.....

Step 3: Do the mini goal for one week straight. When you sign up for the mini goal challenge (linked below), I’ll send you a cute little printable to check off your goals. Make sure to put your reminder page wherever your trigger is. (i.e. by the coffee machine, on the fridge, by the front door, etc.)

Easy peasy. Now you are on your way to improving your health one mini habit at a time!

Sign up here for the free 5-day-5-minute mini habit challenge! You get a cute printable AND a daily reminder to do your mini goal.

The mini habit challenge. The anti-new years resolution. Change your habits in 5 minutes per day. Perfect for busy moms. Plus a free printable check list.

goal setting 101 (plus a free printable workbook!)

I recently re-vamped my goal setting mini workbook (totally FREE for you!), and I wanted to update my post on goal setting as well. 

goal setting tips to help you meet your health and fitness goals! Plus a free workbook to get you started.

I've used this method myself so many times, and it seriously is amazing. I can't take credit for it, as it is a technique commonly used in business, by coaches in every industry, as well as the companies I've studied coaching through (Precision Nutrition and Wellcoaches). So basically it's highly vetted and insanely helpful. 

With that being said, I did compile a bunch of info into a cute little printable mini-workbook. You can write on the pages (hence the workbook), or use it as a guide in your own journal or planner as you set goals.

Before we get started... this is NOT for you if you:

  • are looking for a huge lifestyle overhaul RIGHT NOW
  • are trying to lose weight ASAP
  • want a quick fix

This is totally 100% made for you if:

  • you are done dieting
  • you want long-lasting lifestyle change
  • you are ready to set goals you actually care about AND meet them!

Get your free workbook here or scroll down for a bunch of tips and tricks for setting realistic goals you can and will achieve if you use this simple method. 

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Step One: long term goals & the wellness vision

Before we set any immediate/ right here right now goals, I want you to think long and hard about what you want to gain from your health and fitness goals and about what YOU want your life to look like a year from now.

Think about what YOU truly want. Not what you think you should want. Not what your husband wants. Not what your mom wants for you... what do YOU want??

What do you feel like you really deserve ?

 Take 10 minutes to ponder the following. Imagine yourself one year from now....

  • How do you picture your life? Where do you spend your time? Who do you spend your time with? How do you feel? Why do you think you feel that way?
  • What would it take for you to feel your best, happiest, healthiest self? What needs to change between now and then? What do you love about your life? What keeps you on track and working toward your goals?
  • Consider what motivates you. What kind of exercise do you do? How do you feel about your body? If you were successful at meeting a goal in the past, what did you do that made you successful? 
  • What do you LOVE about your life?? 

What is the point of this?? My goal is to have clients who are setting goals that get them to where they want to be! Who cares how far or fast you can run if you hate running! Your shorter term goals will lead you to your long term goals, so first you need to get clear about what you want in the next year or so. 

Step 2: three-month goals

Think about your wellness vision and what it will take to get there. Now, consider what behaviors, actions, and habits you will need to work on. 

  • Take a step back from your wellness vision. look it over and highlight what is most important to you. 
  • Now break your top few long term goals down into smaller chunks. These will be your three-month goals. 
  • 3 month goals are more specific than wellness vision. in your WV you may say you want to run a half marathon or be 20% body fat or want to have more energy or a better relationship with your spouse. But maybe 30 months from now you want to lose 2% body fat or run a 10k or spend 10 minutes walking and talking with your hubs each night. 
  • Actionable items (i.e. training for a 10k or  going to the gym __ times per week.)
  • What do you want to be doing consistently three months from now? 

 

Step 3: weekly goals

Short term goals are the actionable steps you will take each day that will get you to your three-month goals (and eventually, achieving the goals you envision for the long term). 

