Simple Health and Fitness Goals – Getting started

The idea of getting fitter or leading a more healthy lifestyle can often feel overwhelming and leave us not knowing where to start. The feeling that we have to make huge changes or set life-changing goals can be so intimidating that we end up doing nothing. It really is true that getting started is the hardest part of any task and so by starting with some simple, easily achievable mini-goals you can build momentum and confidence in yourself whilst getting started on your journey to a fitter, healthier, happier you. Try out some of the ideas below – you could try one a day for a month or choose a couple a week. Set a target that feels manageable for you and let’s get started.

1. Drink up! Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water today. Draw some cups or circles on a sheet of paper and tick each one off as you go. 2. Get outdoors! Set aside time to spend at least 15 minutes outdoors today either exercising or just sitting. If you can catch the sun whilst it’s out you get extra points for this one!3. Cook from scratch. Make or plan a meal using fresh ingredients and plenty of fruit and/or vegetables.4. Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV, your phone and any other distractions. Sit and enjoy a meal alone or with others without external input. 5. Set an alarm to make sure you get up and move for every hour you’re sat down. Walk around or do some stretches to get your body moving and reduce sedentary time.6. Try something new – Add a fruit, vegetable or other healthy ingredient to your shopping list that you don’t normally buy and try something different!
7. Wake up gently – Set your alarm for at least 10 minutes earlier than usual and take time to start the day slowly. Stretch, go outside or just savour your morning brew.8. Find your ‘flow’ – Do something today that engrosses you so much that you forget to look at the clock or other distractions. Try drawing, a jigsaw, sudoku or even cleaning. Set a timer for at least 30 minutes and tune out.9. Sit to stand – Every time you stand up today (from a chair, the toilet, out of the car etc) do this 10 times! Work those leg muscles and get your heart rate up a little. 10. Every minute counts – Use those moments in your day that may be ‘lost time’ such as waiting for the kettle or microwave or ad breaks in a TV show to move around or exercise on the spot.11. Create a bedtime routine – Choose some relaxing rituals such as deep breathing, reading, a bath or shower, listening to calming music or tidying your space ready for the next day to signal to your brain that it’s time to unwind. 12. Put on your favourite music and sing or dance your heart out like nobody is listening/watching! Have fun! If you have someone willing to watch, listen or even join in then even better!
13. Use airplane mode – If it’s safe to do so, go out somewhere without your phone. Alternatively, switch it off and put it out of sight whilst you go about your life for as long as you can. Practise being present without interruptions. 14. Call, text or visit a loved one. This could be somebody you see often and love or somebody you may have been meaning to check in with for a while. Connection is key to our mental wellbeing.15. Create a weekly meal plan. If this feels too much then just do it for one meal eg breakfasts. This can help us stick to healthier choices and prevent food waste.16. Write it out. If you’ve got things on your mind that seem to keep whirling around, try writing them down on paper. Sometimes just seeing them on the page can ease the burden in our minds and help us to regain perspective.17. Pay someone a genuine compliment. It could be their clothing, a quality they have that you admire, a piece of work they produced or anything at all but spreading joy makes the giver and the receiver feel great. Win win!18. Do some meal prep – If you’re going to be busy or find yourself reaching for ‘convenience food’ often, try cooking too much of a healthy meal and freezing it or saving it for later in the week.
19. Laugh it off! Health and wellbeing isn’t all about nutrients and getting sweaty. Watch your favourite comedy, reminisce with a friend or family member or get a young child to tell you jokes. Laughter really is great medicine.20. Tackle your to do list – If there are any jobs you’ve been putting off, commit to getting one done today. It could be a phone call you need to make, a drawer you need to tidy, a book you’ve wanted to finish or anything else but a sense of achievement can boost our confidence and self esteem.21. Grow your gratitude – Whilst we can always find challenges and worries in life, it’s important not to allow these to take over. Write down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for today such as a friend or family member, fresh water, getting outdoors or your kind nature. 22. Plan your day – Try and allocate time slots to do certain things throughout your day. This can help to give us a sense of control and avoid mindlessly wasting time or getting distracted and also helps us to realise how much we can realistically get done. Some things can always wait until tomorrow. 23. Get some help – If there’s something specific you’re struggling with such as healthy eating, fitness, motivation, organising your finances or anything else – there is always help available. A simple google search may provide you with resources you never knew existed. We’re not supposed to be able to do everything alone.24. Treat yourself – Even on days where you’re being hard on yourself for something you did or didn’t do or the way you feel or act, you are worthy of love and care and are just trying your best. Give yourself a break and relax, have some fun, buy yourself a small treat or pamper yourself. Whatever floats your boat!
25. Try some new moves – Whether it’s dancing, trampolining, yoga, spinning, skipping, a weights workout or anything else. Get out of your comfort zone with a class or at home option. You never know you might enjoy it and your body will love the variety.26. Learn a new skill – This doesn’t have to be a physical one. It could be a language, trying a new recipe or playing a different board game. Routine can be good for us but it’s healthy to challenge our body and brain every so often! 27. Attend your health checks! Another crucial part of our health and wellbeing is keeping on top of any dental or medical routine check ups or seeking advice about any issues (however minor they may seem) that may have been bothering us. Chase up or book in any you may have been waiting on.28. Watch your language – How we speak to ourselves and others affects our mental and physical health. Try spending a day without complaining or speaking negatively to yourself or others. Try and put a positive spin on everything and make it a game. It can always be done but it takes practice!29. Create your own circuit. If you don’t have access to fitness facilities or equipment, create your own workout at home using body weight, stairs or household items such as tins of food or a rucksack full of books. Consistency is key and it’s important to make your workouts for around your lifestyle.30. Spread joy that lasts – Make sure you have things around your home or workspace that will help to keep you in a positive mindset. This could be your favourite motivational quotes, pictures of loved ones or reminders of something you’re looking forward to such as a weekend away or seeing a friend. Even on the not so great days it’s important to find reasons to smile 🙂

I hope this blog has given you a few ideas of some simple steps you can take to begin to improve all aspects of your health and wellbeing that you can easily get started on today! Thanks for reading and let me know how oyu get on or if you have any questions!

Bev Meakin – Personal Trainer/ Exercise Referral Officer and Complementary Therapist. Instagram @bevs_life