My Routine Is Thrown Off! What Now?
By: Isabelle Attai, Thrive Team member and Certified Personal Trainer
We all know that health is a habit and that consistent routines can facilitate a healthy lifestyle. But what happens when your routines go out the window? Does the progress you’re making toward your health goals stop? Or do you have ways to get back on track and keep pushing forward?
The reality is that changes or interruptions to our daily routines such as vacations, illnesses, or new projects at home or work can quickly overwhelm us and change our course for the worse. I mean, do you know anyone whose routine is never broken? Of course not. And yet, why is it that some people can bounce right back into their healthy routines while others struggle and get derailed for weeks (or months!) at a time?
You need a plan. There’s nothing routine about life, so it makes sense to work on staying the course no matter what comes our way. Here are are some strategies that I’ve found helpful for staying on track in my own health journey, and that I believe will empower you as well:
- Healthy priorities should not change even when your routine is broken. It is easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you’re playing “catch up” after one of your routines is broken. To get back to your routine, focus on accomplishing your three most important tasks for the day and prioritize your workout and healthy eating plan as non-negotiable on your list. If you allow your health goals to drop down on your priority list, that’s where they’ll end up — playing second fiddle to other things that in your mind aren’t quite as important.
- Have a consistent plan in place to get back to your routine. My plan is always the same. For example, when I get back from vacation I ease back into exercising. By modifying workouts to 30 minutes of light or moderate intensity without much expectation, I allow myself to get back into a routine without feeling overwhelmed. On the nutrition end, I like the convenience and ease of USANA’s Nutrimeal shakes as meal replacements and Nutrition Bars as snacks until I have time to re-establish a healthy food routine and get to the grocery store. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.
- Drop the excuses. You cannot reach your goals if you allow excuses to keep you from getting back to your plan. Personal responsibility is key. Stop sabotaging yourself. Just because you feel stressed or short on time, remember that it doesn’t require any more time to consume healthy food than it does to reach for something unhealthy. In terms of your exercise, taking a 15-minute walk instead of watching TV is always an easy option.
- Manage your time in accordance with your goals and priorities. There are only 24 hours in a day and you should sleep for 7-9 hours of that. With the remaining time, determine how much time needs to be dedicated the most important tasks. If there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done, it’s time to take a look at what is truly important. If you were to die tomorrow or be diagnosed with a life threatening disease (God forbid), what would you have done differently? Take control of what is most important to you and change what is not working.
As a Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach with an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling, Isabelle Attai coaches clients on how to improve their lifestyles through proper fitness, nutrition, and optimal supplementation. She also loves assisting her clients in creating the mindset needed to achieve their goals. Visit her blog for more information.