Just like anything else in our life, having a big goal to aim for can feel overwhelming until you break it down into smaller points. In the same way, following a healthy way of living can seem quite daunting at first, especially if your starting point is a bad diet and no exercise. Forming a plan and setting yourself smaller targets can make it much more approachable. We get comfortable living a certain way and when we make changes we need to re-train our minds to think about things in a different way. Therefore it’s important to be patient with yourself in the beginning and start by setting goals which are achievable. That way, each time you accomplish even a small step in the right direction, you are showing yourself that you are capable of achieving your aims. You will literally be creating a new way of perceiving what you are capable of, and slowly building up your confidence at the same time.
I believe a great way to start is by making an effort to introduce three things into your daily life which will immediately make a positive change to your health. Think about three things that you can do, starting tomorrow. It can be as simple as walking to work instead of driving, having a salad for lunch instead of a sandwich or swapping 20 minutes of looking through your social media newsfeeds for a run. What we often forget is that the small changes we make can actually have a huge impact. I’m by no means obsessed with the gym but I do love to walk and I often think about how I can make my food choices more healthy. It’s these sorts of decisions that help keep me fit. The good thing about making achievable choices like this rather than drastic ones is that they are easy to sustain and they quickly become a way of life.
Try this: declutter
What if I told you that you could declutter your mind in the same way that you declutter your wardrobe and start fresh? I learned the powerful tool of visualisation through my sport when I was 13 years old, and it is a tool which has helped me all the way through life. In fact, it’s also what led me to meditating.
1. Sit somewhere quiet and comfortable and close your eyes.
2. Tune into your breath by establishing where in the body you are feeling it and then just allow it to be there.
3. For the first couple of minutes simply notice any thoughts that come to your mind and allow them to come and go, always bringing your attention back to your breath.
4. Once you are relaxed, imagine in your mind that you are walking into the wardrobe of your thoughts. Take the time to find any thoughts which are holding you back from feeling your best and fittest self. And now imagine these thoughts to be just like an old jumper you no longer need. Acknowledge it, hold the thought up and then throw it away. You can now either choose to leave the space empty and clean or replace it with a new thought you would rather have. Spend as long as you like doing this, and just before you open your eyes notice how refreshed, inspired and relaxed you feel in your new wardrobe of thoughts.
Joy in Every Moment by Tzivia Gover
The colourful cover of this book has literally got joy written all over it and the title couldn’t be any more appropriate. What I like so much about it is that you don’t have to read it all in one go – you can just dip in and out of it whenever you need a pick-me-up during the day. It has really helpful tools reminding us how to bring some mindfulness and joy to every area of our lives. I don’t know about you but whenever I have been for a workout I feel uplifted and I feel the same way when I pick a random page in this book and read it. This book reminds us to not only make time for ourselves but to make room too. One of my favourite quotes is: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” which was said by Wayne Dyer. This saying is so appropriate, especially when we think about exercising and getting fit as often it’s our limited thinking that is standing in our way of creating our desired results.