Healthy Habits

Did you know that implementing small, daily habits can lead to big, lifelong results?

 
 

Through these bi-weekly habits you will learn how to add simple, healthy actions to your daily routine. These habits have been chosen systematically and strategically by Coach Sally to help you reach your most pressing health and fitness goals!

 
 
gradient.jpg
 

Eat Slowly and Mindfully

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #1

 
 

Benefits of eating slowly:

  • Feeling in control of your eating, eating less, weight loss and/or management, improved mindfulness and awareness.

  • Convenience - eating slowly can be done anywhere, anytime, with any food, in any situation.

  • Allows you to naturally eat less and be more satisfied with your food.

  • Teaches hunger and fullness cues for long-term, sustainable success.

  • Helps to manage binge and emotional eating episodes brought on my stress, boredom, sadness, etc.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Notice and define your eating speed. Understand how this affects what you eat and how much.
  • Set your utensils down between each bite.
  • Take a sip of water between bites.
  • Take a breath or two between bites.
  • You may even choose to use a timer to add 5 or 10 minutes to your normal eating time!
  • Check in before and after your meals to see how you are feeling mentally and physically. 
 
 
 

Stop Eating at 80% Full

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #2

 

KEY POINTS:

  • “80% full” is not a specific number, but rather an idea: Eating until “just satisfied” or “no longer hungry” but not full or stuffed.

  • This habit will continue to teach you appetite awareness as well as build and intuitive understanding and control of hunger/fullness.

  • This is another foundational habit, like eating slowly, which means you can always come back to this habit no matter where you are, what you are eating or whom you are with!

 

Benefits of eating until 80% full:

  • You will learn to sense your hunger and satiety cues properly, as well as distinguish physical hunger from cravings.

  • You gain clarity and be able to identify situations/cues that contribute to your eating habits.

  • Improves mindfulness.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Understand that this habit, although simple to understand, is quite difficult to actually do. It will take some trial and error and lots of practice.

  • Pay attention to the following hunger/satiety cues:

    • Hunger cues: “hunger headache”; lightheadedness or “spaced out”; being “hangry” (hungry + angry); growling or empty-feeling stomach; etc.

    • Over-fullness cues (ate too much): feeling stuffed/bloated; heartburn; feeling nauseated or gassy; feeling heavy and sluggish; etc.

    • Satiety cues (ate just enough): feeling energized and no longer hungry; feeling generally satisfied; feeling as though they could get up from the table and do something (such as go for a walk); etc.

  • If you have to get to 100% full to understand what 80% is, that is okay! When you get to 100% full, really listen to how you feel physically and emotionally. Then for your next meal, dial it down a little and try and stop just before you reach this point.

  • Practice, practice, practice! The goal is to be at least 90% consistent with this habit before you move on to the next one.

 
 
 

Eat Lean Protein with Each Meal

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #3

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Protein is essential for almost every metabolic process in the body. Making sure to get enough protein will help preserve lean mass (i.e. bone and muscle), as well as help you feel fuller, longer.

  • This is your first “nutritional” habit, but don’t forget to keep practicing eating slowly and until 80% full!

  • We will focus on adding in healthy foods, like high quality, lean protein instead of cutting out certain food groups. This is known as “crowding out.” Because how many times have you tried to cut out sugar or dairy or some other food group, only to binge on it a few days later? Adding versus subtracting is much more effective!

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Know which sources are higher in protein:

    • Lean meat such as beef, pork, or wild game

    • Poultry such as chicken, turkey, or duck

    • Fish & seafood such as shrimp or scallops

    • Eggs & egg whites

    • Cottage cheese or strained plain Greek yogurt

    • Protein powder such as whey, egg, vegetarian blends, etc.

    • Cooked lentils or beans

    • Tempeh or tofu
       

  • Review my Shopping List handout (under resources) to set yourself up for a successful grocery shopping trip!

