Pause and Reflect
We’re 17% of the way through 2019. 59 days down. 306 days to go until 2020.
What victories can you claim so far? How have you been investing those precious moments of your life? If you’re not sure what you’ve been up to, but would like to start focusing on key areas for improvement so you can make some tangible gains throughout the rest of the year, join me in my #happyhealthyme 2019 monthly challenge!
#happyhealthyme 2019 challenge
Realising at the end of last year what a distracted-do-all-the-things-at-once-mess I was, I decided my word for this year would be FOCUS!
Part of my strategy for living out this mantra this year is to pause at the beginning of each month and assess which area of my life could do with my full awareness and an upgrade in order to move my health and wellbeing to the next level.
The beauty of this strategy (if I do say so myself 😉) is that it allows me to slow down and really drop into one particular behaviour. And if I can make even a 1% improvement in the chosen area, and get that dialled in as the new default, i.e. a new habit, this will compound over time and have an enormously positive impact on my health trajectory. BAM!
A month is also heaps of time to practice the new behaviour. Practice is the operative word, because more often than not we can’t just declare we’re going to do something better and then just go right ahead and do it forever more.
A month gives me lots of times to read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, get inspired and informed, and experiment. It give me time to cock it up completely, forget about it, come back to it, and time to sit down, reassess what’s tripping me up, and try, try, try again.
My goal is that by the end of 2019 I’ll be able to point to 12 tangible upgrades i’ve made in my life that have raised my bar.
I gave up sugar in January, you can check that story out here. No more added sugar for me. That was a biggy. So February was something a little less huge. Water.
If you’d like to join me in this fun challenge head over to my free Essential Wellness community and let us know what you’re working on each month.
February – Drink Up
Do you drink enough water? Most of us don’t apparently. I had a sneaking suspicion that a little more water would do me good.
There are different schools of thoughts on the topic.
Some say not to overthink it, drink when you’re thirsty and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about those ‘8 glass a day’ prescriptions. They’re a myth,
I’m so up for listening to our bodies. Trouble is, it’s such a noisy world and I think we often get confused about what our body actually needs. We may spend so long ignoring our body’s messages that our body kinda pipes down.
Sure your body will tell you when it’s thirsty. It’s not going to let you die of dehydration.
But on the other hand, does that mean you’re drinking the optimum amount of water? Or would everything work better with a bit more of the juice of life flowing through you and plumping up those beautiful cells?
Finding My Optimum
That was my experimentation this month. To find the sweet spot of how much I should be drinking to feel optimum, while not needing to wee every 2 minutes.
One calculation I found stated that we should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. Bear in mind that food, teas etc, also contain liquid, so it doesn’t necessarily all need to come from straight-up water.
A few other sites, including the NHS, state anywhere between 1-2 litres a day. Again, it depends on your size, the temperature outside, whether you’re blasting out some HIIT or laying around on the coach…so use your judgement… don’t be the ONE person that overdoes it and ends up in A&E with water poisoning. True story.
My Evolving Water Habit
I drink a 600ml bottle of water first thing in the morning. I dialled this habit in several years ago and it feels great. I definitely notice if I don’t do this. For this month’s experiment I was looking to add another bottle between breakfast and lunch and another one between lunch and dinner. That ended up being too much so I scaled the challenge back down to adding one more bottle.
Some days it was easy. Other days I had incredible resistance to drinking the damn water. What the heck is that about? By this stage in my wellbeing journey I’ve learned to look at resistance with curiosity and find creative ways to break it down.
Tips and Tricks to Work Your New Health Habit
Like I said above, a month gives you a really good window to hack the habit you’re working on and get through the resistance that inevitably comes up when making changes.
Here’s what helped me:
Make it easy and obvious.
💧 Every evening before bed I fill my water flask up and take it up to bed with me. It’s so easy to wake up and drink my water in the morning. The momentum is set in motion the night before. I applied this to adding another round of water by filling up the flask again at breakfast and placing it next to my laptop, with the lid off. This last bit turned out to be a small, but crucial step. The lid off acted to get things in motion again. It was much easier for me to pick up the bottle and sip the water slowly between breakfast and lunch. Just seeing the lid off began the behaviour.
Crazy no?? But it really is these tiny little shifts that can make a huge difference and tip the chances of us doing what we say we’ll do, and what we want to do, and turn this into what we actually do.
Set some simple boundaries
💧 Post-breakfast, I set up a rule to not eat anything else until lunch, or, until I’d had this extra bottle of water. It’s surprising how often we confuse thirst with hunger. By focusing on drinking my water I can easily stick to my three meals a day, no snacking eating rhythm.
Jazz it Up
💧Using The Moon is My Calendar Journal has been super useful as each night I sit down and draw a little symbol to indicate if I’ve practiced the habit of the month. I draw a love heart, to indicate the practice is a practice of self-love, which it always is. Taking care of your health is self-love at it’s best.
💧Not being able to draw a little heart at the end of the day was a major bummer for me. I felt sad for not taking care of myself as I’d intended, which motivated me to do better the next day.
- One of the most successful formulas for establishing a new habit is trigger, habit, reward. Set a trigger to remind you to do the do, do the do, then rewards yourself for doing it, at least until the reward inherent in the behaviour takes over as the rewards itself.
- With this in mind, I spent some time thinking about what could encourage me to drink that extra bottle of water, instead of reaching for the snacks (old-less-good-habit). It’s kinda childish, but why not? Stickers. Love hearts. Each time I drink a bottle of water I get to add a love heart to the bottle of water to decorate it. As time passes and I win at this drinking game, my bottle because full of love, which reminds me of all the love I’m showing myself with this new habit.
So that’s that’s 17% of the way through the year and I have kicked sugar out the door and upped my water intake to feel full and juicy AND cut out snacking between meals. Feeling #smug.
Next up – Spring seasonal cleansing. Do you do a seasonal detox? Fancy joining me on mine?
What are you feeling called to focus on next in your life. Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
JOIN ME ON AN ADVENTURE TO HAPPIER, HEALTHIER HABITS
If you know you need a habit overhaul and a lifestyle upgrade to unleash the best of you that’s lying dormant within, but you’re not sure where to start or how to stay the course to see the changes through, check out my 10-month happy healthy habits course.
Previously offered as a 10-week programme, I’m reworking it so we can dive deeper and really make changes that stick, stick stick, so we all emerge at the end of 10-months operating at a new level of frequency. High-vibes all the way. Register your interest to join the waitlist and I’ll be in touch as soon as the course is done cooking.