A while back I started the #NewHabitsChallenge, with the idea of making a new habit (or getting rid of an old one) and doing it everyday for 30 days. The hope is that a new healthy habit is created. Small changes are less daunting, more accessible, and often lead to another small change and then another, eventually reaching a major lifestyle shift.
The best strategy is to find something small, specific, and realistic. Something like: "I'm going to workout everyday!" is not specific enough and when you start getting broad with a new habit goal, it's less likely to be successful. Ask yourself the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How questions when thinking about a new habit. So instead of saying workout everyday, think of it like this:
Who: Am I working out alone? Am I signing up for a class? Do I need a partner?
What: What is the specific action I'm taking? What do I need for this habit (supplies etc)?
Where: Can I complete this in my home? Do I need to go somewhere?
When: What time will I do this? How long will I do it for?
Why: Why do I want to do this specific habit? How is it going to change me in the long run?
How: How am I going to make this realistic for 30 days? How do I need to prepare?
So now "I'm going to workout everyday!" has changed to:
I am going to wake up 1 hour early everyday and do a different 45 minute workout video in my basement. I have found a series of different videos on YouTube saved under my favorites. This will get me used to working out in the morning so that I don't have to adjust my schedule for the rest of day. This will get me healthier, stronger, and jump start my metabolism. To help wake up in the morning, I will set my coffee machine up to brew every morning before I wake up.
It may seem tedious, even for the smallest of habits, but trust me, it will assist you in your success.
My first habit challenge (and frankly my ever ongoing challenge) was to drink 64 oz of regular tap water everyday. It seemed like such an easy task and like something that one doesn't need a challenge to achieve. But believe me, it was and still is TOUGH. I went through my house and found every water bottle I had and labeled how many ounces it held and at the start of each day, I filled up the amount of water bottles I needed for 64 oz. Then the accountability of posting on IG with the #NewHabitsChallenge was another sort of way to keep me on track.
So I was doing really well for about a week. Then I crashed and burned and for no really good excuse, I just got lazy.
So I'm starting it again! And I want you to join me! Here's why:
Knowing myself and talking with participants in my various workout classes, the typical person is dehydrated. Dehydration is the culprit for so many things: fatigue, headaches, sore muscles, congestion, constipation, dry skin; the list goes on and on and on. I know for sure that the more dehydrated I get, the more tense the muscles around my neck and shoulder get, thus causing discomfort and the constant feeling that I need to pop my neck. Not good. And as I continue to expand my fitness instruction and business, the more I'm going to be teaching/working out and the more water I'm going to need to replenish. So it's time to get this habit created and sticking.
Here's my advice for joining the water challenge:
1. You don't have to cut anything out! But here's what may happen, you might find yourself cutting out other beverages without realizing it. You won't feel thirsty or you might feel too full for that afternoon Sprite. If you start the day off with some big gulps of water, you might find yourself only needing 2 cups of coffee instead of 3. I strongly urge you to consider this as adding the water in, not cutting anything out.
2. If you are a carbonated drink lover, then consider starting to drink sodium free/sugar free carbonated water, ie La Croix, Klarbrunn etc. I love a good lime or grapefruit sparkling water. Research shows that it is no less healthy or hydrating than tap water. One thing to keep in mind is that carbonation can be slightly acidic, so people with acid reflux may want to avoid the carbonation. Remember, there should be all 0's on the nutrition label. No sodium, no sugar.
3. Make water feel like a treat. Get a fun cup with a straw (label the oz!), add chunks of fresh fruit (but no powders or anything like that). I was actually told once by a massage therapist that adding a squeeze of lemon to water can help your muscles absorb water more efficiently. Find a way to make water a positive to your day, not a chore.
4. Be sure you are still eating like normal. Do not use the water as a substitute for meals and spread it out over the day. Chugging a 32 oz bottle of water at once is NOT the goal here. Let's be safe people.
If you are starting the 64 oz water challenge or any #NewHabitsChallenge, use the hashtag and tag @pedalsandposes on Instagram to show your progress and be featured on a post! Let's do this together.