  • Make sure to plan ahead (buy, prepare, and have protein on hand) to ensure you stay consistent with this habit
  • Know the correct portion size:

    • For women: 1 palm per meal

    • For men: 1 to 2 palms per meal
       

  • Adjust the portion size if needed (if you are more active or have recently increased activity, you may need to increase your protein a little more)

 
 
 
bell-pepper-569070_960_720.jpg

Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #4

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Eating more colorful fruits and vegetables
    • Improves nutritional quality
    • Helps in keeping you more satisfied during and after your meals because of the higher fiber and nutrient content
    • Allows you to get more variety
 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • “Eat the rainbow!” Add as much variety as possible to get the most out of your vitamins and minerals. Plus, it keeps you from getting bored!      

  • Start with fruits and veggies you know you will enjoy and actually eat. Then branch out once you feel comfortable.

  • Plan and prep! Make your life easier by doing things like:

    • Chop your veggies ahead of time

    • Roast a variety of vegetables to munch on the whole week

    • Fill up about ½ your plate with vegetables at each meal

    • Make a list before you go shopping

    • Write out some simple meals you plan on making with your veggies

  • Understand the proper portion size

    • Vegetables: 1-2 fists

    • Fruits: 1 cupped handful

 
 
 

Make Smart Carb Choices

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #5

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Almost everyone benefits from having some carbohydrates in their diet.

  • “Smart carbs” are slower-digesting, higher-fiber, and nutrient-rich. These include foods like:

    • whole grains (e.g. brown or wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.)

    • beans and legumes

    • fruits and starchy vegetables (e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas and plantains, etc.)
       

  • This is a more challenging habit, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and do some experimenting with what works for you

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Remember to eat slowly until 80% full!

  • Understand that low-carb” is generally not ideal; most people look, feel, and perform better with some carbs in their diet, even if you’re trying to lose weight/fat!

  • It is important to note that not all carbs are created equally: slow-digesting, high-fiber, nutrient-rich “smart carbs” are a great nutritional choice and are NOT the same thing as processed sugars.

  • Review my “Smart Carbs” handout (under resources) to understand what types of foods you can enjoy

  • If you have a gluten allergy or are gluten intolerant, please let me know so I can help you find some substitutions!

  • Understand the appropriate portion size

    • Women: 1 cupped handful per meal
    • Men: 1-2 cupped handfuls
 
 
 

Eat Healthy Fats

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #6

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Healthy fats:

    • help with hormone synthesis, recovery, and other key metabolic tasks;

    • help regulate appetite and satiety; and

    • make food taste good.
       

  • Healthy fats are best found in whole, minimally processed foods.

  • We need a balance of healthy fats to feel and function best.

  • This is an “easy” habit to understand but a little harder to do properly, since it’s easy to overeat fats.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • You want to consume most poly and monounsaturated fats, but small amounts of saturated fat are not “bad!” Just eat sparingly

  • Buy, prepare, and have healthy fats / fat-containing foods on hand, easily available.

  • Grab my “Skinny on Fats” handout below, print it out, and put it somewhere you will see it daily!

  • The approximate serving size for fat is:

    • Women: 1 thumb of fat per meal

    • Men: 1-2 thumbs of fat per meal
       

  • Adjust portion sizing to your specific needs. If you are not feeling satisfied, you may need to increase the intake slightly. Listen to your hunger and satiety cues!

  • Healthy fats — while nutritious — are still energy-dense and should be used sparingly.

  • Focus on getting healthy fat sources and correct portions. Remember to eat to 80% full.

 
 
 

Plan Healthy, Balanced Meals

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #7

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Healthy, performance-boosting meals don’t happen by accident. To get things done consistently and well, practicing your skilling of planning and prepping will be crucial.

  • You will build on your skills of taking action, time management, planning, preparation, and developing trusted systems.

  • I tend to not use meal plans, because while they may be okay short-term, they are strict, hard to follow and usually not sustainable.

