As I sat and pondered what sort of guise I would like my first entry on the Your Health Hunter blog to take, a rather philosophical aura overcame me.
After what felt like an interminably long time staring at a blank computer screen, I came to the conclusion that if I just wrote something then surely the rest would follow. This then got me thinking that this mantra is in fact true for many things in life, particularly when it comes to making positive changes to our health and wellbeing.
I have therefore decided to focus my first blog post on four key concepts that if adhered to can provide an excellent foundation from which you can go on to achieve bigger and better things no matter what your goal is in relation to your health and wellbeing.
Four key starting points
1. Believe in yourself
I know everyone says this but I really do mean it and please believe me when I say it works. No matter how big or great your support network is, at the end of the day it is only you who can instigate the changes needed to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Having this belief on the ‘good days’ is all well and good but more importantly you need it on those ‘bad days’ when eating twenty chocolate biscuits or diving into ten slices of hot buttered white toast really does seem like the only answer. It is only believing in yourself and your end goal that will allow you to say, ‘you know what, I think just one chocolate biscuit and a walk around the block will do me just fine, so nah, nah to you Mr Negativity’.
2. Take responsibility for your actions
Whilst blaming others/situations provides a far easier ‘get out clause’ than accepting responsibility for yourself, unfortunately it won’t do you many favours in terms of improving your health.
Let me set a scenario for you: “It is Saturday night and you are at a drinks party where the cheese and biscuits have just made their way round to you for the fifth time. In your mind you are thinking that a) Hey, I have had five already so one more won’t hurt b) I am at a party where surely the point is to enjoy myself and c) Our hosts have spent such a long time preparing all this food it would be such a shame to waste it.”
The ugly truth unfortunately, is that the above are all just excuses that we use to justify our behaviour when we know that we are perhaps behaving in a way that is not all that beneficial to our health. Being one myself to never turn down a party, I have learnt over the years that both my conscience and my waist line are far happier when I set myself some boundaries – and stick to them!
3. Set targets
Three targets per month are all I suggest but those three will do wonders for focusing your mind and keeping you on the straight and narrow. They don’t have to be big or fancy, simply saying that for the next month you will not buy anything that is not on your shopping list, is a perfectly good place to start. A good tip for goal setting is to make your goals ‘SMART’. By this I mean make them: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time measurable. Plus the joy about setting targets is that when you achieve them, which you will because you are fully on top of point 1) and 2), is that you get to tick them off and who doesn’t enjoy doing that, right?!
4. Make ‘bad days’ ‘single days’
Life, to be honest, can be pretty tough and there will always be days when no matter how strong your resolve, things will go a bit ‘off kilter’. The key to these days is to put them in the ‘bad day bin’ and start again tomorrow and yes I really do mean tomorrow i.e. 24hours later. Don’t let the negativity from one day carry through to the next day/s. I know many clients who travel to the ‘dark side’ on a Tuesday and think to themselves that there is no point starting again until the allure of the fresh, new week is upon them. Take my word for it, tomorrow really is just as good as Monday.
At the very least I hope that those four points have planted a seed of thought about how you can make the start needed to reach your health and wellbeing goals, no matter what those may be. Remember, we all have to start somewhere.
On a side note, I am heading off to an evening picnic on Wimbledon Common this evening and my contribution to proceedings is a pea, ricotta and sun-dried tomato frittata. Being low in fat and packed full of protein it is an excellent recipe to enjoy now that the warmer weather is finally upon us. Recipe and picture can be found here (Pea, ricotta & sun-dried tomato frittata (PDF)). Enjoy!