I actually had to look up how to spell tater tots; and I’m an excellent speller. I won’t read into that too much.. Don’t worry, before you think I’m sitting in the “chair of perfection” YES I’ve eaten both pop tarts and tater tots, although I think its been at least 10 years for both of those things!
I thought if you opened one of your many emails and it was titled something like “habits for 2021” you’d be like “NAH I don’t wanna read that”. Not because you think you have perfect habits and goals, I’m sure, but because we are often inundated by talk of renewal at the beginning of each year, when in reality we can renew and set positive habits ANY DAY OF THE YEAR. But since many of you are “in that space” I’d like to chat a bit about what it takes to develop new positive habits for 2021 AND which ones to ditch to reach your goals. While I’ll mainly be focused on health-related habits this applies for habits of any kind, relationships, home organization, career. Keep in mind developing ONE habit can meet a variety of goals. So, doing something as simple as organizing your fridge and keeping it that way can help you eat healthier, save money, and organize your home. Get what I mean?
Much of the work on habit research has been done by a variety of authors. One of my favorites is Gretchen Rubin in her book “Better than Before”. If you have not grabbed a copy of that book check it out HERE.
Why develop positive habits? Because they eliminate the need for self-control and decision making-especially on long, hard, exhausting days. Once a habit is in place, we can effortlessly do the things we want to do; it requires less brain power because its not a decision to be made its just “something you do”. Now, that does not mean developing the habit doesn’t take some effort… That’s why I’m here! People often think I pretty much do nutrition coaching, which I do, but what I REALLY DO is help people develop AND MAINTAIN life long healthy habits forever. LIFESTYLE REBOOT!
So, what new habits do you want to form? Well that’s the million dollar question.. Often what I do with people is brainstorm what they would like to be different in their lives first, then reverse engineer the habits needed to get there. We choose the best habits that will meet multiple goals. The key also is not to choose like 89 new habits for the new year LOL. Start with like 3… Even 1. Then slowly add new ones after those new behaviors become actual habits, which can take weeks to months..
The program made me much more aware of the food I consume and gave me a kick in the butt to make better choices. Sarah is SO engaging in person and on video!
I like to understand a few things about people before we work on habit development; are you a procrastinator or sprinter? And Owl or Lark? Simplicity or Abundance lover? Do you like familiarity or novelty? Prefer big steps or small ones? What’s your processing speed? How do you spend your time? What’s your best time of the day? Do you like unhurried transitions with breaks or prefer to quickly go from one thing to the next? What can you do for hours without feeling bored? What do you value?
So, what should you do LESS of in 2021? Here’s a short list to explore..
1. Skimp on sleep…. Hitting snooze.. Your endocrine system releases hormones when you wake up to get you ready for the day. By going back to sleep you slow down this process and can mess up the energy needed to start the day. I don’t mean you need to sleep 11 hours a night, but find what the appropriate amount of sleep is for you and keep a consistent sleep-awake schedule as much as possible.
2. Keeping your phone by your bed. I know so hard! This you are likely looking at a screen right before bed and when you awake, which is another thing that impairs your sleep/awake schedule. The blue light suppresses melatonin which regulates deep sleep.
3. Skipping breakfast. I almost didn’t type this because it requires explanation. I coach people to listen to their hunger cues and eat when hungry but to follow a consistent eating schedule each day. Don’t skip breakfast when you are actually hungry then let your blood sugar crash and overeat at 2pm… That’s not what I mean… Do you know what time I eat breakfast? Like 11 am… Because that’s when I’m hungry and my gut personally does better with a solid 15 hour fast each day. When I eat, however I’m having a healthy macronutrient balanced meal with protein, fat, and carbs.
4. Putting off big tasks “til later”… Do your most important work earlier in the day if you can OR at your “peak performance time” whatever that personally is for you. I’m sick of hearing people say “ get up earlier and get your biggest tasks done at 6 am” Uhm no thank you … If that works for you go for it. Doing it earlier in the day will prevent the procrastinators from putting it off and build some momentum thru the day to accomplish other tasks, but you need to choose the time that works best for you and block that off… I’m currently typing this at 430 pm. 😊
5. Checking email ALL DAY LONG. This contributes to the avoidance of major tasks and is just a major time waster. Set up time blocks to check email or put your phone away for even an hour at a time.
6. Eating junk… Well, you know who to call for help on that one!
7. Developing “loopholes” or reasons not to continue with a habit… Examples: I’ll do it tomorrow” (That one is the worst), I can’t control this so screw it (or can you?), telling yourself something doesn’t count (WINE COUNTS PEOPLE), or self-actualization like “you only live once so indulge”. Yeah, that’s great a couple times a year but not 54 times a week). Try to make your goals part of your identity.
8. Sitting all day. Fresh air and movement fuels thinking and progress! MOVE YOUR BODY! Find something… anything… and make it a habit.
9. Impulsive web browsing or multi-tasking. One of the things I do when I’m in the middle of a project and a fleeting thought comes to mind is I email my self immediately. Then I know I can return to it later and its all in one place and I can continue to focus on the task at hand.
10. Under planning or Over planning your day. Try planning a 4-hour chunk of each day where you will accomplish certain items (I do this it works well) and let the rest of the day flow…
11. Overscheduling yourself; overcommitting. Then you can only devote 50% of your energy into these things because there is JUST TOO MUCH. Prioritizing is so key.
12. Perfectionist… Have you heard the saying do you want it perfect or do you want it done? If we spend time avoiding goals because we can never be perfect we will never make any progress. Check out the book “Progress over Perfection” HERE. If I chose not to go to the gym every time I knew I wouldn’t finish a workout I’d seriously rarely go. Instead, I go almost every day even if I make it thru 80 % of my workout.
Need a jumpstart? A refresh for 2021? Want to develop some new habits? Check out my 30-day program HERE. Book this program in January for $80.00 off! This 30-day intensive gives you 4 sessions with me as well as a complete written assessment, goals, resources and supplement suggestions for 2021!
I’ve devoted the entire upcoming year to easy lunches you can prep ahead!
Let’s get ready to focus more with less in 2021!
Keep Moving Forward 😊 Sarah