  • Instead, you will be considering what “Meals of Awesome” are for you. Think about your current goals and abilities and how you would like to feel after eating each meal.

  • YOU are in control! You get to define your own standards while I hold you accountable to those standards. You are in charge of the process.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • You may be tempted to use a meal template or plan for this habit, but I would recommend using your own skills to create balanced meals from what you have learned so far. This is going to be much more sustainable long-term. Ask me questions if you have any!

  • “Meals of Awesome” are meals that :

    • May improve performance.

    • Make you feel healthier.

    • Help you to eat slowly and feel full longer.

    • Will nourish your mind and body

    • Generally avoid foods that don’t feel good to you.

    • Provide enough fuel, but not so much that it slows you down.
       

  • Contact me if you would like to know more about:

    • how to get the portion sizing correct;

    • how to shop and prepare foods;

    • building a roster of the types of foods you like and can easily make; and

    • how to work through where you might get stuck in the planning and prep process.
       

  • Check out the awesome, related resources I have included for this habit! They are there to help you plan and succeed!

 
 

Record What You Eat

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #8

 

KEY POINTS:

  • The purpose of this habit is to gather data.

  • A food journal (or some other method of recording intake) builds awareness and leads to self-awareness and success!

  • When we see what we are consuming, together, we can accurately assess ourselves, analyze our patterns, and eventually make changes based on the data collected.

  • You can choose to record your intake in many ways — with a simple notebook, taking a picture of meals, with a food tracking app, etc.

  • By gathering data, we can co-create a plan that works best for you moving forward. You will be able to make decisions based on your findings.

  • This is a "hard" habit, because it requires a good bit of work from you for the next two weeks! Know that this is not long-term, but it will really help us determine what is working well and what areas could still be improved!

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Understand that this habit is simply about gathering data, not judging or finding “mistakes.”

  • Try to be as neutral and scientific as possible towards your food recording. Never feel guilty about a choice you make. You are just collecting data!

  • Choose a way to record your intake that works for you. Click on the resources below for an example food journal! There is no right or wrong way (e.g. a notebook, a photo food journal, an app, etc.).

  • It is helpful to note both physical and emotional symptoms you experience from your meals. Sometimes you will make a choice or give into a craving because of stress, sadness, boredom, etc. What you eat is not always related to the food itself!

  • Know that the more consistent you are with this habit, the better your results will be. Focus especially on consistency rather than “being perfect”.

  • As you get further into this habit, look for patterns (e.g. poor planning leads to poor choices). We can come up with solutions to these patterns together.

  • By collecting this, you will be able to make better decisions. Together, we can discuss what improvements might come from analyzing the data you’ve collected.

 
 
 

Create & Use a Sleep Ritual

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #9

 

KEY POINTS:

  • We need enough good quality sleep to be healthy and fit.

  • Many factors contribute to a lack of sleep,including shift work, stress, sleep apnea, etc.

  • A sleep ritual is a set of behaviors and a planned period of time before bed where you purposely relax and gear down.

  • You cannot control how well or how long they sleep, but you CAN control what you do before you go to bed. A sleep ritual helps make a good sleep more likely.

  • This habit is about building the behaviors to facilitate good sleep rather than aiming for a specific amount of sleep, which again, is out of your control.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Practice creating your sleep ritual everyday to improve your health, fitness, body composition, athletic performance, and recovery.

  • Reframe your thinking. See your sleep ritual as a set of choices and behaviors rather than an outcome. Your BEHAVIORS are what will get you to your desired outcome, not the other way around. For example, in the past you may have had the outcome of “trying to get a given amount of sleep” in mind. Instead, think of the behaviors that will lead you to this outcome! You may turn all electronics off 2 hours before bed, make a hot cup of tea, and aim for getting to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal. Those BEHAVIORS are what will allow you to succeed with this habit, not the outcome itself.

