2021 is here!
Though a new year can bring a lot of hope and excitement, this year comes with more hesitation and reservation due to how 2020 went.
One thing 2020 showed us for sure is that life can be very unpredictable and the unimaginable is possible. Also, the plans we made, dreams we hoped to achieve, and securities we had can be flipped upside down in big ways.
Despite all that felt out of our control in 2020, one thing you can control is how you choose to take care of your health. Don’t let uncontrollable circumstances control your wellbeing. It is too vital to not take steps, even if small, to make improvements in your wellness. It will help you not only physically, but even more importantly, it will help you emotionally and mentally.
As we move into 2021, what areas of your health and wellness do you need to take back control of? How are you preparing? Are you planning for potential healthy habit crashes? Will you set yourself up for sustainable success?
Looking At Things Differently
Yes, this article is sorta another “let’s start the new year off right and make this the best year ever” success note. Hey! I am in this industry after all. I’m a natural good health encourager, so you should have expected this.
Wholeheartedly, I want you to be successful.
But this isn’t the typical “Hoorah! You got this and here is the perfect way to eat and workout.” My focus is the sustainability of healthy habits.
I encourage you to consider making your change a little different this year. Take a different approach than before. Especially if you haven’t been successful in achieving the wellness you wanted in the past. It probably isn’t because you weren’t doing the right things. More likely, the method or approach you used wasn’t quite right. Maybe it was too much of a change or not compatible with your schedule for the long term.
Rather than attempting a huge overhaul or getting overwhelmed by all the changes you need to make, take a progressive approach. Focus on a couple of healthy habits until you make those sustainable. Then add more. Think about mastering your wellness as a continual process. Just focus on one week at a time. Consider how you could implement a system to eliminate or overcome potential program crashes and enjoy complete success this year.
When it comes to health and wellness practices, the program crashes when we can’t keep up with our habits or reach our goals. And it happens quite often. We struggle to maintain proper nutrition, effective exercise, and other forms of self-care, such as good sleep and stress reduction. Just because we know we should do these things, doesn’t make doing them easy. The best way to overcome or avoid the crash is by knowing their common causes.
5 Causes of Crashes
Several things cause healthy habits to crash:
1 – Immediate Desires
Our bodies tend to desire sugary, fatty foods and the conservation of energy more than healthy foods and extra movement. If the tastier, lazier route is available, the body is drawn to that. Now, one could say our bodies are trying to be more efficient, which I get and being more efficient is a good thing. But that kind of efficiency is only good in that moment. That efficiency is very harmful in the long term.
2 – Info Confusion
Confusion about what it really means to eat right, exercise properly, and ideal self-care practices can also cause a crash. We hear, read, and see so much information and advice, we aren’t certain what to follow… Don’t eat eggs. Bananas are full of sugar. Potatoes are bad. Carbs are the devil. HITT is the best workout. Don’t squat if your knees hurt.
3 – Our Mindset
Not having your head and heart in the right place can also contribute to a crash. You know you need to, but you don’t really want to. Or you have self-defeating thoughts. Maybe you have a victim rather than a victor attitude. Your own mindset could be getting in the way of what you want to happen.
4 – Wanting Perfection
Doing too much at once, even if they are all the right things, can also bring on the crash. Exhausting yourself to make breakfast every morning. Prep salads for the week on Sunday. Cook a healthy dinner every night. Eat perfectly at every meal. Avoid late-night snacks. Workout six days a week for at least an hour. Sleep for at least eight hours. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Meditate every day for 15 minutes. And the list goes on and on. Then, when you can’t keep all those plates spinning simultaneously, even if one plate wobbles, you fall back into the old routine. The focus needs to be on progress, not perfection.
5 – No Crash Plan
Not having a specific and detailed plan to prevent or mitigate the effects of a crash can actually cause a catastrophic crash. We have a tendency to implement a well-crafted plan without considering potential roadblocks or setting up an accountability system. Not planning for potential problems is like a pilot taking off without looking at the weather, knowing what to do if something goes wrong, or having a copilot to assist in turbulence.
The Best Way to Avoid and Overcome Crashes
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why you may not have been successful with your health and wellness goals and habits in the past. Realizing why is the first step in the right direction toward avoiding or recovering from crashes.
Here is what you need to do for sustainable success:
- Set your head and heart in the right spot.
- Simplify and clarify what it means to eat right, move more, and practice other self-care such as reduce stress and improve sleep.
- Focus on the progress of a couple of habits one week at a time rather than perfecting a long-term, complete overhaul.
- Identify the challenges impeding your success–potential habit crashers–and think of ways to overcome them.
- Create a plan and accountability system specific to you, your life, and your goals.
Many people hope 2021 will be a much better year than 2020. It may seem like it couldn’t possibly be worse. One thing you can keep from crashing this year is improving your health and wellness. Don’t think about all you have to do or your past failures, focus on what you will do to keep the crash from happening.
I want this to be your year of no more regret. Use these five strategies for sustainable success so that when you reach the end of 2021, you aren’t looking back frustrated by your crashes or lack of progress, thinking, “I’ll do better in 2022.”
To your sustainable health and wellness,
Jen is a certified nutrition coach and master personal trainer with a specialty in corrective exercise. She owns 7Core Wellness, where she strives to empower individuals to live better, move better, and become their strongest self.
Jen created the Warrior Approach and the Warrior Approach Guidebook, which introduces a simple system to plan and prep your way to a healthier life by creating sustainable, healthy habits. As a former Special Operations spouse and registered nurse, Jen understands the demands placed on the family and the challenges they pose to well-being. She is passionate about helping families find balance through self-care in an achievable and sustainable way by simplifying how to eat right and move more.