Have you ever heard that one of the best time management tips is to say No often? It’s true. We are all good at saying yes, but saying No is almost an art form. Saying No can free up your time so you can spend it on your most important priorities. For example, say no to checking your email every time a new email hits your inbox. Say no to distractions and interruptions. Say no to tasks that are low priority. You get the picture. Each time you say no, you are saying yes to something more important to you.
Well, when it comes to your healthy lifestyle, there’s a similar concept—and it’s your “Stop Doing” list. Sometimes it’s not what you are doing that’s holding you back from your health and fitness goals, it’s what you should stop doing! Here are seven things to stop doing to be healthy and feel better today.
1. Stop doing the same old thing if it isn’t working
If you are eating the same things week to week and doing the same workouts but not losing any weight, stop doing it! I’m sure you have heard many times that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, so stop it! Evaluate what you think you might be doing wrong and change it! Mix up your routine. Try different workouts. Vary your intensity. Eat different foods and smaller portions.
2. Stop keeping your intensity the same.
If you go out every day for a leisurely walk and that’s the only form of exercise you do, you need to take the intensity up once in a while.You can’t expect to lose weight or increase your level of fitness if you don’t dial up the intensity. The same is true on the flip side. If all you do is high intensity, you may be overtraining. Stop keeping your intensity the same. Do intervals for a cardio session. Do circuits with weights and cardio combined. Change the incline or speed regularly on your treadmill and get your heart rate up, burn calories and sweat a little!
3. Stop skipping your greens.
Spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, swiss chard, mustard greens and broccoli are all super foods that are extremely good for you. So why stop yourself from eating them? Eat your greens because they are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals that can protect your heart and may help prevent against cancer. You may be surprised at how your energy levels change and your digestive system gets back on track. Who knew eating food could fix these things?
4. Stop restarting and just keep going.
Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anybody else! Many people who are battling to lose weight get all revved up to start a new program and they go all in—they toss out their sweets and chips, stock their fridges with healthy foods, resolve to hit the gym daily and write down everything they eat in a food journal. They say, “This time I will do it.” The only problem? When everything doesn’t go as perfectly as they plan, they give up altogether and sink back into unhealthy habits. Does this sound like you? Stop restarting your plan to lose weight with radical declarations and overnight behavior change and just start living a healthier life instead. Make small changes day by day instead of resolving one day to be perfect. Letting yourself be human will help you succeed.
5. Stop stressing.
Easier said than done, right? A little bit of stress is fine—we are wired for it. But too much stress can cause you to abandon your workouts, lose sleep that’s critical for your health, lower your immunity, and negatively impact your health. Too much stress isn’t good for you. Oprah has a great quote about stress: “We create stress for ourselves because you feel like you have to do it. I don’t feel like that anymore.” Imagine if you could just decide to calm down? You can probably handle everything that’s on your plate better with a cool head anyway. Practice deciding not to be stressed out. Create a mantra if it helps you: This too shall pass. Or, I can handle it. Or, If it doesn’t kill me it will make me stronger.
6. Stop avoiding strength training.
You don’t need a home gym to build muscle; there are many resistance training exercises you can do with your own body weight and tons of online workouts you can stream. Try push-ups, planks and squats to get started. When you see the new muscle you develop, you may want to try out a set of free weights or some of the strength training machines at your local gym. Whatever works for you—just stop pretending you don’t need strength training. If you want to retain muscle as you age and boost your metabolism, you need it!
7. Stop making your own mind a hostile place to live.
Quick: is living inside your head a friendly place? Would you want me to hear the thoughts you play in your mind? If you are going to be successful in achieving your fitness goals you have to first be on your own side. How do you do that? Start by liking yourself in your own head. Stop telling yourself things that are unkind. Praise yourself. Use positive words and encouragement. Stop beating yourself up with guilt if you overindulge one day and just make a different decision the next day. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you stop fighting against yourself and get on your own side.
What are you currently doing that you should stop doing? Make your own Stop Doing list today!