  • Don’t aim for perfection! Just aim for a little bit better each day.

  • Starting out, keep it simple and doable. Start with the basic sleep ritual, even if it’s only 10–15 minutes at first. Don't worry about the outcome. Just focus on bedtime preparation, and creating a good sleep environment consistently.

  • As you improve, you can SLOWLY challenge yourself. Build a solid sleep ritual first, then try to get one more hour of sleep than normal, consistently, every night.

 

Related ResourceS

Sleep Importance

 
 

Drink Only Calorie-Free Beverages

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #10

 

KEY POINTS:

  • It’s easy to take in a lot of unwanted calories with drinks.

  • Most drinks don’t offer many nutrients or “add value” to our bodies.

  • If we try to drink only calorie-free beverages (such as water), we can automatically improve our nutrition and cut out excess energy intake.

  • If you consume alcohol, know that it isn’t necessarily “bad;” however, this habit will allow you to be more mindful of these types of choices.

  • This is what I call an “experimental habit:”

    • You will try drinking only calorie-free drinks for 2 weeks.

    • You will gather data and see what happens.

    • After 2 weeks, YOU get to decide what elements of this habit to keep in your routine.
       

  • This can be a somewhat challenging habit, so don’t get frustrated if you aren’t perfect! Just take it one day at a time.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Recognize that this is a difficult habit. Only go as far as you are ready, willing, and able to go!

  • First, assess what and how much you are currently drinking (alcohol or other non-zero calorie beverages), and see where you might be able to substitute or change your choices.

  • Collaborate with me on what might be “a little bit better.” Ask me questions and let me know how this habit is working for you!

  • Simply pay more attention to drink intake and make simple substitutions where possible. Don’t worry about getting it “perfect”; just work on small changes.

  • As you feel more confident with this habit, try the “no calorie beverage challenge” for 2 weeks as an experiment.

 
 
 

Break Week

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #11

 

KEY POINTS:

  • You have been working hard! Take a load off!

  • This doesn’t mean stop implementing everything you learned! I just want you to make time for yourself, do activities you enjoy, and focus on what is working well!

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Take a break from focusing on your habits, to loosen the reins a little bit, and to see what happens.

  • Stay “checked in” and ready to recommit to your habits by the end of the week!

 
 

Use a Targeted Recovery Strategy

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #12

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Our bodies don’t get better, fitter, and/or leaner during workouts. They get better between workouts, as they rebuild and recover. I know...mind blown!

  • We do not think of making gains during our “rest” or “off” days, but that is exactly when you are making gains and progress!

  • Recovery doesn’t happen by accident. In our busy and demanding lives, we have to chase it.

  • There are many ways to recover, including good nutrition. And they all add up.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • ALL recovery is good recovery. Recovery activities (such as gentle movement, extra sleep, etc.) add up.

  • Focus on recovery, replenishment, rebuilding and nourishing all areas of your life, both physically and emotionally! There are 5 key areas you should always be trying to nourish:

    • Healthy Eating Habits
    • Physical Activity
    • Career
    • Relationships
    • Developing a spiritual practice (this can be anything from meditation, to yoga, to Tai Chi to attending church)!
       
  • Focus on basic recovery techniques, e.g. sticking to healthy nutrition habits, using sleep ritual to get enough good quality sleep, etc.

 
 
 

Eat Whole Foods Only

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #13

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Whole foods are foods that are minimally processed, “closer to the ground”.

  • This includes such foods as:

    • fresh fruits and vegetables;

    • whole grains; beans and legumes;

    • minimally processed lean protein (e.g. a whole chicken, a steak, a piece of fresh fish, etc.)

    • nuts and seeds for healthy fats;

    • etc.
       

  • Minimally processed or packaged foods may also count, such as:

    • canned tomatoes

    • bagged frozen shrimp

    • frozen vegetables
       

  • There are no hard-and-fast rules about what constitutes a whole food. Clients are encouraged to come up with their own definitions of “whole food”, and to explain why they’ve made these choices.

