5 Easy Tips to Make Creating Healthy Habits Fun!

Calendar January 2 Transformation StartMost people are not going to start a new eating or exercise program before January 2.

But you can drastically increase the chances of fulfilling your New Year’s resolution to lose weight by creating new mental habits right now

And it can take as little as 5 minutes a day.

Think about how much you get done when you are excited, eager, and looking forward to something. Now think about how hard it is to make progress when you are dreading something, don’t want to do it, resent it, etc.

While you can move forward and get stuff done while you are feeling negative catabolic emotions, consciously shifting to positive anabolic thoughts before you begin a task is like putting on rocket boosters. 

Not only is your power to get things done greater, but it’s easier and more fun.

Most of what makes releasing weight “hard” are your current mental habits.

You have thoughts about how hard it is to lose weight that you have repeated for so long that you don’t even realize there’s another way to look at it. You have practiced dreading dieting. You have developed a mental rut on exercise that is not serving you.

These are just some catabolic habits of thought you have going on. Thoughts are made of energy, not marble. They can be changed! 

Why do you want to go to the trouble of creating positive, life-building anabolic mental habits, you might ask?

Because anabolic thoughts result in emotions that feel good.

Those emotions make your heart sing. When you are feeling anabolic emotions, you know that things are always working out for you. When there’s a problem, you see the solution. You laugh more. You relax more. You are happy to be alive. 

As a result, the actions you need to take feel easier.

  • Instead of hating to work out, you start to enjoy it.
  • You find you like the taste of fresh vegetables.
  • You easily make the decision to turn off the T.V. and go to bed so you will wake up rested and refreshed.
  • Water starts to taste good.

 It’s easy. It feels like the choice you want to make.

Progress not perfection

Start now to create these new mental habits and come January 2 you will be so ready to turn these thoughts into action that there will be no stopping you!

Here are 5 easy ways to begin creating new mental habits:

  • Make a list of how you want to feel come January 2.
  • Think about all the reasons Why you want to be fit, strong, and slim. (Go deeper than just looking good.)
  • Remember all the ways you enjoyed being active when you were a kid.
  • Slow down during meals and really appreciate your food and how it is building the body you want.
  • Appreciate the life giving aspects of the water you are drinking.

Doesn’t that feel good?

Now practice these thoughts every day.

Often people will use the excuse that they don’t have time to create new mental habits, particularly during the holidays.

Truly, you don’t have time not to!

By taking a few minutes now, you will more than make up with ease and efficiency when you do start your eating and exercise program.

A huge bonus is that the more you practice these new mental habits, the easier and more fun your life becomes.

What is one thing you can begin to do regularly to shift your mental habits? What difference does that make in creating the body—and life—you want come January 2nd?

Together we can do it!

Wellness Tip of the Weekend

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Weekend: Appreciation is a powerful tool for creating wellness. Everyday reflect on the good things that happen and all that you appreciate.

Create the Holidays You Want

I was thinking that I would blog today about getting back on track with food after the big Thanksgiving meal most of us Americans ate yesterday. But as I sat down to write, I realized that for many people, it’s their emotional wellness that is more strained today then their waistbands.

There’s a lot about the holidays that can impact people’s wellness—whether it’s gaining weight, or having your emotional wellness impacted by depression, overwhelment, and stress, as well as challenging relationships.

The typical things that can throw people out of balance–and have them reaching for extra helpings of their favorite comfort food–during the holidays include:

  • Unmet expectations—you might be trying to live up to a romanticized notion of how the holidays should be, either from your memories of when you were a kid or from how the holidays are portrayed in the movies. Or you may be trying to make everything perfect—for yourself or for others. This is something Mom’s can really struggle with because they want to make things perfect for their kids.
  • Other people’s expectations—you can be dealing with expectations of how you should act, or your perception of other people’s expectations. You may really struggle with feeling like you’re disappointing people, or feel like they have a negative perception of you that you can use as a reason to feel bad about yourself.
  • Dwelling on negative things—you might have previous holiday-related disappointments or difficult times that haunt you this time of year.
  • Challenging relationships—tensions often run high during the holidays and there may be family misunderstandings and conflicts, particularly if you’re spending a lot more time together than usual. Or you may be facing the holidays without a loved one, which can also leave you feeling lonely and sad.
  • Extra physical demands—all the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on—can leave you wiped out. Particularly if you feel like you have to do it all yourself. Being exhausted increases stress. Exercise and sleep—those good solutions for stress and fatigue—may take a back seat to chores and errands.

Having a different experience over the holidays is really about making different choices.

Here are some tips for creating the holidays you want:

  • Define what the holidays really mean to you and how you want to feel. Then make that vision your priority. Let go of anything that doesn’t create that vision and feeling.
  • Take care of you! Take the time to meditate, exercise, and get enough rest so that you have mental clarity and physical energy. Taking care of you enables you to take care of others–and be the version of you that others actually want to be around!
  • Focus on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgive them for not being perfect. And most importantly, forgive yourself for not being perfect!
  • Let go of the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness. I know it’s hard to hear and even harder to believe, but this includes your kids!
  • Release the need to do everything yourself and either ask for help or let things go. That means not criticizing your partner when they do things differently then how you would have done them. Done equals beautiful!
  • Focus on all the things you appreciate. If you can only do one thing, do this!
  • Focus on all the reasons you want to start the New Year feeling great. Write down the reminders and read them when you start to feel stressed.
  • Celebrate each tiny thing that you do that creates your balanced and fulfilled holiday experience. Taking a stress-relieving bath, going for a walk, not snapping at your kids–all wins!
  • Reach out for support to help you get through the challenges you are facing. It can be hard to ask for what you need, but this is not the time to go it alone. Seek the support of a friend, hire a coach, or reach out to a free on-line support community, like http://www.transformation.com/.

Ultimately, getting through the holidays feeling healthy and happy is about letting go of the need to be perfect. It’s reaching for the hope and belief that life can get better and better.

Yesterday was just one day in your hopefully very long life. If it didn’t go as well as you hoped, for whatever reason, what can you do today to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep making progress toward the body–and life–you want?

Together we can do it!

Thankful for You!

Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

And one of the things I am most thankful for is . . . You!

Thank you for being readers, commenters, clients, friends, and family. Thank you for your trust, time, energy, and support. Thank you for your friendship and love.

These are gifts that I do not take for granted.

Each of you means more to me than you can possibly imagine. I count you as a blessing in my life.

May you and yours have a joy-filled day.

With much love and appreciation,

Hanna

 

 

Weird—and Wonderful!—Ways to Work In Wellness

Whoops! I woke up this morning with my body giving me a clear indication that I have not been honoring my self-care. Since this coincides with family arriving for Thanksgiving, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite blogs for the rest of the week. 

I choose this blog because it has great tips on how to work in wellness during the holiday, but it’s also a terrific reminder for me!

Many people are so focused on the time that they don’t have for wellness that they miss all the small opportunities they do have to work physical and emotional wellness into their day. Taking advantage of these tiny moments can boost physical and mental energy, and generate a sense of well-being. 

Here are some ideas for slipping in your wellness fix—just don’t worry about what some people may think.

After all, isn’t your wellness more important than a few seconds of potential judgment from a stranger, friend, family member, or co-worker?

Minutes Matter

Do you ever stand there and wait for your lunch to heat up in the microwave, or that pot of water to boil, or cup of coffee or tea to brew?

Don’t just stand there!

Even doing a few minutes of exercise can give you an energy boost. And those minutes add up. Do them throughout the day and before you know it, you’ve gotten in a 15 to 20 minute workout.

Take that minute or two and do counter push ups, lunges, toe raises, and squats. You can also dance or march in place.

