Since last week’s honest post (thanks so much for all the comments and emails everyone!) I’ve been thinking about my life and how I work on achieving a healthy balance. I’ve come to realise that my view of what is healthy for me is something that is going to be reviewed, adjusted, and reviewed and adjusted again and again, often with a heavy dose of acceptance thrown in.
Now I love a list, and I love having goals and a framework to help me stay focused. That was why I came up with these very personal commitments, the things that have proven their effectiveness to me over the last 5 years. As much as these are called commitments, and I am in a way committing myself to them, I’m not perfect and I know that there’ll be times I won’t be living by them. But it’s the very act of having them that will help me get back on track.
These are very similar to something I cover in the Fabulous YOU Bundle where I guide you to come up with your own list of non-negotiables, the things that you know you need to adhere to for a healthy balanced life.
My 10 commitments for a healthy balanced life:
Everything, no matter how small, counts
I have frequently found myself in ‘fuck it’ mode or ‘start again on Monday’ type thinking. I have many ways to mentally flip that thinking (ladies who have done the Mindset Makeover Course will be familiar with the tyres analogy!) and this is simply another way to remind myself. Every little thing you can do towards living a healthier, more balanced life counts. Even after a day of eating crap, making the choice to eat a salad instead of ordering a pizza will make a difference. Walking may not feel like a ‘real’ workout but it makes a difference. Every little decision you make can bring you closer to a balanced life or further away from it. That might also include making the decision to eat the cake! Often we’ll hear the saying that ‘it’s not what you do occasionally that counts, it’s what you do every day’. That is so true, but remember that what you do every day is also just a series of little actions and decisions. Recognising that they all count helps me avoid bingeing or ditching a workout because I haven’t worked out all week and ‘what’s the point?’
Quality over quantity
This is something I try and live by in all aspects of my life. Quality over quantity means choosing better quality food and eating less of it (I never feel like overeating good quality food for some reason!), it means working out harder and not working out for hours, it’s having fewer clothes but enjoying a more expensive capsule wardrobe that actually makes it easier to get dressed and feel good each day.
Keep it simple
So many times in my life I’ve overcomplicated things. Keeping it simple in as many areas of life as possible is the way ahead! For me this might include having a few easy healthy meals on repeat in my meal plan, my capsule wardrobe is another good example. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I simplify.
30 minutes movement a day
Personally that’s my magic number when it comes to exercise. It’s achievable for my life right now and generally it’s what I need to be able to feel vibrant and alive in my own body. Any form of movement counts for me, walking, yoga, hula hooping, strength training, gardening, etc. In an ideal world I’d like a few of those 30 minute slots to be quality exercise (see above!) done at a higher intensity, but if that doesn’t happen, then just moving is more than enough (see commitment #1!)
Be treat smart
If you’re not familiar with the concept of being treat smart you can find out more here or check out the Fabulous YOU bundle. It’s a really simple idea which has a massive impact – think eating treat foods with zero guilt! Now all my treats are 9s or 10s on my scale and I don’t waste treats on meh foods.
Protein and veg with each meal after breakfast
Eating vegetables for better health is a no-brainer and at the very least I know I need to be eating them at each meal after breakfast i.e. lunch and dinner. They help me to feel fuller and generally feel like A Healthy Person. Protein is another thing I know I need to eat to feel full and have better energy levels. Generally I really should be aiming for protein and veg at every meal, but I know that breakfast often slips so I’d rather have an achievable commitment, hence after breakfast.
Feel the feels
This is a relatively new one for me, but a very important commitment to make. Very often in the past eating has been a way to numb negative icky feelings to avoid getting up close and personal with them. Many of us that emotionally eat are doing so to avoid feeling feelings that actually need to be experienced and processed. Making a commitment to truly feel your feelings is not easy, but it’s a commitment I’m making to myself.
Plan and track
Planning ahead using goal setting and meal planning and tracking using something like a food diary and habit tracker (lots more to come on this on the blog soon!) is essential for keeping me in my healthy, happy, balanced zone. I’ve used lots of different methods from Evernote to notepads and printed trackers. You can even get your own free tracking sheets in various formats here!
The 80/20 balance is talked about a lot in health and wellbeing, and it really is something I find helpful, not just for thinking around food but in other areas of life. For example I love natural skincare, but I still find certain items more effective in their less natural form and I know I’ll never have a 100% natural beauty regime and that’s ok, just as it’s ok not to eat 100% ‘clean’.
Don’t compare and despair
Simple but true, just don’t compare yourself to anyone else, ever. I know it can be motivational for some people but for me it’s a shit show!
These are my personal commitments, and I’m sure yours might be a bit different, but if you’d like to grab a pretty printable copy of mine (same as above) download it here!
What are your commitments for a healthy balanced life?