Annalicia Lynn is back to share more of her personal experience of finding happiness (and health!) by making healthy changes in her life that are both realistic and sustainable. Annalicia wants to help you too! She has a FREE 21-day Movement Challenge beginning tomorrow, February 1st. She’ll be sharing her yoga and Pilates workouts, playlists, a special Facebook group for the challenge, and more. Get more information and signup at YogaAndPilatesOnline.com/Challenge.
I used to think “healthy” meant you were good at:
- 1 // Driving yourself of things you like.
2 // Making yourself do things you don’t like.
Case in point…
Meet my metaphorical friend, Abby.
Abby never eats chocolate lava cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream. (Even though she drools over the picture of it on the Applebee’s menu.) She might splurge on her birthday, but she would be sure to burn at least 500 calories at the gym before letting herself indulge. Abby’s great at getting her workouts in…even though she hates them. She eats salads a lot for lunch. They bore her to death. But, she often thinks, “What do you do? It’s the price you have to pay.”
According to my old definition, I would have labeled Abby as “my super healthy friend.”
But now, I can’t help but ask…
What’s the point of being healthy if you have to pay the price of happiness?
My new guideline: I must be in a happy relationship with the tools I’m using (exercise, etc.) to enhance my wellbeing in order for them to truly be “healthy”.
• I’m not so hard on myself.
• I don’t fall off the bandwagon as much because I enjoy my healthy habits.
• I don’t stay stuck for very long.
• I’m happier.
• I don’t get sick as much.
• Less pressure, more fun.
Do you want to be healthy and happy? Do you want to able to sustain the healthy changes you make?
THE TOP MISTAKES TO AVOID:
Mistake #1: Valuing intensity over consistency.
I love to sweat. Intense workouts help me clear my head.
There’s nothing wrong with intensity. The problem is, we often value it over consistency and it stops us for doing little things that add up to make a big difference. We don’t give ourselves permission to take baby steps and start small, so we don’t start at all.
We say things like, “A 10-minute walk’s not worth it.” Not true.
“Go slow to go fast.” -Joshua Rosenthal
Mistake #2: Thinking guilt and dread are good things.
If you’re planning to start a new routine and you’re dreading the first day, that’s not a good sign.
“Fun is good.” -Dr. Suess
Eating a Snickers and feeling guilty the whole time does not make you more virtuous. Guilt will not motivate you to “do better.” Even more to the point, why eat it if you won’t let yourself enjoy it?
“Science says: self-criticism decreases will power.” – Brian Johnson
Mistake #3: Focusing on results.
In the past, my workouts always revolved around numbers: run for a certain number of miles, burn this many calories, lose that many pounds — you know the drill.
The problem is, numbers don’t equal inspiration. They don’t make you excited to get out of a warm bed on a cool day to go on an early-morning walk.
They certainly don’t lovingly call you to the gym after a stressful day at work.
So what does? Feelings.
Feeling strong, empowered, hopeful, and better, in general, is what inspiration is all about. And, that’s what healthy habits can evoke when we give up our obsession with the results.
Start judging how “successful” you are with your healthy changes based on your answer to this one, simple question: “Do I feel better now?”
This question has the power to completely transform your relationship with your body and the way you go about reaching your health goals.
Mistake #4: Trying to eliminate bad habits.
Why focus on the bad habits we want to eliminate when there are so many good habits we could focus on cultivating?
“Add in to crowd out.” – Joshua Rosenthal
It’s easier. It’s more fun. It’s a lot more effective.
Do you want to quit drinking coffee in the afternoon? Commit to bringing a green juice to work.
Do you want to stop eating the treats in your work lounge on your mid-morning break? Commit to a 10-minute walk.
Would you like to break your evening-couch-potato pattern? Commit to a 5-minute dance party when you get home from work.
Mistake #5: Thinking you’re a problem that needs to be fixed.
We seem to think that in order to want something more or different for ourselves we have to condemn where we’re at right now. Where did we get that idea?
What if, instead, we allowed ourselves to accept what is and we allowed ourselves to desire something more or different?
“When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.” – Byron Katie
Mistake #6: Shooting for 100%.
Part of my definition of “healthy” is not being “healthy” all the time. Pizza happens. Sometimes Netflix binges replace exercise.
Don’t apologize for being human.
Give yourself space to be perfectly imperfect and not only will you enjoy life more, be kinder to yourself and others, but you’ll also be more apt to stop at two cookies instead of eating the entire box.
“Perfectionism didn’t lead to results. It led to peanut butter.” -Brene Brown
Mistake #7: Trying to do it alone.
It’s courageous to ask for help. It’s admirable to decide to join a supportive group or build a support system around your desires.
There’s more ease, more fun, more power, and more beauty in synergy.
“Here is the basic rule for winning success. Let’s mark it in the mind and remember it. The rule is: Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of other people.” – David Joseph Schwartz
Annalicia Lynn is a yoga & Pilates instructor, health coach, writer, speaker, and founder of YogaAndPilatesOnline.com. With 10+ years of teaching experience and a life’s journey of lessons to share, she guides women on their path to achieving the lives & bodies they’ve always wanted – on terms rooted in deep self-understanding and self-care.
FREE 21-day Movement Challenge begins tomorrow, February 1st!