  • Break your three-month goals down further. what will you need to do weekly to achieve them?
  • Only come up with the first week's goals. Don't worry about what you will do next week or the week after. 
  • Focus on one new habit at a time. Example: you may already be drinking water, you just want to drink more. that is NOT a new habit. If you are not exercising at all and you want to start- that is a new habit). 
  • No more than 2 goals the first week (!) this is SOOO important! Don't try to be an overachiever ;) we are thinking slow and steady for long term change. 
  • Finally, schedule your daily tasks in your planner. What will you do to be productive?
  • Click here for more info on setting weekly goals

Ready to put your plan into action? Research shows that WRITING your goals down with pen and paper  makes you more likely to follow through and meet them. Click below to get your free printable mini-workbook. 

p.s. this is just a glimpse of my full workbook! click here if you want the whole thing! 

tips for setting goals AND how exactly to meet them. How to set goals you actually care about plus a free workbook!

20 ways to treat yourself for meeting your health goals

If you haven't noticed, goals are a big topic around here lately. In 10 short days my awesome workbook will be released and it's ALL about setting goals you are crazy about and creating a simple system for knocking them out of the park. Since I have goals on the brain, I was thinking about ways you could reward yourself for meeting your short and long term goals. Here's what I came up with.

Secrets to Successful Goal Setting: Part Three

This is the third and final piece to the goal setting puzzle. If you haven't already, check out part one and two! To go along with this series, there is a free downloadable mini workbook for you to dive into. 

a pdf workbook to help you get clear on your health goals, make a plan, and KNOW what to focus on every day. A smiple and scientifically based method to setting goals you WILL meet. How to meet health and fitness goals WITHOUT getting overwhelmed.
Tips and tricks for setting goals you will accomplish. Plus a free mini pdf workbook to get you started with setting goals today!

Creating Weekly Goals 

The last step of goal setting (before actually getting to the doing part) is setting weekly goals. Your weekly goals are behavior goals that keep you on track to hit your three month/short term goals. It's important that your weekly goals are very specific, so that at the end of each week (or even at the end of the day) you can very clearly determine if your goal was completed. 

Why are behavior goals so  important?? Here's an example: instead of saying "I will bring my lunch to work"- which sounds like a pretty good goal, a behavior goal would be "I will pack a lunch form home 4 days per week that includes a protein and a fruit or vegetable"....see the difference? You know exactly what you need to do and when to do it in order to be successful. 

When setting weekly goals, think about your three month goal, then cut that into an even smaller chunk. Here are a few examples:
 

Example 1: If you are planning on running a race consider how far you currently run, and how many times you can realistically run (or walk or jog) each week. If you currently don't run at all, but in 3 months you plan on running a 5k, a good weekly goal for your first week could be, I will walk 30 minutes per day for three days this week- Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Then each week thereafter you could add more time, or introduce running intervals (walk 1 minute, jog one minute for 10 minutes each), etc. Another option would be starting with jogging 2 days per week if that's all you have time for, and then increasing it the next week. 

Example 2: If your three month goal is to have more energy and only need one cup of coffee each day, then you could work on a few different habits in the next three months. You could decide to focus on getting more sleep, on walking in the afternoon instead of having caffeine, drinking more water throughout the day, exercise, etc. If you decided to first address your sleep habits you could say I will be in bed by 10:30pm with the lights off 6 days per week. If you wanted to focus on water intake and you currently drink 32oz of water each day, you could say I will drink 48oz of water each day. 8 oz when I wake up and then 8oz with each meal and snack, and then one before bed. 

These are just a few examples. No matter what area of your life you are planning to focus on be sure your goal is specific! As always, if you feel like you need some additional coaching or accountability, I'd love to help.

Setting yourself up for Success

  • To set yourself up for success, I recommend you use a planner or calendar in combination with your goals. I love the google calendar app and I also use a paper calendar. Do what works for you and most importantly, be sure you look at it every single day! Looking at your goals daily and having reminders in place will keep you moving toward your three month goal, and of course the ultimate goal-your wellness vision.

It's one thing to create a great goal, but scheduling it into your life is where the magic happens. 

 

  • It takes planning and preparation to create new habits in your life, which is why I recommend only one brand new habit at a time (and neuroscience agrees that we cannot make big behavior changes in multiple areas at once!!)
  •  By checking in with yourself weekly, you'll be able to easily track your progress and make tweaks, whereas with a longer goal like monthly for example, you might waste time doing something that doesn't work for you. You should never feel tied to one specific behavior if you just aren't feeling it. Always feel free to try new workouts or new ways of doing things to find the perfect system for your busy life. 

