If you are already familiar with The Confident Mother philosophy, you’ll know that one of my key elements is Wellness. (And if you don’t yet know my philosophy, check it out here).
So I am delighted to publish this guest post from Karen Broda at Strong & Smart who is all about wellness and taking action, one step at a time. Karen has been on my weekly newsletter list for a while and she reached out to me to offer a guest post when she heard my cancer news. A big thank you to Karen and the other wonderful women in my community.
How to boost your health and fitness without taking time away from your career and family
by Karen Broda, Strong & Smart
“My relationship with fitness and confidence in myself both have hit rock bottom.
I joined a gym earlier this year and hired a trainer for four months. I had a workout schedule of; 3 days a week for 1 hr and then 3 days for 30 minutes, all at 6 am in the morning. I also followed the trainer’s diet plan exactly.
After a few months I did lose some weight but most importantly instead of feeling fit, I was feeling tired, unhappy, and would dread going to the gym each morning. Plus it took up so much time, I was either working, exercising, or prepping food, barely any time for my kids and family.
I’m sick of feeling out-of-shape, but I just don’t know what to do.”
This is a real story from a rising professional in the marketing world that I recently worked with. I bet if you’re reading this then you too want to improve your health and fitness and I bet, get the body you’ve always dreamed of.
There’s that ongoing frustration in the back of your mind on how you just WISH you could:
Lose that extra bit of baby weight
Not feel ‘out of shape’ and sluggish
Feel more confident in your business clothes
But you’ve had no success in the past and with limited time and energy you just can’t see how that’s possible going forward.
But first let me tell you this, no matter how many times you have ‘failed’ in the past to lose weight and just feel ‘better’, it does not mean you can’t have huge success going forward! The past does not predict the future here.
Better yet, what if I told you can start feeling healthier and more confident in your clothes THIS WEEK and you don’t need to overhaul your life for it to?
Let me explain….
Quit overhauling your life for fitness
Hiring a trainer, starting a full exercise and diet routine can definitely help you lose the extra weight but to overhaul your life (like in my client’s case) isn’t always the way to go. When else have you overhauled your life for something and DIDN’T FEEL exhausted, stressed, and even dread it? Plus I bet you had little free time.
Yes big changes mean quicker results, but they do not mean lasting success. Do you want to feel a BIT HEALTHIER for JUST this MONTH or do you want to feel fit and healthy for the rest of your life?
How can you NOT overhaul your life but still lose weight, look amazing, and feel even better? Let’s turn to our careers to find out…
Over the past years, you’ve shown up every day at your job, putting your best foot forward, taking on projects, learning new things; you’ve been building your career. Similar to building a brick wall; little by little, day by day, you laid the ‘bricks’ to build a strong, long-lasting career that you’re proud of.
So why not take the gradual, consistent approach you built your impressive career on to getting the body you crave? Brick-by-brick you can build your ‘brick wall’ to that stronger, fitter, more energetic body, AND you are actually going to HAVE THE TIME and ENJOY every minute of it!
That my fellow biz-woman, is the real secret here.
The ‘Small Step’ Method
This day-by-day gradual method is what I call, the ‘Small Step’ method. It’s where you take consistent small steps towards your dream body so that:
- You don’t dread the process
- It produces consistent and long-term results
- You seamlessly build a lifelong habit
Like a real brick wall, as you lay down each small change (‘brick’) you see both immediate and long-lasting results. And you better believe that that ‘brick wall’ is strong enough to stand forever; a healthier and fitter body for life!
Ready to learn the exact steps to build your brick wall with ‘small steps’?
1. What is a ‘small step’?
A small step is a small enough change that you can seamlessly incorporate it into your daily life but is big enough that it will provide immediate results.
A small step is one that:
- You can realistically implement into your week AND continue on with that change
- Is a big enough change that you’ll feel proud for implementing (and completing) but is small enough that you can do without too much effort
- Your friends or family won’t act as a roadblock (They may not be your cheerleaders but they WON’T PREVENT you from implementing it)
Your first ‘small step’ will largely depend on your goal; is it to lose that extra baby weight? Tighten up your stomach? Have more energy to play with your kids? Gain strength so you feel more capable? You decide here.
Here are some examples to get you started:
- Cut out after-dinner sweets 1x per week
- Add in 1 session of 30 minutes of exercise (whatever you want!)
- Add 5 minutes of time to one of your regular runs
- Add an additional 5 minutes of core work to one of your regular yoga sessions
- Add 3 more sets to one weight-lifting workout
- Head to bed 10 minutes earlier each night
Right now I want you to brainstorm 10 different ‘small steps’ you could realistically implement tomorrow. Do not overthink what your small step will be; go with your first instincts. This list will be your guiding light in creating sustainable and real progress towards that body you crave. Keep it somewhere safe.
2. How do I actually implement ‘small steps’?
Grab your calendar right now (I’ll wait a minute for you to grab it), and SCHEDULE IN EXACTLY when you will implement 1 change for THIS WEEK. Depending on your small step this may be a date, an exact time, or a relative time such as, ‘after dinner’.
The key here is to actually SEE this small step in your daily life so you can truly believe and solidify the fact that you are taking steps to your fitter body. With a visual cue in your calendar you’ll make this small change happen without a second-thought.
3. But then what?
At the end of this week you are going to evaluate how that small step went for you by asking yourself these questions:
Was this change easy?
Did it feel normal and part of my daily life?
Did I enjoy (or rather, not dread) it?
If the change felt seamless then you’re going to add on! Go back to your brainstorming list and implement 1 more small step along with the first change. After week 2, repeat the evaluation process and add on another change if you’re feeling up to it!
If the first week (or any week) felt really difficult or you didn’t manage to complete your small step then not to worry! Just schedule the change back into your calendar for the following week and give it another go.
As you progress, these changes can grow to be a bit bigger each time but only if you can still seamlessly fit them into your life. I’m sure you caught on to the pattern here, gradually you’re going to integrate small steps into your current routine, just like building your brick wall.
How are you feeling with this all? Take a moment to sit with the information I just threw at you.
Remember this 1 thing
If you forget everything you just read I want you to remember this one point;
Just because you may have failed in the past it does not mean success is out of your grasp. All it takes is starting with one small step today!
*You should feel so proud, you’ve just taken the first real steps towards the body you’ve dreamed of but how will you be able to stick with these small steps and stay excited?
I’ve got you covered! I go in depth on how to stay motivated with the small steps in my EGuide, “Get your Fit Body NOW”. You can get the FULL EGuide here.