Setting Better Goals

setting better goals photo
Photo by Ryan McGuire via gratisography.

Here’s a question for you: are you bad at following through on your health goals, or is it that you’re bad at setting goals?

 

In my coaching practice, many clients tell me that they’re bad at the follow through. They try a diet, they try to meditate, they try to exercise, and they can’t seem to stick to it. Now any sort of generalization like “I’m bad at keeping goals” raises some red flags, so my follow-up question is usually “well, what goals did you set?” The reply completely explains the source of the issue….

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Time to start meditating: How finding your personal style will help the habit stick

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Meditation gets a lot of buzz these days, and for good reason – a consistent meditation practice is associated with reduced anxiety and depression, improved creativity, better focus, and legitimately changes your brain.

 

But if you’re anything like me, you’ve resolved to start a meditation practice many times, and subsequently haven’t follow through with it, either because the actual practice of meditation is unfamiliar, or you begin and can’t seem to take the time every day to practice.

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A Question to Ask Yourself

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Happy Sunday!

 

Hope you are all having a beautiful day, wherever you are! I write about eating and living well each week for my Sunday newsletter. This week’s message is particularly powerful for transforming your daily habits and bringing healthier practices into your life, so I wanted to share it with you all here.

Please read, comment, share, and subscribe here to receive exclusive content like this delivered straight to your inbox each week.

Thanks so much for reading and for being part of the Happy Healthy Human community.

 

-Sam

 

Thank goodness- we’ve made it to February! Now we can drop all the stress and worry about “starting the New Year’s right”, and we can get down to the business of simply living well.
How do you stay well without all the guidelines and rigidity of daily diet, workout, and life goals? You ask yourself one simple question throughout your day:
What does this pizza/work task/workout/insert item here give back to me? 
Here’s why this question is incredibly powerful:
Asking yourself this question helps you appreciate all of the things you do to keep yourself well, while weeding out the extras in your life that just don’t contribute to your health and wellbeing.

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How to Make Healthier Choices at Restaurants

healthier choices at restaurants

In a perfect world, I would look at a restaurant menu only to find an option that reads

“Local, pasture-raised delicious with a side of healthy sauce, sure to please anyone with Sam’s exact dietary needs”.

Unfortunately…I haven’t come across that offering yet.

Getting a healthy meal at a restaurant is just plain tough because we don’t know the exact ingredients and amounts that go into the dishes we’re eating, even in the meals that come along with a calorie count! What we do know is that most likely, the food we consume at a restaurant is less healthy or contains more calories than what we would make for ourselves at home. That’s because restaurants are in the business of serving deliciousness, and salt, sugar, and fat are incredibly good at making that happen.

Because restaurant menus aren’t custom-designed for our personal optimal health, how do we make healthier choices at restaurants? It can happen with some preplanning, knowledge, and a few Jedi mind tricks to control your portions. Luckily, I have just the info you need to make a healthier choice below!

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Fight off your Turkey Coma this Thanksgiving

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Turkey latte art courtesy of Alexandra Bertin

 

Happy Thanksgiving week!

While I delightfully dream up recipes for Thanksgiving dinner, I have also been thinking about ways to avert the post-dinner fatigue. There are some years where I walk out of Thanksgiving or other holidays feeling great, full of energy, and happy for the relaxation time I had with loved ones. Other years….I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, not motivated or excited to do much of anything besides sit on the couch.

I decided it’s time to make sure I walk out of each holiday excited and refreshed instead of drained and exhausted. If you’re with me…tips for a healthy Thanksgiving are after the jump!
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Turn Distress into Eustress

 

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Photo by Wellington Sanipe via unsplash.com

Yes, yes, yes, stress is important, nay, necessary for survival. Despite being a biological system critical for our health and wellbeing, however, the human stress response is a rather blunt instrument. We have the same surge of adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine each time we encounter a stresser, whether it be an injury, a verbal attack, exercise, or anxiety about a future event. Even though these very different situations require different responses, our body’s chemistry treats them essentially equally.
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Wiggle your way to health

What do Erik Carlson and Jason Derulo have in common?

Well, not much. But they do share an appreciation of a good wiggle.

 

Today, I’m not talking about rap or insects, I’m actually talking about the random movement generator used in computer algorithms and robotics.

Okay stick with me, this actually does relate to your health.
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Stay motivated after the honeymoon phase: keeping with your healthy habits

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Me and my new Torch bike helmet on a beautiful fall day

Day 1. Riding my bike to work this morning was a dream. Cool breeze, the rush of speeding down hills, and I made it to work in half the time of my usual commute. This just might be the new favorite part of my day. I found myself telling anyone who would listen – “This is the best thing ever…Couldn’t imagine my life without it.”

Day 60. Okay. A little less fun now. I’m sleepy, I’m wearing gloves, and I am now bargaining with myself: do I work harder so I go faster, or do I slow down so there is less wind resistance? I still love riding my bike to work, but it’s definitely lost that luster and shiny new feeling that caused a surge of adrenaline every time I rode.

Day 1 was totally the honeymoon phase. The new joy of riding sustained me through sore legs, sweltering afternoons, and car-dodging that is a part of any active commute. By Day 60, me and my bike have a comfortable routine. He’s good to me, and I to him. I still fill up my tires with care, give him an appreciative pat when we arrive at our destination safely, but I’m not energized and excited to get on the bike every morning.

This transition from the honeymoon phase of excitement to the normal day-to-day is the case with most things in life because our brains are wired to like new. New things are more stimulating for our brains and produce a bigger response – for good or bad. Over time, our body becomes used to what we are doing, and we lose some of that excitement and motivation to keep on going.

It’s so important to stick with health habits and routines through this lull in the relationship though, because after the lull comes the true signs of a sustainable and lasting relationship. After the lull, these habits become so ingrained that they become our default, and thus, take a lot less energy and motivation to actually do day after day, week after week. So how do you stay motivated to stick with your health routines and habits as you leave the honeymoon phase?
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