Becky Davison
Becky Davison, Marketing Manager

If your office is anything like mine, winter is the craziest time of the year. Coupled with the cooling and darkening skies that much earlier, it makes that evening walk or run that much more of a challenge. I’ll admit it, fitness takes a backseat this time of year, despite my best efforts. It’s just so easy to get out in the summer. And we can all remember what happened last winter, where shoveling was the primary source for cardio for many.

TWordItOut-word-cloud-1206285hat’s why this winter is going to be different, for me and maybe some of you want to make a commitment to a healthier you, too. I’ve created a 10-step plan to help us get there. Yes, us.

1. Write down your goal, and make it tangible and achievable. Having a defined goal makes it measurable. “Go for a run” or “Loose weight” are not tangible.

Here are some examples: “I will lower my blood pressure to 120/80” or “I will loose 10lbs in 3 months” or “I will run the 10K in May” or “I will eat 5 servings of vegetables a day”.

  1. No really. Write it down. I’ll wait.
  1. Make your goal visible. Hang it in your office, write it on your notebook, stick it on your fridge. Stick it on your friend’s fridge. Seeing your goal daily makes it real and you can’t hide from it.
  1. Decide on a deadline for meeting this goal. 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. Signing up for a race has always been my go to. I pay the registration fee and that’s what motivates me! Ideally this goal will initiate a lifestyle change so there is no deadline; it’s just what you do.
  1. Break it down into months and then, weeks.  For example: If I want to loose 10 lbs, that means creating a 35,000 calories deficit. That sounds unrealistic. But its not if you break that down into weekly and daily goals. “I will change my exercise and diet habits to reduce my caloric intake by 500 calories a day.” That’s a heck of a lot more manageable then I need to run for 88 hours to lose 10lbs. And truth be told, it doesn’t exactly work that way! Aways keep sneakers and apples in your car. Trust me.
  1. Put the plan into your calendar – if your goal is focused on healthy eating, it will taking planning and time. Choose a day of the week will work for you to go grocery shopping and cook those healthy meals. Plan the snacks, and be realistic. That 2pm chocolate craving isn’t going to disappear, but 2 squares of your favourite dark chocolate packed in your lunch is almost infinitely better than running to the gas station for a double pack of Oh Henry. (Confession: It’s totally happened to me.) If you’re goal is to get to the gym three times a week, will it be in the morning? Right after work? Over lunch? Remember, you don’t need 60 minute sweat sessions to make a difference. 20 minutes will get the ball rolling in the right direction.1385225_487682318004868_2110145407_n
  1. Treat those sessions in your calendar like very important meetings. Don’t blow them off. Imagine how you will feel after that workout, or when all your meals are prepared. Treat it like a meeting with your CEO – because you are the CEO of your own body.
  1. Tell your closets person about your goals. See if they want to come along for the ride. If you don’t have the support of someone who understands what you are trying to achieve, it will be more difficult. It’s important to find someone who will motive you on those dark, cold snowy days that you just don’t want to get to the gym. I’m sorry, those days are coming! If you don’t have someone, there are lots of amazing gyms and support systems in Halifax that will help you. Yes, it may require paying someone to get you out the door!
  1. Check back in weekly. Every Sunday night I take a look at the previous week and see where I fell down, or succeeded, in my goals. Something is always better than nothing! I take this time to plan out what my week is going to look like, work wise, on the home front, and where I can fit in my workouts and meal planning. There is always 30 minutes in everyday for this, I promise. My calendar often looks like a game of Tetris, but it works for me.
  1. Take a peek at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce events. We’re visiting all of our member gyms under our Happy Healthy Halifax initiative. This is an opportunity for members to try out different workouts and gyms throughout our city. It’s a free, non-intimidating, way to find the right workout for you. We have been using the hashtag #HappyHealthyHalifax on social media. Follow us and add your own journey!