The reason I don't give a template meal or workout plan is because I don't know you. Only you know you. You know your habits, you know where you struggle, and what specifically you need to overcome. If you want more info on changing your mindset and overcoming negative thought processes that hold you back, you'll definitely want my workbook! There's a whole chapter on mindset, which is a crucial part of having success and meeting goals. 

 

Now that you know how to set weekly goals, feel free to download the pdf mini workbook and get to work! I'm excited for you to work toward your healthier lifestyle. 

Here's a preview of the weekly goal worksheet! 

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If you feel like you could use even more help with setting your goals AND meeting them, check out my full length workbook here. It's 44 pages of awesome info to launch you into your healthy lifestyle without wasting any time. 

Secrets to successful goal setting: Part Two

This is step two in a three part goal setting series, complete with worksheets to help you get a jump on tackling your health goals. I wrote part one here about successful goal setting. Read that if you haven't yet! In part one we discussed the importance of thinking about your long term hopes and dreams before starting to set goals. Hopefully you've written out your wellness vision on your free worksheet. The full mini workbook is available for download here

In step two we will consider three month goals. We are basically reverse engineering our goals, focusing specifically on changing specific behaviors.  I recommend working on no more than 3 three-month goals at a time. Any more than that and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Pick something you want to accomplish (run a 10k, pack a lunch 4 days per week, go to yoga everyday...). Make sure this is a stretch from what you are already doing. 

Your three month goal can be a brand new behavior or an improvement of something you've already started. Your goal can be about sleep, stress, exercise, water intake, self-care, your relationship with your husband. Anything! Think about what you want to be doing consistently, three months from now, and also think about your wellness vision. Go back and re-read it.  Your three month goals should have you on track to be where you imagined yourself in your wellness vision.  Only start one brand new behavior for your 3 month goal, and work to improve something else you've already started.

I also recommend goals that focus on what you will do and not what you won't do or want to stop doing. (example: I will drink a gallon of water every day not I will stop drinking diet coke). We want to avoid the restricted mindset mentality in any way possible. Even if you only drink 1 can of diet coke a week, if you begin focusing on not having it, your brain will want it more. There's no problem with the occasional soda, especially if you are drinking lots of water every day. My goal as a coach is to help my clients avoid the restricted mindset at all costs. Life is more fun when we focus on adding more of the good things. 

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Step one: What is the desired outcome? 

  • I want to feel confident in my body
  • I want to have more energy
  • I want to reconnect with my husband and improve our marriage
  • I want to reduce my blood pressure 
  • I want to lose weight and fit in my clothes better 
  • Next think of what behavior you could work on to achieve your outcome. What behavior will you need to change in order to get to where you want to be? 

Step two: What behavior do I need to change/ work on to reach my desired outcome? 

Now it's time to set your goal. Be sure that any goal you set is based around a behavior, not just on an outcome like the examples above.  This is key in tracking progress and making an action plan. It's a lot easier to focus on how to fit in exercise three days per week than it is to think about all the different ways you could go about losing weight.

Example three-month goals:

  • I will exercise at the gym three days per week before work in order to lose weight and feel more confident.  
  • I will go to sleep at 10:00 every night in order to feel more rested and refreshed and have energy to play with my kids. 
  • I will go walking 4 days per week for 30 minutes in order to reduce my blood pressure. 
  • I will add fruits and vegetables to my grocery list each week and eat at least 2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of veggies every day. 
  • I will have a dessert or sweet treat 2 nights per week. 

    What next? It's important to do a monthly check in to see if you are on track to hit your goal. Next we will tackle setting weekly goals, in oder to help you hit your three month goals with no problem. 

    If you would like the mini workbook, pop your email in the form below. For my full length workbook with tons more info and guidance for changing your mindset and creating a simple plan to help you achieve your goals, click here. If you are serious about changing behaviors, but can't commit to working with a coach just yet, this workbook will be perfect for you. 

    Here's a preview of the mini workbook. 

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    Keep an eye out for part three where we tackle setting specific weekly goals and ways to keep you on track to hit your 3 month goals!