It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year that none of us could have prepared for mentally, physically or emotionally. There have been so many ups and downs and an unprecedented amount of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.
If you’re like me, you’ve gotten off track from many of the healthy habits you’ve created or maybe this pandemic is a wake up call to start prioritizing your health. Maybe it’s even been months since you last followed your diet, looked at your career goals, or been to the gym.
What I have learned throughout the years is that these small roadblocks don’t make us failures, they make us human. We can make mistakes, we don’t need be perfect all the time. Some of the most successful people in the world have made big mistakes and slipped up on their habits. It isn’t necessarily their motivation or willpower that makes them successful, but rather their ability to get back on track.
Here are some of the tricks that I have implemented in the last month or so to get my life and habits back on track:
Strategies to Bounce Back on Track
1. Schedule your Habits into your Daily Life. I think there are 2 ways to approach this. One is to actually sit down at the beginning of every week and schedule things you would like to do. For example, on Monday this week I wrote in my agenda (yes I use a paper agenda and write in it) I scheduled out all the things I wanted to accomplish this week (this article being one of them). Another way is to tie a habit you would like to work on into your current behaviours. For example, Work on setting your posture, shoulders back and down, chin tucked into your neck every time you hit a red light when walking or driving.
2. Try to Identify the Cause of Your Failure. Take some time to reflect and think of triggers that may have caused your habits to fail. For example, if you find that boredom of eating the same food every day or every week is the cause of you binge eating, then maybe trying new healthy recipes as a way to combat that. Being able to identify the cause of your failure will help you recognize it quicker in the future and become more successful in the long term.
3. Get Back to the Basics. It’s super tempting to try to jump right back into things and do too much to quickly. The gym is a good example of this. After not doing Crossfit for several months, I really took this to heart and took the first month to just get body used to moving weight again at a much reduced capacity to what I am used to. I focused on my form first and foremost and now am slowly starting to increase the weight I am using and this is 6 weeks later. Depending on how far you’ve slipped, take the time to get back into your habits properly. Pick things to focus on, like if you’re trying to get back on track with your diet, look at portion size and adding more fruits and vegetables instead of restricting food and counting calories to begin with.
4. Change your Environment. Is your current environment designed for success or failure? Think about your environment as the people you surround yourself with and also the colours, items, sounds and spaces that trigger your behaviours. This is one of the reasons I followed my heart and my dreams to open up my own space and practice. I wanted to create a work environment that reflected me and lead me to be successful in my life and practice. Some simple things you can do to change your environment is get rid of all the crap and junk food from your pantry. Add more fruits and vegetables so when you go to snack you have something healthy to snack on and make your meals. Want to go to the gym more? Book a class, pack your gym gear the night before, pack healthy foods for the day to support your workout and mentally prepare yourself to go.
5. Keep Yourself Accountable. This can be the biggest challenge when getting back on track. WRITE IT DOWN! This is why I use a paper agenda (as well as a digital one) but there is something about writing things down and following through. It’s part of my routine every Monday to set myself up for success for the week. Use the people around you in your life. Ask a friend, partner or loved one, coach or chiropractor ;) to help check in on you and keep you on track.
It’s never too late to get back on track. We’ve all messed up and fallen behind on our goals - even people who inspire you. It can sometimes be difficult to get back on track but this is what defines us and makes us successful in the end. No matter what, in the grand scheme of things if you get back on track and stick to the plan you may actually end up even further than you’ve ever imagined.
Dr. Alfredo is an health enthusiast who’s goal is to help people and families live healthier, happier lives. My philosophy on health is simple - our body’s have the amazing ability and potential to self-adapt, self-regulate and THRIVE in this world