Photo Of Dog And Person Walking On Grass

Being mindful with your health goals

Everyone has little things that hold them back, especially when it comes to health and fitness. Sometimes a bit of reflection OR some subjective criticism (from someone you respect) is a great way to learn from the mistakes we have made – who knows they may even give us the kick start we need to grow!

Now, I’m not an athlete, but I do strive to be mindful and healthy, so I wanted to share a few things that I have learned…

Focus on eating healthier.

I have so many friends that have done shakes, diets, calorie counting, you name it… If I’m being honest, I’m too lazy to control my diet like this, and, I love food… so, I don’t see myself sticking to something if I don’t enjoy what I’m doing.

What I do is I focus on fresh and healthy meals packed with nutritional value, flavour, and colour – I enjoy cooking, so I cook every day (and I don’t have a microwave). I don’t limit what I eat, but I focus heavily on vegetables – I’m not a vegetarian but I probably only eat meat a few times a week and I try to keep away from too many carbs and any processed foods. Why… because I know I feel better when I do this. But, everyone is different so make sure you find what works for your energy and activity level!

Focus on moving more.

So, for those that know me, they know I’m not naturally sporty… I was always the uncoordinated kid in the sports team, and I have always laughed it off, but it really, it was just embarrassing – especially when the rest of my family were really, really sporty – like, winning state competitions, and actually working in the fitness industry!

I also don’t like the gym… and I have to say… it’s all the mirrors and those people taking selfies whilst looking uber glamorous when I’m standing there sweating my a*se off and feeling worried that I used that machine for the wrong exercise! I go… occasionally. But really, I need someone to come with me – mainly so I can’t get all silly and make an excuse as to why I don’t want to go, when someone joins me I don’t want to bail or let them down.

What I do is, focus on moving in places that I feel comfortable – walking the dog and running the occasional block or two (when I feel no one could possibly be watching), going for a walk or to the gym with family or friends, and also yoga or fitness videos at home in the lounge room or in my garden. I have also had a PT from time to time, and this really helps me feeling more comfortable when I am at the gym – as well as gives me a little kick up the bum when I need it!

Set achievable goals.

I like to think of myself as quite an organised person… and I have at times “scheduled” a workout into my calendar and have found that when I’m determined to work out every day… I’m equally full of excuses! Then, obviously, I feel pretty lousy when I know that if I had just gotten up, or put my shoes on or put my earphones in I could have worked out – even if it was for 15 mins.

What I do is I set more achievable goals, this way I don’t feel like a failure on top of being uncoordinated… something like 3 workouts over the course of the week, and If I do more than that, I’m very chuffed!

Things I will do could include;

  • Going for really big walks with the dog (at least an hour) or another person
  • Popping to the gym – for me this is always with a friend, to a class or a PT for that extra kick, and once I’m there (and out of my head) I do feel better!
  • Counting my steps – I always aim to get to 10,000 and let me tell you – it’s hard when you have an office job, but that little goal helps!
  • Doing a YouTube or App workout at home if I cant get outside or to the gym.
  • A little competition… If you join the Strava Club you can compare workouts with friends and colleagues

If your workout goals are making you feel like rubbish, like you’re putting extra pressure on yourself, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate?

Stop feeling guilty and comparing yourself.

Typically, I’m an anxious overthinker… great mix eh! But really, this has affected my health in the past… I’ve felt anxious about looking stupid when I’m working out, so I don’t do it, and then I felt guilty because I wasn’t hitting the goal’s I had intended… #thespiral

It’s also really easy to feel guilty when we’re surrounded by (perceived) perfection… At one point I thought following a stack of fitness influencers on Instagram would motivate me to do more or inspire me to try new fitness activities… It didn’t, at all, it just made me compare myself and my lack of perfection.

What I do is, if something is making me feel guilty, I take a step back and re-evaluate… figure out if it’s achievable, or if it is even what I really need. Goals are great, but not if they are making you feel terrible. I focus on knowing that we’re all different, and I only follow people on social media that DO inspire me, and if they’re no longer inspiring me, I unfollow them (this goes for all aspects of life). I also keep it real and know that all the perfection that I do see out there is not everything – because no one is perfect, we’re all human!

So obviously I’m not the sportiest or the fittest person alive, but I am healthy, and I am really happy. I look after myself in a way that works for me – and, I know that this is an evolving process, as at different times in my life I will need more or less, or even a complete change. For you, this may be at the gym, with team sports or simply walking the dog –  but let me tell you it’s pretty nice finding that balance that works for you! If you’re finding it hard to get motivated, or really don’t know where to start, speak to one of the team at SportUNE, the crew consists of dedicated fitness lovers, experts in their field, High-Performance Managers and Personal Trainers. Or head over to the Wellness Hub for some at-home inspiration you can even connect with likeminded people or join the Strava Group for a little healthy competition.

Anyone can do it. #ActivateYourUNELife