I only got caught once dancing in front of the microwave in my work break-room. At the time my co-worker thought I was a little weird, but she also noticed when I started losing weight!

You can do these and other exercises at work while on conference calls if you have a headset or speaker phone. Just do your push up off your desk. You can even throw in some planks. If you’re wearing a skirt or a dress, however, you might want to have an office door to shut!

A mini-stepper or pedal exerciser can fit under your desk and are also great to do while you’re on the phone.

House Work Aerobics

Have you ever worked up a sweat cleaning the house? You can make it even more aerobic by doing lunges while vacuuming, or each time you head up or down stairs, go up and down an extra time. You can do single shoulder presses with your bottle of cleaning solution as you walk from surface to surface.

Be creative—but safe—as you make your house sparkling clean.

More Wellness While You Wait

All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so take advantage of it. Meditate, pray, or practice appreciation while in line at the grocery store.

What can you appreciate?

How about the sheer abundance of food that we are blessed to choose from, or all those workers who keep the store clean, the shelves stocked, and those check-out lines moving? How about your favorite foods? There’s a lot to appreciate at the grocery store if we just take the time to look for it.

And if you are willing to look a little weird, you can get in stretches, toe raises, or lunges while you wait.

You can also meditate while waiting for your doctor or mechanic. Feeling a little tired? Shut your eyes and rest for a few minutes as you wait.

Doing the dishes and other repetitive tasks are also a great time to clear you mind and tune in to your spiritual side.

Tube Time

How much time do you spend sitting and watching TV? How about taking each commercial break to get in a few sets of exercise?

Keep some dumbbells, balance board, or other fitness gear nearby to make it easy. Or sit on a stability ball and build your core strength as you watch your favorite show. Why not throw in some crunches during the commercials?

Reconsider Lunch

Lunch is a great time to get in a workout, but you may not have time to hit the gym. What can you do?

Bring your workout gear, change clothes in the bathroom, and plug an exercise DVD into your computer.

No time or place to change? Are there stairs in your building? See how many times you can go up and down them in the time you have.

Or strap on your walking shoes and head outside. Even a walk around the block can clear your mind and bump-up your productivity in the afternoon. Grab a co-worker to get in some social time, too.

Post Positive Messages

Wanting to shift your mindset, but no time to journal?

Post affirmations, things you appreciate, and other positive messages on your computer screen, bathroom mirror, or above the kitchen sink. Every time you see them, remind yourself to take a moment to breathe and shift to a more positive thought.

What’s the Alarm?

Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer to remind you to drink water, eat a healthy snack, focus on an affirmation, take a moment to clear your mind, or do 10 jumping jacks.

When you start looking for time to work wellness into your day, you may be surprised at all the time you really do have.

I’d love to hear how you work wellness into your busy day.

Together we can do it!

 

Nine Tips To Break the Holiday Stress Tradition

Many of you may be traveling over the next week or have visitors coming to you to celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

While the focus is on the feast, it may be your emotional wellness that is more strained than your waistband.

The holidays—the time that’s supposed to be so magical and wonderful—are often the hardest time of year.

Part of this is because of the temptation of all the extra food around.

This leads to inner conflict. You may want to celebrate with food, but then you feel guilty about it. Or maybe you’re successful at resisting all that temptation, but then feel deprived and resentful. Or you may rebel at restraining your eating and binge on everything in sight.

There may also be the stress caused by your perception of family expectations that you don’t feel like you can live up to.

Or worse, your own expectations that everything has to be perfect.

This may mean you pack too much into your to-do list.

The result is you’re challenged when your priorities aren’t shared by others, which results in family tension. Again, you might turn to food to try to comfort yourself and deal with the stressful feelings.

You put your own self-care at the bottom of the list so you aren’t taking care of you.

It may also mean you spend too much time on details that don’t really matter and miss out on the things that do. This could look like staying up late trying to get every dish looking perfect, but then you are so tired that you scream at your kids the next morning. What’s really more important to you? Having a perfect dish, or getting enough rest to be a great Mom?

