Are You in "Pause Mode?"
This past month got unexpectedly busier for me. I knew it wouldn’t last long, but rather that after a couple of weeks I would be able to establish a new routine with a new job and new clients. I was tempted to just focus on the things that needed to get done each day like getting my work done, getting the kid to swim lessons, sleeping, etc. etc. etc, and to throw out the workouts, hikes, or bothering with preparing healthy lunches until things “settled down” a little. I thought about how much tougher it would feel starting back at the gym or facing tedious work things after a week of eating whatever I could find at the convenience store for snacks (helllllooooo, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs!), and realized I could do a little better than that…just at a lower level.
What did this look like for me?
I scanned my schedule and I decided I would prepare a lunch and snack 3 out of the next 5 days with whatever I could find that was healthy and fresh and needed to be eaten in the fridge. This meant a little pre-planning the night before each day: Scoping out the things going bad in the fridge to chop and prep while I was already doing some dinner-chopping and making sure I grabbed my food on the way out the door. (It ain’t the prettiest, it’s not in a perfect, Instagrammable glass bento box, but my snack is also not just the Reese’s PB Egg that I still bought and plan to enjoy later!)
Would this specific plan work for everyone? Maybe not, but…
What WOULD work for you?
What is your “better than nothing?” Is it prepping your breakfasts for the week on Sunday so you have extra time to snooze and get an extra hour of sleep a few days this week? Is it packing your gym bag the night before so you can hit the gym 1 day this week? Is it committing to parking in that last spot in the lot and getting a longer walk into the office for 3 days this week? Is it adding another serving of veggies to your dinners twice this week?
How it works with my clients:
If you’re working with me, we’re trying to find ways to never get to the point where you feel like you need a “pause” because every week or two we’re focusing on a new habit or activity to add to your life that feels manageable, do-able, and specific. Before we settle on a weekly goal, I’m going to ask:
How confident are you that you can succeed at doing ‘X’ every day this week?
If your reply is anything less than “10/10,” we’re going to shrink that goal back until a point where you can confidently tackle your goal and successfully check it off your list without adding a heap of stress to your week!
How can YOU incorporate this idea today?
If you feel like maybe you’re in a “pause,” what would making something "a little bit better" in your movement, nutrition, or other health look like for you this week? (WARNING: ONLY CHOOSE ONE—this is not an opportunity to pile on 17 things you’ve been meaning to do!) How can you make your life feel a little healthier, easier, more fun, or more socially connected? (Yes, mental/emotional/relational health is worth checking in with, too!) Can you call your mom? Take your dog for a walk around the block? Play with your kid without your phone for 20 minutes tonight? Look up a recipe for Saturday night that you can shop for and prepare on your day off? Check that thing off your list and if you liked how it added to your life, then maybe try another one next week or find one that you can consistently do a few times each week.
If you need a little help with this, reach out! I've helped people find ways to make it easier to get into the gym, try new vegetables, stop eating so much sugar or processed foods, or drink more water. It's a slow process and it's not always 100% successful, but it can be better than nothing even if they succeed 1 time out of the 7 times they tried!