“I’m too busy," “I don’t have time to cook," “I’m always on the go," “I only have time to grab food quick while I am on the run." We have heard it all and said it all. Eating healthier is everyone’s goal, that’s no question. But making time for it is another story. In order to set healthier habits for long-term success we need to create a successful environment and donuts in the breakroom don’t help.
Before you can set up your environment to be more successful, it’s a good idea to identify your triggers and when your eating tends to go off track for the day. Do you get to the end of the day and realize you have only had a few sips of water? Or realize you didn’t eat anything and it’s already 2 p.m.? Once you know where you tend to go off track it’s much easier to prioritize the list of items to set up to be more successful with your healthy eating habits.
Clean your space
Do you keep candy on your desk or high-sugar snack bars in your drawer? Let’s toss them. Is your workspace cluttered and you don’t even have much space for your water bottle? Take a few minutes each week to tidy up, if there is a space for that water, put that water bottle there and drink up. If you find yourself stuck at your desk and missing a break to eat keep low-sugar protein bars or some nuts at your desk for a quick pick me up.
See it to believe it
Make your goals and reasons why visible. If you are getting healthier to enjoy the outdoors more put up an image of the mountains or beach. If you want to take the kids or grandkids on vacation set up a photo of that place. Find some motivational quotes images that inspire you and pin them up in your workspace. If you are having a stressful day and want to run to the vending machine for a snack you know doesn’t help to achieve your wellness goals take a look at your inspiration board.
Get your water & your bottle
Water is key. We hear it all the time and it’s often overlooked. If you are finding it hard to get your water in daily, set yourself up for success by having it readily available everywhere you go. One thing I do to always have my water is to keep a case of it in my trunk. Whenever I am driving from point A to point B I grab a liter and get it down. The same rings true for your workspace, if it’s there, you’ll drink it. Get a large bottle and fill it each morning when you get to work. Bring it with you when you run for a coffee refill or bathroom break.
Make it easy
Want to go on a walk at lunch but don’t feel like you are dressed for it? Keep some tennis shoes or flats in your bag or desk, pop them on and get moving. Want to stand a little more? Make a “standing” appointment with a coworker to replace a sit down meeting each week. A few other fun ways to be healthier at work and set yourself up for success are to swap your chair with a yoga ball, invest in a standing desk, or try some resistance bands to put around your legs or ankles while sitting at your desk to keep moving. If it’s there and easy for you, odds are you will use it!
If you find yourself struggling to remember to implement some of these new tools, set yourself an alarm on your phone or computer to buzz you every few hours. Simple steps can go a long way in making permanent habits for your health and wellness goals. Try implementing just one tip this week to create a more successful environment.
Emily Countryman is a board-certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville. She can be reached online at www.idealwellnesswa.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.