All of this can lead to a physical and emotional hangover.

There’s a lot about this time of year that can impact your wellness—whether it’s gaining weight, or having your emotional wellness impacted by depression, overwhelment, and stress, as well as challenging relationships.

Here are 9 things that you can do to break the holiday stress tradition:

  1. Take time for you. Make this your number 1 priority. Schedule your calendar around taking even 5 to 15 minutes every day to meditate or exercise, or just lounge in a bubble bath. And make sure you get enough rest so that you can maintain the best possible version of you.
  2. Love the ones your with. It’s easy to criticize when your expectations aren’t being met, so spend at least a few minutes every day focused on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgive them for not being perfect. And most importantly forgive yourself for not being perfect.
  3. You are only responsible for you. Release yourself from the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness. Their reaction is their reaction. You are in control of how you react.
  4. Align your actions with your priorities. Prioritize your to-do list so that what you’re doing aligns with what you truly want out of the holidays. Beautiful dish or great Mom? What do you really want? What will your kids really remember?
  5. Release the need to do everything yourself and either ask for help or let things go. This may mean paying a few dollars to have the store wrap your packages, or being OK with the wrapping job your partner does.
  6. Focus on all the things you appreciate in your life. There is so much that you already have that is amazing. Pay more attention to what you do have rather than resenting what you don’t.
  7. Focus on all the reasons you want to start the New Year feeling great. Do you really enjoy the emotional and physical hangover you have on January 2? What would change if you started the New Year, energized, happy, and satisfied?
  8. Celebrate each tiny thing that you do that creates your balanced and fulfilled holiday experience. So you don’t get a workout in every day. Did you do it 3 days this week? Did you park at the far end of the lot and walk? Did you go for a walk around the block when Uncle Ralph started in on that story you’ve heard 1,000 times before? Count and celebrate even the smallest thing!
  9. Reach out for support to help you get through the challenges you’re facing. This is not the time to go it alone. If you need support, ask a friend, hire a coach, or log-in to a free on-line support community, like transformation.com.

Ultimately, getting through the holidays feeling healthy and happy is about letting go of the need to be perfect. It’s reaching for the hope and belief that life can get better and better. It’s prioritizing your time to match up with what you really want.

Together we can do it!

 

 

Happy, Thank You, More Please!

While I’m heading back from Sedona, Arizona, where I have been attending a business mastermind retreat, I’m sharing one of my favorite past blogs.

 A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook a preview for the movie, HappyThankYouMorePlease.

While I have no idea if this movie is worth seeing, I love the titleIt expresses the absolute best mindset for creating the body—and life—you want.

  • Happy—True freedom comes when you realize your joy is totally within your control.
  • Thank You—Focusing on gratitude and appreciation generates positive anabolic energy that aligns you mind, body, and Spirit.
  • More Please—By asking for and focusing on more of what you do want in your life you are consciously tapping into the Foundation Principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction. You are literally drawing more of what you want into your future experience.

One of the cool things is that you can get to this mindset by tapping into any one piece, or by joining all three together.

  • For instance, you can decide to be happy regardless of what is going on in your life right now.
  • If that doesn’t work for you, you can try to come up with as many things to appreciate as you can and stay as long as possible in that feeling.
  • Or you can just focus on those things that you want more of—more Spiritual connection, more love, more wellness, more inspiration, more abundance, more confidence, more joy, more fun.

And when you put all three together, watch out!

That incredible feeling is letting you know that you are generating anabolic energy that is building your body at the cellular level, is attracting more of what you want into your life, and is connecting you in a profound way to Source Energy (God, the Universe, All-That-Is, Higher Coach, whatever works for you.)

What can you do today to cultivate the mindset, Happy, Thank you, More Please? What can you do to stay as long as possible in that feeling? How does this change your body–and life?

Together we can do it!