  • This habit helps improve clients’ food choice and preparation skills.

  • This habit encourages clients to be critical consumers and avoid assuming that a food is “healthy” simply because its packaging says “natural”, “organic”, or something similar.

  • This is a "hard"/stretch habit and 2 week experiment.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Treat these 2 weeks as an experiment, rather than a “rule” about “good” or “bad” foods.

  • Get excited to try new things or new cooking methods to expand your repertoire.

  • Understand the difference between “processed” (foods with chemical additives, artificial flavors, and that usually have more than 5 ingredients on the nutrition label) and “whole foods” (these are REAL and usually have no more than 5 ingredients on the nutrition label)

  • Put your investigative hat on and think critically about your choices.

  • Think about simple substitutions for processed foods, such as having a whole orange instead of a glass of orange juice.

  • Utilize the “Recipes” button! It’s full of healthy, whole food recipes!

  • Just try some basic substitutions that move you closer to whole foods if you are just starting out.

  • If you feel confident about this habit, improve quality, consistency, and execution. I encourage you to try a 100% whole foods, cooked-from-scratch menu for 2 weeks. You can do it!

 
 
 

A Little More, A Little Better

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #14

 

KEY POINTS:

  • For this habit, you will continue focusing on aiming for just a bit better, rather than aiming for perfection.

  • Choose something you would like to do a little better (e.g. more consistently, more skillfully, more enthusiastically, etc.).

  • You will practice “a little bit better” choice for 2 weeks.

  • You will notice that this habit has a little less structure than previous habits - that’s intentional!

  • I want you to think critically and choose and commit to a course of action.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Review how consistent you have been to date. As your coach, I will help you come find areas where your consistency could still improve a little more.

  • Think about what you would like to work on and why.

  • Together, we will collaborate and choose one thing for you to try. You may choose one thing to do a little better for the next 2 weeks, or try a different “little better” task every day.

  • The more clear you are on what you want, the more likely you are to stay consistent with your choice

  • If you feel stuck, no big deal! We will come up with something together.

 
 

Protein and Colorful Plants at Each Meal

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #15

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Try to get protein and colorful fruit and/or vegetables at each meal.

  • You will continue working on improving the nutritional value of what you are eating.

  • Although this is sort of a “review” habit, it is good to keep practicing and fine tune your eating habit skills even more.

  • Continue utilizing your planning, preparation, and problem-solving skills you have acquired throughout this program!

  • I also want you to do an experiment: Try eating only plant-based for a day.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Think of this habit as a game or a challenge to try.

  • Strategize! How could you get protein and colorful plants at each meal?

  • This habit is about practicing existing skills and improving consistency. It’s something to try for 2 weeks; it doesn’t mean that every meal you ever eat has to have protein and colorful plants.

  • Try to improve quality, consistency, and execution of this habit!

 
 
 

Practice 80% Full

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #16

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Refocus your attention on eating until 80% full (i.e. eating until just satisfied).

  • Although I never want you to restrict or deprive yourself, know that you do have to somewhat limit you food intake in order not to experience a plateau (feeling like you cannot progress)

  • If you have the skill mastered - fantastic! Keep practicing anyway.

  • Recommit to watching your portion sizes and eating a little less than you might prefer.

  • Not everyone will need to eat a little less, especially if you are at a place where you want to maintain your weight! However, this is a useful practice for most people,  if only to revisit hunger, appetite, and fullness.

  • Change is sometimes uncomfortable, but it’s almost always worth it!

  • This 2-week habit block includes two specific Experiment Days:

    • Low-carb or low-fat day

    • Fasting day (please do not experiment with fasting if you are struggling from severe emotional eating or are currently recovering or have recently recovered from an eating disorder).

