Stop Saying “I’ll Start Next Monday”

By Patrick Larbi Awuku   Posted on March 26, 2018

How many times have you procrastinated your plans to eat healthily, exercise regularly or said to yourself “I will start next Monday”. Why? Because you will be less busy next week. There is never a perfect time to start right so stop deceiving yourself and start now. Procrastination will only steal your time and later dump you. You need to just grasp on to living a healthier lifestyle and ride with it. Healthy eating is like starting your first apprenticeship, you will go through some hard times in the beginning and you will not be perfect, but you will be learning what works, what does not work, what your largest barriers are, and who you can go to for support. All these are going to make you stronger and focus once you are able to overcome them! Here are few tips to help you get started:

  1. Identify why you have to do what you have to do. Why you want to eat healthily or exercise regularly. Do you want to live a healthier live, lose weight or manage a health condition? Write your reasons down, recite them every morning and put it at places like on your fridge where you will always see it. Remember why you need to be making healthy choices a priority! When you start to get down on yourself, or feel you have failed, this is a crucial time to sit down and reflect on your WHY.
  2. Write down your barriers and deal with them one at a time. For example
    • I don’t get time to exercise due to my busy schedules
    • I don’t have time to prepare breakfast so I end up buying food from the street
    • I become sluggish in the afternoon so I take some bottles of soft drinks

    Start one at a time. If you know for instance breakfast is an issue then tell yourself for next one week you will prepare you’re your breakfast the night before so you don’t end up eating fast foods. This could mean preparing oat, salad or fruit juice and keeping in for the next morning. Left over foods can also be reused the next morning. If you are not able to exercise regularly, tell yourself you will use the stairs ate the workplace instead of the lift. Once you are able to conquer that for one or two straight weeks then focus on the next goal. Many a time we tend to focus on too many things at once which leads us to being overwhelmed and later give up. Give yourself the chance to be successful! Remember living a healthy lifestyle is not an event, there is no endpoint. It is a lifestyle so you have to be doing this for the rest of your life. It will take some time to be used to this lifestyle! Those small changes over time will make a huge difference!

  3. Plan Ahead! Sit down and plan out your week. What you will be using during the week, when you will go for shopping, what you will be cooking from Monday to Sunday, breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks and when you will be exercising. When you plan all these ahead and write them down, you are more likely to stick to them. It will also help decrease stress felt throughout the week when you have to decide what food to eat or drink. Know that stress cause us to make poor choices and most of the time causes us to go for convenient, unhealthy food options. Prevent this by planning and sticking to it.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not happen in a day or week. It doesn’t mean there are no barriers. Failures will come but it's okay! Just focus and get on track when you fall.

Remember, today is the day, NOT next Monday!