10 SIMPLE WAYS TO START YOUR PERSONAL WELLNESS JOURNEY

08/15/2017

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As soon as summer hit, I decided it was time to rethink a couple of things. One: I needed to balance my workload quite a bit (see workaholic) and make more time for things that are important to me. Two: I needed to get healthy—like really, really healthy. I have always been very good at the work hard, play hard mantra, but playing hard often ended in one of two things—eating out at fancy restaurants and eating all the things or one hell of a hangover. My ideal night-off included dinners at fancy restaurants with my girlfriends, and way too much wine, which isn’t the best idea when you have to wake up at 6am to be mom and work all day. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of the above (in moderation, of course), and neither of the two interfered with my daily responsibilities, I kinda felt like shit—physically. Plus, I wasn’t working out or moving my body regularly. I decided that I needed to make some changes. Real changes, not just a temporary fix. Easier said than done, of course, but it definitely CAN be done. That was nearly four months ago and I’m still going strong. Here are ten tips that I have found incredibly helpful on my path to personal wellness.

1. Get more sleep. That’s right! You snooze, you definitely don’t lose! I don’t know about you, but I have never been an early riser or one to wake with the birds. I think I was born a night owl, which often times finds me up late working (or watching reruns of That ’70s Show) until ungodly hours. I started forcing myself to try to be in bed by 10:30 on weeknights. Lately, I’ve been getting to bed a little earlier than that, so I can spend some time reading. It’s a great way to wind down and decompress the stress of the day.

2. Drink more water. You’ve heard it hundreds of times before, and for good reason. Water is vital to a healthy, well functioning body. When we don’t get enough, we become dehydrated, which can effect us in more ways than one. Fill a large water bottle up each morning and keep it by your side all day long. You’ll be surprised how much water you drink when it’s right in front of you. Set a goal! I started with 32 ounces a day and am now getting in right around 64. You will hit up the bathroom much more often, but you’ll be feeling great.

3. Kickstart with a cleanse. I have jumped on and off of the wellness train for more years than I can count. I’ve tried everything from new fad diets to the latest and greatest workout craze. None of them stuck longterm. I started this summer off trying something new after some friends of mine recommended a cleanse from Clean Program and it was incredible and life changing. I can’t recommend it enough.

4. Get active. Move your body. Everyday. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, get that body moving. When I started out, I would get up 30 minutes early each morning and head out the door to run/walk/jog my neighborhood. Then I started adding in workouts I could do at home like Ballet Beautiful and LEKfit. Once I got into a regular routine, I tried a month of local Pure Barre classes and other new ways to work my body, tone, and build muscle. Baby steps are fine, just get moving!

5. Educate. It’s so important to understand why certain things are good for you and why others are not. Of course, the plethora of information out there is endless and a lot of it is based solely on opinion and much of it is false, but so much of it is right. Start small and learn about something that sparks your interest in the wellness world. Fact check and be your own judge. I wanted to know more about adaptogens about a year ago and started researching, trying them out, and deciding for myself if they were for me.

6. Get inspired. When I was in high school, I would tape a photo of Nikki Taylor (really showing my age here, guys!) to the refrigerator in hopes of seeing her supermodel body and refraining from grabbing the box of Hot Pockets from the freezer. Ha! These days I prefer to stay motivated by following inspiring accounts on social media that align with my lifestyle preferences. Healthy eating and wellness feeds help keep me motivated, so I stay on track and don’t get bored.

7. Meal prep. Finding my meal prep routine has been a complete game changer and keeps my eating habits in check, at least most of the time. I spend my Sundays in the kitchen prepping clean foods, so I can throw quick meals together on the fly during busy work days. I just posted a bit about my weekly meal prep routine, here.

8. Get new gear. Whether it’s a new healthy cookbook you’ve been eyeing or the latest color combo of leggings from Outdoor Voices, getting a new little something that can excite you and motivate you towards your goal is 100% encouraged.

9. Setting goals. Mapping out your journey and setting realistic targets and rewards for yourself is a great way to keep your eye on the prize. That may be in the form of a chilled glass of rosé on a weeknight, a new adaptogen from the Moon Pantry (Here’s a code for first-time shoppers), or that brand new pair of sneakers you’ve had your eye on—your prizes are completely up to you. Just make sure you reward or bonus yourself for all of your hard work. I like to set small weekly goals for myself along with bigger, monthly goals. I am still working on my one year goal reward. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but you better believe it’s going to be good.

10. Join forces. It’s so much easier to make healthy choices when you aren’t at it all alone. Bring your partner or friends on board with you for support. Make healthy dinners together and meet for workouts a few times a week. This will not only help hold each other accountable, but it’s way more fun when you have teammates.

Photo above via Outdoor Voices.

14 comments

  • Niken

    I try to fulfill the water quota we need to consume each day. But I’m struggling adjusting back my sleeping schedule. Thank you for this list, James!

  • Malayka

    All great tips!I’ve just been on a similar journey. Now that I’m feeling so much better and so aware of my body I can’t help but think ‘why did I let myself go through life feeling like shit for so long?!’

  • Essi

    The cleansing part is pretty new to me! Must go and research some more about it.. :) Great tips all in all!

  • Sarah

    I think you forgot the Moon Pantry code :(

  • Liza

    Hi James, I’m trying to buy few things at the Moon Juice, and when I follow your link it doesn’t give any promo codes.
    Liza

  • MaKayla

    Loving all of your healthy lifestyle posts recently! Your words have definitely helped to jump-start my fitness journey. It’s tough, and it’s definitely a baby-step, “take it one day at a time” but it’s certainly rewarding already!

  • Gemma

    Excellent tips and motivation!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  • tisha

    I cannot be anymore agree with you. those 10 ways is definitely a way to start! and yep, no 1 and no 2 is the key. I can definitely see changes in a week if I were consistent in sleeping early and drink plenty of water. it also helps with my sinus and headache. whenever my friends and other moms complaining about headache and they sinus flu etc, I always said the best medicine is sleep early and drink plenty of fluid you’ll be fine in just 3 days. and they were like, how?? how to sleep early — mom’s world problem (with small / breastfeeding kids). this, I don’t know how -_-”

  • Kacie

    LOVE. You’re inspiring ME.

  • Andy

    I love this new direction. Would love to see even more posts of your go to meals and even a post of your day on a plate

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  • Tarah

    Been loving your healthy posts and cooking insp lately! I can totally relate on the Nikki Taylor thing, made me laugh, I think she was the reason I plucked out all my eyebrows :( my 13 year old self was obsessed with her

  • Gloria Figueroa

    I’ve been following your Instagram and blog for a few years now and I’ve been loving this wellness journey! I’m only 22 but already I’ve been on the path to a wellness journey myself. I think it’s so important to just listen to your body and to see what works best for you and what doesn’t. Cant wait to see more of these posts! -xoxo Gloria Figueroa

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