Now that Spring is here it feels like a great time to spring-clean your health routine. That might mean adding in some meal planning (need tips? I got you!), focusing on fueling your body with healthy, clean foods so you feel your best, or adding in a daily walk. All of those are great goals, but sometimes it just feels so good to lighten the load. Here are 7 things you can stop doing … here’s to shedding things that are no longer serving us!
Top 7 Tips to Spring Clean Your Health Routine
- Stop saying “yes” to obligations that you don’t want to fulfill. Saying “yes” to someone else often means saying “no” to yourself. I’m all about helping out others, and I cram my calendar full of client appointments, networking meetings, work outs, service projects, family and social events … you name it. But when I do that, I realize that I often have little time for myself (and self-care is important! See this post for more.) It takes conscious effort to say no to things, but my gut always tells me the answer. Listen to yours, and only say “yes” when you mean it!
- Recognize when you’re grabbing little “extras” throughout the day. Sitting down to enjoy a serving of coconut milk ice cream or mindfully eating your pancakes on a slow weekend morning are great in my book. But mindlessly grabbing a handful of M&Ms every time you pass by the receptionist’s desk or chomping down several servings of cheese while you’re cooking dinner are just not serving you. Be honest with yourself … where are you habitually grabbing “extras” that you’re not really enjoying? Now is a great time to let them go.
- Get rid of low-quality, nutrient-poor staples in your diet. I’m certainly not saying you need to be perfect, but if there are staples that you’re eating every day (or close to it), it’s a great time to check them out and see if you can trade up to a healthier option. Still using coffee creamer with sugar, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and / or hydrogenated oils? Try Nutpods! Still using processed salad dressings with tons of junky ingredients? Try Tessemae’s! Still choosing Clif bars? Try RX bars, No Cow bars, or Bulletproof bars, depending on your fuel needs! Still eating pasta several nights per week? Try Banza pasta or one of my 20 favorite spiralized veggie recipes!
- Put away social media before bed (and when you wake up!). Research shows that blue light interferes with your quality of sleep by suppressing production of melatonin, which helps ease you into sleep. Using technology (your phone, computer, TV, etc.) right before bed impairs your quality of sleep and keeps you mentally stimulated, even if you feel like it is helping you fall asleep more quickly. For just a week or two, commit to shutting down your technology 30 minutes or more before bedtime. Pull out a book and see how your sleep quality improves! If you want to take it to the next level, try a 30 minute buffer when you wake up, too … perfect time to implement a healthy morning routine! (For more on my morning routine, check out Part 1 and Part 2.)
- Clean up the negative voices inside your head. Do you ever realize how negative the voices inside your head can be? If you say to yourself “you’re not good enough,” “you’ll never reach your goals,” “see? I knew you’d fail,” or “don’t even try … you’re destined to be miserable / overweight / lonely / single / etc. the rest of your life,” then you’re sadly normal. A simple trick to start to eliminate those negative voices is to consciously say something positive to yourself every time you catch yourself thinking something negative. Look in the mirror and think “these pants are too tight for my thighs?” Say back (internally or aloud, your choice!), “my legs have gotten so strong due to all of my workouts!” or “that blue shirt really makes your eye color pop!” Even if it sounds cheesy, give it a shot – I have seen it transform myself and so many of my clients! Want to read more on self-talk? Check out this book or this blog post!
- Maximize the time you spend working out by reconsidering your routine. If you’re spending 60 minutes pedaling lightly on the stationary bike while reading emails or scrolling through Instagram, you’re not getting the most bang for your buck for the time you spend at the gym. Make your workouts count by choosing workouts purposely … each week should include some strength training (lifting weights or doing bodyweight strength exercises), some cardio (and get that heart pumping!), and some flexibility (like stretching or yoga).
- Stop making excuses to yourself. YOU are made for greatness. Yes, you! You can do amazing things, reach your goals, push yourself harder today than you did yesterday. But if you continue making excuses for why you can’t eat healthily because of your busy schedule (need meal planning tips? Check out my webinar!) or why you won’t get that promotion at work (if you believe you won’t, you’re probably right, because your beliefs create your actions), then it’s time to stop. Step into your greatness, and go create the life of your dreams!
Now it’s your turn … What habits do you need to spring clean? What would make you feel great? Feel free to state your commitment publicly here!