I was listening to a podcast on productivity this morning on my hike (Here is the link to the podcast if you want to give it a listen!) and I was inspired by at the end, what it all came down to is so basic, yet SO incredibly powerful. There are three things that we all “know” we should do, but hardly any of us actually do them. By introducing these powerful tools in your life you can become highly productive, successful, and achieve everything you set your mind to- but you need to lay the foundation first.
Have you ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
Basically it states that we need to take care of each level before we can fully reach the next step. You must reach your physiological needs before you can work on love and & belonging.
Think of these following as “Tara’s Hierarchy of Health”. These are the basics- the bottom of the pyramid- that once you master, you can do ANYTHING.
I find this idea fascinating because I hear so many excuses in a day. You’re too tired, you don’t have enough time, you don’t know what you do, you can’t find the motivation… If you find that you are reaching roadblocks on the way to a healthy lifestyle- you need to take it back to the basics and get the bottom of your pyramid in order before you can dial everything together. This idea extends to your entire life too- once you have these things mastered- you’ll have more energy, time, focus, happiness, purpose- and no more excuses. After I list our basics I’ll come back to your excuses and tell you WHY mastering the basics will eliminate excuses.
Are you ready?
I can go on and on about sleep and its importance. The fact is, that you cannot function properly and at an optimum level without enough sleep. This is the first thing I recommend examining when aiming for healthier lifestyle. Are you getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep? How can you remedy this?
If you are tired you are automatically going to crave sugar, lack motivation and energy, your workouts will suffer, your mood will not be at it’s best, your productivity will suffer and the list goes on. Who wants to go through their days feeling like a zombie?
Examine your sleep patterns. You want to aim to sleep between 10-6am as this results in optimal REM sleep. If you go to bed at 2am, and wake up at 10am- you aren’t getting your optimal rest and rejuvenation. I understand that many people are night owls so I won’t argue too much on this fact. First step: Ensure you are getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night, and if you still find you are tired throughout the day- then see if you can change your sleep patterns.
Whoa! Bet you didn’t see that one coming…. 😉
Exercise is key for increasing motivation in all aspects of life. When people tell me they don’t have enough time to exercise- I would look at your time management, and how you can condense other activities. In fact- you know when you sometimes put off a project that you had a month to do- and finish it in a single day? The LESS time you dedicate to some things, the FASTER and more focussed you will be. This sounds counterintuitive, but throw some time towards exercise and less time towards your to-do list and you’ll actually get MORE done in the end.
The fact is, I do not care who you are or what your job is- there is a way to fit in exercise, period. If you want to feel better, look better, have more energy, look younger, increase stamina, focus and memory; then you will make time. If you are constantly using some sort of excuse then it is just not important enough to you- and it should be! Taking the time to exercise does not take AWAY from everything else in your day. It actually INCREASES the amount you can get done, it helps with studying, memory, learning and increases mood and overall wellness. Instead of looking at it as taking up time in your day- consider it something that is going to boost your entire day into a mode where you can get more done and also feel better while you do it.
3.) Eat Well.
Duh! We all know it. YOU CANNOT BE YOUR BEST SELF WHEN YOU ARE FEEDING YOUR BODY CRAP.
Your body is made up of the foods you eat, your energy and brain power comes from the food you eat. Why do you fill it with processed ingredients, chemicals and things that are going to make you tired, sluggish, overweight and unhealthy?
If you want to have even MORE energy to get things done, feel amazing, sleep well, and look your best- you need to take a good hard look at what you are eating. I know nutrition can be a hard topic for a lot of people so here is the easiest way to improve it:
-Drink LOTS of water
-Eat whole foods (nothing from a package, can, pre-made, microwaveable)
-Learn to cook
-Avoid the sugar, fast food, restaurant meals, and all the grab and go. Cook with whole foods and make your own meals and it doesn’t need to be complicated. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.
There you have it! The BASICS that will truly change your life when you apply them day in and day out.
So now I’m going take all the excuses I hear and let you know how once you apply the basics- these excuses disappear.
#1: “I don’t have time to eat healthy & workout”
This comes down to a) increasing your energy and your productivity so you can get more done in a day, b) time management, and c) motivation. Guess what! When you are getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising – all of these things are going to take care of themselves. You need to schedule the time. Cut out Netflix. Take a look at your days. If you had an absolute emergency and needed to do something for someone you would make time for it somehow, someway. Consider your health an emergency! Make time to make habits, to create the snowball effect that the basics will bring.
#2: I have kids and… insert reason here
I know plenty of people with children that still manage to eat healthy and exercise. My best friend has her 4th on the way and she still managed to exercise, work, eat Whole 30 and be an amazing supermom prior to pregnancy (and whilst pregnant). She would work out during nap-time, or early in the morning- she would spend the time preparing fresh healthy foods to fuel her and her children because she understands how vital it is. That was a priority for her and it can be a priority for you too. Now, sleep- I totally get and understand that once you have kids there is not a lot you can do about the sleep situation. So this is where Exercise and Eat Well take on ALL of the importance! You are going to have to do the best you can with sleep when you have children and I don’t think I know a single mother that gets 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Do your best, and put your focus into nutrition and exercise!
#3: I hate exercise
You haven’t found the right type of exercise for you, OR you haven’t given it enough of a chance to really feel the benefits. Once you get that feeling and endorphins- you would never stop exercising! You need to create the habit, seek the benefits- and then exercise will never again feel like a chore, but a blessing.
#4: I’m too stressed, and or I don’t have support
If you are too stressed, this means you NEED to take care of yourself better. Exercising reduces stress, as does eating well and sleep. These are just the basics for creating a more calm and fulfilling life! If you are feeling stressed- chances are you are missing one of the basics. Regarding support- yeah it’s great, but you need to do this for YOU. You cannot be your best possible mom, business person, teacher, leader without taking care of these basics. You have the potential for so much more once you combine these three things all together. So, despite having support or not- you need to dig deep and do this for yourself. You can do it, trust me.
You can have results, or you can have excuses- you choose! People who are successful in their health and weight loss journey ditch the excuses and find ways to make it happen. So which one do you want to be?
I hope you found this blog post helpful and motivating! Thanks for reading 🙂