In a Rut? Do This One Thing For a Mid Year Restart

This is an update of a post originally published in 2015. I think it is important to take stock of where you are and if it’s where you want to be. If not, make a deliberate change to get on the path.

It is fall as I am writing this. If you made New Year goals, you should be in your “after” situation right now. This was going to be the year, you were going to make the changes you know you’ve been needing to. You were going to establish a healthy, disciplined routine.

Did you?

 The Texas coast

The Texas coast

Or maybe you’re on that vacation you wanted to get in shape for. The big trip you bought comfortable shoes for, in anticipation of covering miles of European cobblestone. Perhaps your active vacation was carrying golf clubs on your dream course. I hope some of you got to do that. 

We Are All Busy

One of the biggest perks of my job helping people in the gym is that I interact with a large number of the same people on a very regular basis, and I get to see real trends as they happen.

It is fascinating. We are more alike and in tune with each other than we think. When the seasons change and the weather is beautiful, nearly everyone bounds in the gym with energy and optimism. 

Likewise, I see moments when the collective sentiment is a very unenthusiastic “blah.” This was the case recently in Austin, and could have been caused by low grade, often undetectable mold allergies, according to a local acupuncturist. 

This is why I can say with certainly that if you feel like your year has gotten away from you, you are not alone. 

Summer is busy, fall is busier

Summer often passes in a blur of planning and flying by the seat of your pants. You’ve got to plan work and family schedules, childcare, summer camps, and vacation hotels and activities.

 So many red dots.

So many red dots.

Regular appointments are subject to reschedules and cancellations, and long vacations end with a pile of emails and to-dos awaiting at the office.

Before we know it, summer turns to fall and the sweet relief of routine. Until after school sports, and new activities. Holidays and holiday planning sneak up.

And so, it is easy to see why our fitness routines fall by the wayside. We are almost a year removed from New Year’s Resolutions, where the abundant optimism of others propels you along too.

What Should You Do?

But you still have goals for your body even when life is busy. You still want your abs to be a little tighter, and your back to be pain-free. So what is a busy person to do? 

Something. Anything, but do it now. Do not wait for “the right time” or til life gets a little less busy. It’ll never happen, because as soon as it does, something else gets thrown in your lap. 

Healthy, successful people do not wait for the right time. 

Your Homework

Pick one thing and commit to doing that one thing. What is that one thing? I don’t know. I’ll give you a list of ideas, but I recommend you take a mental inventory of your strengths. You know yourself and your habits better than anyone else. 

Exercise is an extremely nuanced topic we could study forever. There are years-long graduate programs of study in exercise, and hundreds of thousands of research studies on exercise. The big things, however, are well understood: eat well and move your body. You know which of those you are good at, such as cooking a great chicken salad, or committing to morning yoga classes.

Guidelines

Your activity must be something: 

  • You can do everyday, or with some regularity

  • You are 95% sure you can maintain

See what we are doing here? We are setting you up to be successful. We are setting you up to win.

The Rules

  • Commit to doing this thing for one month. You can continue on if you like, but it’s perfectly fine to quit at one month.

  • No guilt! No guilt if you miss a day. Just prepare better so you can do it tomorrow.

Give this some thought, then if you choose to commit, give it a real, honest go. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant the action is. You are making a commitment, making positive change, and establishing a habit.

Why Just One Thing?

People do better at change where there is only one change to focus on. After your month, you can pick a different one or add another. Remember, the smallest healthy change you make is better for you the the comprehensive health overhaul that you abandon.

(Reason #2 for just one thing, I always wanted to make a cheesy title like that. "Do this one weird trick!!" Haha!)

Examples:

  • Stretch for 15 minutes every evening

  • Attend yoga or Pilates class 3 times a week

  • Floss your teeth every day

  • Drink 64 ounces of water every day

  • Do this 2 Minute No Sweat Series to start your day

  • Weight train 3 times per week

  • Get 8 hours of sleep every day

  • Cook a healthy breakfast every morning

  • Have 2 boiled eggs every morning for the 12 extra grams of protein

  • Meditate for 15 minutes every day

  • Do a challenging sudoku or crossword puzzle every day

  • Express gratitude every day

  • Give a genuine compliment every day

  • Walk around your block every morning

  • Consume approximately 25/38 grams of fiber per day (female/male, respectively)

One final note. Email me if you need accountability! Email me to tell me your habit! I would love to update this list with healthy habits I haven’t mentioned, and I’m fantastic at nagging, I mean, checking in to see how you are sticking to your plan.

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