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Understand you may experience discomfort and may feel like you want to resist this habit. I get it! Nobody likes to be hungry. Some common hesitations may be wasting food, being uncomfortable, or not having enough energy to perform.

  • Write down your trade-offs. Together, we will come up with realistic expectations. Typically, to lose weight/fat, a person must eat less than they might normally prefer to eat.

  • To get to a normal/healthy weight or body fat percentage generally doesn’t require much sacrifice. This usually requires only minimal discomfort

    • If your goal is to get lean or lose a lot of weight quickly (e.g. for athletic competition) this will require more trade-offs and more discomfort.

    • What are you ready, willing, and able to do in order to lose fat/weight? We will discuss what is reasonable, sane, healthy, and appropriate?

    • Make sure to communicate with me, as your coach, so we can get on the same page together!
       

  • Would you be able to show me and describe what 80% full looks like to you? This is a very important skill to have at this point in the program.

  • If you are prone to controlling your food intake too much, sometimes alternated with binge eating, let’s get to the root cause of this!

    • Let’s find a way to increase consistency and set more realistic expectations.

    • You may even need to eat a little more, consistently, instead of alternately starving and stuffing.

    • Please avoid the Experiment Days of fasting and limiting carbs if you are struggling with alternating stuffing and starving days!
       

  • If you need more practice, just try this and see what happens; notice what thoughts, feelings, etc. come up when you reduce your intake.

  • If you have really gotten the hang of it, challenge yourself with consistency, quality, and expert awareness. Try doing some more sensing-in to nuances of your physical signals.

 
 
 

Do a 5-Minute Mind Body Scan

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #17

 

KEY POINTS:

  • A mind-body scan is a 5-minute "scan" of physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

  • “Scan” and then ask yourself 3 questions:

    • What am I feeling, physically?

    • What am I feeling, emotionally?

    • What am I thinking?
       

  • This is the first major mind-body habit.

  • It will help you to increase your self-awareness and make connections between what you’re feeling and thinking, and what you do. Once you have awareness, you can change many behaviors that were previously automatic or unconscious.

  • This habit can be challenging (and sometimes weird), but it can also be incredibly rewarding and powerful.

  • You may notice some deeper issues coming to the surface with this habit (i.e. stress, anxiety, past trauma, etc.)

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Dive deeper into the mind-body connection.

  • Understand that when you are able to sense into your physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts, you will be more able to understand your behaviors (as well as how to change them).

  • Prioritize awareness of physical sensations. You may not always know what you are feeling emotionally, or may not want to go there. Really try to focus your attention on what you are feeling in your bodies.

  • I will be there to support you and help you build this habit into your routine. This habit pairs well with your pre-bedtime sleep ritual. It also works nicely as a workout warm-up or cool down activity.

  • Anticipate some “issues” coming up as you may discover unwelcome sensations, emotions, or thoughts bubbling up. Together, we will work through what you are feeling

  • Understand you may feel nothing when or you may feel very overwhelmed when you start practicing this habit. Both types of responses are 100% normal. Keep trying as well as they can.

  • If it helps, take notes on what you observe. Over time, patterns will often emerge.

 
 
 

Take a Fitness Information Vacation

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #18

 

KEY POINTS:

  • We are surrounded by information and choice. This is particularly true in the domains of health, fitness, and nutrition.

  • This information and choice doesn’t make us any better or help us work towards our goals. Too much information and choice:

    • Can make you feel anxious, confused, or stuck.
    • Can stop you from taking action and create “analysis paralysis”.
    • Can cause you to compare yourself to others (and be disappointed in yourself).
    • Can make you lose confidence and a belief in your abilities.
       
  • So take a load off! Take a break from consuming fitness, nutrition, and health information (eg. nutrition or “healthy cooking” blogs, fitness-related articles, social media, etc.).

  • For the next two weeks, I want you to think less, gather less information, and in return, Feel/DO more!

