By Nika Bosnic, for Summersalt Yoga
With the arrival of summertime (just a few more days until the summer officially begins!) we see different action plans popping up everywhere: diet, fitness detox plans, you name it.
I’ve never really been a fan of such plans because they would normally try to change your habits overnight and all at once. We’ve all done this. Waking up early, doing HIIT in the morning, meditating for 20 minutes, cutting out sugar completely, getting at least 8-hour sleep, etc. Let’s be honest, plan lasted for a week or so before we switched back to our old and not-so-healthy habits.
So sticking to a habit can be difficult and we easily get disrupted because, hey, life keeps piling it on. And yet, for every problem there is a solution and after every failure, there is a success.
So here it is, THE plan that will change your life, turn you into the best version of yourself and leave you more self-confident and glowing inside-out than ever. Well, not really. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to habits and building new habits that will last more than a week (and that’s the goal, right?)takes time and determination. But the results are definitely rewarding.
The list that follows is basically just my favorite tips & tricks that I’ve learned on my way of trying and failing and that will hopefully give you the motivational boost. Please note that everyone is different. No one should follow my choices exactly — you’ve got to figure out what works for you the best but at least now you have certain guidelines that might help you through and make the whole process much easier.
That said, every plan needs RULES. So the rules for the “FEEL GOOD” Summer Action Plan are as follows:
- Each day has a different focus or theme for you to remember and follow it easily.
- It’s a 7-day plan. Wondering why? To focus and devote all your energy on one habit per day and then slowly adding new habits. I suggest to start on Monday (new week – new beginnings) and end on Sunday.
- Write them down. Just telling ourselves, either loud or quietly, that we’re going to change isn’t enough. So I highly recommend to grab a list of paper or your phone and have suggestions written or even to set reminders for what the theme is each day.
- Consistency is the key! Practice, practice, and again…practise. You don’t have to devote several hours a day to practice new habits, You can easily fit them into your usual everyday routine. And remember, if you are consistent, rewards will follow.
OK, so now we have the rules but you probably want to know the seven themes. Here they are, my suggestions to make a difference to your overall wellbeing, in my order of preference (yours of course may be different):
DAY ONE: LEMON to kick-start the day
Start your day with lemon water, apple cider vinegar and warm water- then follow it with another glass of warm water before breakfast (ideally, 10-20 minutes before breakfast).
Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body.
DAY TWO: MINDFUL EATING
Before each meal today, take 5 deep breaths then chew your food well, trying to take in all the flavors. Stop eating when you are full and rather aim to have 3 main meals a day and healthy snacks in-between (such as fruits, nuts, yogurt with chia seeds, little hummus with carrots) if you are too hungry. Also, take time for your meals and don’t have distractions like your phone or the TV around you.
DAY THREE: CUT OFF THE SUGAR
OK, this one is difficult, but you can do it! Try not to have any unnecessary sugar from today until the end of the 7-day Plan. Instead, you can have fruits, dates, a handful of nuts, or some dark chocolate.
DAY FOUR: START MOVING
Challenge yourself by spending at least 30 minutes a day moving.
It can be either a walk in nature, switching your car with a bicycle for a change, trying that new dance class that your friend was telling you about, or trying one of pilates or yoga videos on You Tube. Options are limitless and I am sure each can find something for him/herself. This can be a nice opportunity to find out what really suits you and what not. For instance, Day 4 can be walking, on Day 5 you can add light running, Day 6 can be morning yoga flow and you may end the Plan with Day 7 doing a short strength training (check Nike Training App for ideas).
DAY FIVE: ME-TIME
Take time for yourself and do something you have always wanted to but had too little time. Some suggestions: take a bath, visit old friend, read your favorite book again, indulge yourself with a fancy dinner, plan next trip or yoga retreat 🙂 , whatever makes you happy.
DAY SIX: BEAUTY SLEEP
Strive to have at least 8-hour sleep. Do some stretching and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate with cinnamon or golden turmeric latte before sneaking into bed. Sleep tight!
DAY SEVEN: MIND JOURNAL
Take 5 minutes to write down how you feel after a week of developing the new habits. Was it difficult? Were you consistent? Take an extra 5 minutes to journal your wishes, goals, any thought you might have concerning new habits. Have you learn’t something new about yourself, were you surprised by something? Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, whatever feeling you have is OK. This might help you to set your goals and intentions for the future.
Congratulations, you’ve finished the “FEEL GOOD” Summer Action Plan and you should be very proud of it. It may be a small step toward your goals but you’ve proven yourself that you CAN. Bravo!
It’s up to you to decide how to continue. You can go on practicing the habits you’ve learned during the first week and slowly (once you are ready) adding new habits. It takes time for a habit to become a routine and for a routine to become a lifestyle. But it’s the journey, not the destination that matters!