How To Create A Healthy Routine You Actually Stick To

photo: Young Frankk

Do you ever just look at how far you’ve come and think, ‘Woah, when did I become an adult?’. A few years ago, I knew nothing about myself, what my body needed or even how to dress. Because those are the things you’re never really taught. I mean how nice would it be to have classes on how to be an adult? Am I right? I had to learn by growing and trying new things, and now, some years later, I can finally say I am a healthy and happy girl.

The first step to that perfect go-getter life, a great work/life balance, a busy social life, and happiness, is actually taking care of yourself. Once I learned that everything else fell into place. I know it can be difficult to build a healthy routine you actually want to stick to, so this is how I’ve managed to do it.

1. Set your expectations 

You’re not going to wake up tomorrow and swear off every food you love. There are some girls out there who can confidently say they haven’t had fries in years, good for them, but that’s just not me. I would become depressed if I told myself I was never allowed to enjoy a chocolate brownie or drink with my friends. So I knew I couldn’t go cold turkey, I just had to change some things.

First, I swapped full fat fizzy drinks for the 0 calorie versions. Just a simple change already cuts so many extra calories out of your diet and is a healthier change. The best thing, obviously, would be to cut them out altogether – but I know myself, so baby steps.

2. Commit to just one thing a week 

Exercising is tough, walking is easy. I started off by committing to walking home every night, even when it rained. I stuck to it by calling my friends, my sisters, anyone who I knew would answer and take my mind off the long walk.

Then I amped it up, committing to one workout session a week. It’s one hour of my life, and so far, I haven’t missed one session. I go because my friends are there, too. Even though I don’t always want to, once I get there, and start moving, I feel better. I feel less stressed, I feel lighter, and now I’m amping it up to three days a week.

3. Empower yourself

With great power comes great responsibility. Being healthy is a responsible choice for your body and mind, and it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. That was my biggest fear, that I’d lose all the things I loved – and I know when I talk to other girls in the office, they worry too, that they enjoy food too much, that they like a cocktail, that they don’t really want to workout after work. That was me, in fact, that’s all of us! Just prepare yourself, and empower yourself. A mindset change makes all the difference, seriously.

Tell yourself first that you’ll let yourself have what you want on the weekend (within reason) and also, don’t doubt yourself. You are strong and pretty damn awesome, you can do anything you put your mind to!

4. Log your results 

The easiest way to create a healthier routine is to just meal prep. Make your morning smoothies in the evening, chop your salads, grill your chicken. Make sure that you don’t bring any unhealthy snacks to work. Pick soups, breakfast bars, low-calorie fizzy drinks, you’ll avoid the temptation to eat badly. Trust me, this is the longest I’ve ever stuck with anything and I’m going to carry on just based on the results alone. Take a photo of week one and every week after that.

People who see you every day won’t notice it straight away, but you’ll know. I knew because my jeans stopped fitting me and my rings started to fall off my fingers. But it’s more than that, you suddenly feel stronger, you know what your body can do, you want to push it harder, treat it better, and keep going. That’s how you stick at it!

Do you ever just look at how far you’ve come and think, ‘Woah, when did I become an adult?’. A few years ago, I knew nothing about myself, what my body needed or even how to dress. Because those are the things you’re never really taught. I mean how nice would it be to have classes on how to be an adult? Am I right? I had to learn by growing and trying new things, and now, some years later, I can finally say I am a healthy and happy girl.

The first step to that perfect go-getter life, a great work/life balance, a busy social life, and happiness, is actually taking care of yourself. Once I learned that everything else fell into place. I know it can be difficult to build a healthy routine you actually want to stick to, so this is how I’ve managed to do it.

1. Set your expectations 

You’re not going to wake up tomorrow and swear off every food you love. There are some girls out there who can confidently say they haven’t had fries in years, good for them, but that’s just not me. I would become depressed if I told myself I was never allowed to enjoy a chocolate brownie or drink with my friends. So I knew I couldn’t go cold turkey, I just had to change some things.

First, I swapped full fat fizzy drinks for the 0 calorie versions. Just a simple change already cuts so many extra calories out of your diet and is a healthier change. The best thing, obviously, would be to cut them out altogether – but I know myself, so baby steps.

2. Commit to just one thing a week 

Exercising is tough, walking is easy. I started off by committing to walking home every night, even when it rained. I stuck to it by calling my friends, my sisters, anyone who I knew would answer and take my mind off the long walk.

Then I amped it up, committing to one workout session a week. It’s one hour of my life, and so far, I haven’t missed one session. I go because my friends are there, too. Even though I don’t always want to, once I get there, and start moving, I feel better. I feel less stressed, I feel lighter, and now I’m amping it up to three days a week.

3. Empower yourself

With great power comes great responsibility. Being healthy is a responsible choice for your body and mind, and it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. That was my biggest fear, that I’d lose all the things I loved – and I know when I talk to other girls in the office, they worry too, that they enjoy food too much, that they like a cocktail, that they don’t really want to workout after work. That was me, in fact, that’s all of us! Just prepare yourself, and empower yourself. A mindset change makes all the difference, seriously.

Tell yourself first that you’ll let yourself have what you want on the weekend (within reason) and also, don’t doubt yourself. You are strong and pretty damn awesome, you can do anything you put your mind to!

4. Log your results 

The easiest way to create a healthier routine is to just meal prep. Make your morning smoothies in the evening, chop your salads, grill your chicken. Make sure that you don’t bring any unhealthy snacks to work. Pick soups, breakfast bars, low-calorie fizzy drinks, you’ll avoid the temptation to eat badly. Trust me, this is the longest I’ve ever stuck with anything and I’m going to carry on just based on the results alone. Take a photo of week one and every week after that.

People who see you every day won’t notice it straight away, but you’ll know. I knew because my jeans stopped fitting me and my rings started to fall off my fingers. But it’s more than that, you suddenly feel stronger, you know what your body can do, you want to push it harder, treat it better, and keep going. That’s how you stick at it!