  • I also want you to fit in 2 Experiment Days:

    • Week 1 - Try unitasking (doing only one thing at a time)

    • Week 2 - Total information fast (i.e. no media at all, taking a break from email, etc.) I LOVE this one, and detoxing from social media has MANY benefits.

  • This may be quite challenging, especially if you are pretty hooked on fitness/health-related social media; however, it may be somewhat simple if you are not into social media and getting caught up in the media. Either way, this break is beneficial and necessary!

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Be mindful of your “awareness to action” ratio. I want MORE action and LESS information. Only action creates change.

  • Chat with me about all the health, fitness, and nutrition-related information and media you consume regularly. Then let’s come up with an action plan! What will choose to avoid for 2 weeks.

  • Notice and name what you feel and do during these 2 weeks (e.g. Do you feel any withdrawal symptoms? Are you experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?) Then ask yourself WHY you are experiencing those thoughts and feelings. What are the root causes of your feelings?

  • At the end of the 2 weeks, try not to jump head first back into a social media binge! Let’s discuss what information and media you will re-introduce and why. Prioritize what you really want to keep in your life and what you are willing to let go!

 
 
 

20 Minutes of De-Stressing

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #19

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Stress is high for almost everyone in the 21st century.

  • Stress affects our emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and physical health, usually negatively.

  • Having a regular de-stressing practice can help improve your mindset, ability to cope productively, physical health, and overall wellbeing.

  • If you struggle with emotional eating, a regular de-stressing practice can help break the links between stress and eating (this is what helped me break free from my emotional eating more than anything)!

  • We have to purposely choose to de-stress. Relaxation won’t find us by accident.

  • This may be a challenging habit if you have trouble slowing down.

  • This may be a bit easier if you already have some kind of relaxation practice or have been excited to implement one.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Stress affects multiple areas of our lives. It affect our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. In particular, too much stress can actually worsen metabolic health and makes it harder to lose weight/fat.

  • Notice and name the ways that stress affects them. Make a list that we can go over and discuss how to manage. Begin to recognize your own “stress fingerprint” — your unique signs of stress, as well as the ways you choose to cope with this stress.

  • Dig into which coping methods are useful and helpful, and which are not. We will collaborate on a second list of possible options for de-stressing as well as coping productively with stress in general.

  • When you observe your stress signs, try to pause (rather than react immediately), and then choose one of your productive coping mechanisms if possible.

  • At the end of the 2-week period, review what you noticed and learned, as well as which coping techniques worked best.

  • Keep it simple as you start out. Just try things. All de-stressing adds up.

  • If you feel comfortable and already have a pretty good hold on your stress, work on improving your consistency and execution even more!

 
 
 

Create and Practice Your Fitness Mission

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #20

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Your mission statement is a clear statement of purpose that describes:

    • Who you are and would like to be;

    • What matters to you right now; and

    • Where you would like to go.
       

  • Having a strong, meaningful mission statement helps you make decisions and stay on track. It brings clarity to confusion.

  • This habit will work on building your intrinsic motivation — i.e. motivation that comes from your inner self and deeper values, rather than always thinking about “following the rules” or getting external approval.

  • You will develop a mission statement related to your health, fitness, and nutrition over the course of the next two weeks.

  • Of course, this mission statement will also reflect important identities, values, and priorities elsewhere in your lives, such as being a parent, doing good in the world, learning new things, etc.

  • This can be challenging if it is difficult for you to focus and set clear goals.

  • If you are excited about defining your own path, you may find this habit to be more simple.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Understand that a strong mission statement helps you make wise decisions, move forward confidently, and live in a way that is meaningful to YOU. This is YOUR adventure, no one else’s.

  • Intrinsic motivation helps to keep you focused, committed, and enjoying the process itself.

  • Intrinsic motivation is a “pull” towards something we value and want, rather than a “push” away from something we don’t want.

  • Don’t feel rushed! If something doesn’t come to you right away, do not stress about it. When you have a moment to relax and think about it, jot down some ideas that come to mind. Then slowly formulate this into your own, unique mission statement!

  • The purpose of practicing this habit for 2 weeks is to think consciously about what a meaningful health, fitness, and/or nutrition-related mission statement is for YOU.

  • We will work together to help you fine-tune your mission statement, so don’t worry if you get stuck!

  • As you become more confident in the mission statement you have created for yourself, see how closely it aligns with your behaviors and actions. Keep your mission statement in a place where you can read it every day!

 
 
 

Choose Your Own Adventure

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #21

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Self-coaching and self-efficacy are essential skills for long-term success.

  • This habit will build on your awareness of your needs and performance.

  • YOU get to determine your next step — to decide what your next habit will be.

  • YOU have the control.

  • First, you will decide on a task, adjust it to fit your life and needs, and figure out how actually to do it successfully.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • If you already have a habit in mind, let’s quickly double check that it’s realistic and do-able.

  • If you are having trouble coming up with a habit, no worries! We will collaborate and brainstorm on some options. But remember, YOU are the driver of the vehicle. I am here to help facilitate some ideas, but ultimately, I want you to decide your habit and how you will act on it.

  • Please commit to at least one small task for the next 2 weeks.

  • Determine how you will measure and track the habit, and what counts as “success.”

  • Remember, the task should be realistic, do-able, appropriate, and relevant to you and your goals.

 
 
 

Finish Strong

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #22

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Begin to celebrate all the progress you have made so far. Think about just how far you have come!

  • You even have a chance to enter the PN Transformation Contest if you would like a chance to win cash prizes!

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Celebrate both physical AND non-scale victories - they are equally important.

  • Sometimes you will need to look backwards, to realize just how much you have grown and succeeded.

  • “Finish strong”, regardless of how far along you think you are.

  • Notice and name any “shoulds” or disappointment you might experience.

  • Notice and name the many positive effects your hard work and effort has had your mindset and your life!

 
 

Celebrate Progress

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #23

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Celebrating progress — no matter how small you might think it is — is crucial for motivation and ongoing commitment to your fit and healthy lifestyle.

  • Focus on how far you’ve come rather than how far you still think you have to go. Feel proud of EVERYTHING you have accomplished, big or small, and be inspired to keep climbing and achieving!

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Again, “finish strong,” regardless of how far along you think you are.

  • Notice and name any “shoulds” or disappointment you might feel during the next 2 weeks.

  • Remember, there is no “end point” in your own health, fitness, and life journey! You have all the tools and skills to continue being successful. This is a LIFESTYLE that you have created for yourself - congratulations!

  • Keep working hard. Focus on one thing at a time, one habit at at time. Slow and steady wins the race, and you have proven that!

 
 

Spread the Love, Pay it Forward

HEALTHY LIVING HABIT #24

 

Congratulations! You did it!

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Helping others and doing good in the world is part of living a healthy lifestyle. Scientific evidence shows that molecular markers of health (such as immunity and inflammation) improve when we help others and seek to “give back”.

  • Changing focus from “me” to “we” also helps us avoid getting too fixated on our own bodies and food/exercise choices.

 

How to be successful with this habit:

  • Helping others creates the ripple effect. Now that you have gone through this process, you know just how amazing and positive it was on your mental, emotional and physical health! Helping others to achieve this helps us to fulfill the bigger picture - giving back to help as many people as possible live their best life!

  • Think about how you might support or guide other newbies in the gym, or newbies starting PN Coaching.

  • Notice and name any “shoulds” or disappointment you might experience.

  • Remember  “the journey” — there is no “end point”.

  • Clients can repeat PN Coaching if they want, and if they feel they have more progress to make. Encourage them to seek out more coaching if they feel they need it.

  • Congratulations, you did it - let’s discuss what’s next!