Set yourself up for success. How? Structure and strategies.

Firstly, use the seasons to stop, reflect and set new goals. I will even do this monthly, and in fact, tract my notes in a repeated calendar entry in my GMail. I live off my calendar, so this is effective for me. The question is, “What will work best for you?”

The bellow tips may seem like common sense, but they are proven effective and I recommend highlighting a few you can adopt.

Strategies for Success for Exercise:
  • Set out your workout clothes the night before the morning you want to exercise.
  • Join a membership where you have to use or lose your class pass. Shoutout to Orange Theory Fitness! I use the Mind Body App and sign up for a class the day before, and rarely do I miss. I do not throw money around, but I do believe that “throwing money at a challenge,” can work. Would this motivate you?
  • Make it an effort to walk for 10 minutes after your largest meal of the day. Ideally, dinner, where we are unwinding from the day and can tend to reach for second servings or sweets to fill the void of being spread thin.
  • Each weekend, plot your exercise sessions for the week ahead for >3 of the 7 days. Note this in your calendar and honor it like you would a true appointment or meeting.
Strategies for Success for Food:
  • Make healthy eating the obvious choice.
  • Don’t obsess about calories in your diet – strive for a colorful diet, using hunger as your most powerful tool of how much to eat.
  • Eat fermented foods daily.
  • Download an app to track a grocery list on your phone. We often can leave our grocery notepad at home, but rarely leave our phone behind. Efficiency is crucial for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Pack a lunch or prep breakfast when you are making dinners. I will do this by using dinner leftovers for lunches, or I will make “KSW Breakfast Muffins,” along with dinner if the oven is in use.
  • When the oven is on, make use of it entirely. I find when I am baking something for dinner, I will make sure to use all 3 racks, filling baking sheets with a drizzle of avocado oil and vegetables (frozen or fresh). With plenty of vegetables ready to eat, it makes healthier options an obvious choice.
  • Make your shopping cart resemble your plate. Aim for at least half of the cart to be fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen).
  • Review and assess how certain foods and meals make you feel by keeping a log on your phone. I use Evernote and my Notepad.
  • Remove foods from your house that challenge your end goal. When you control what you have in the house, you will be less tempted to make a grocery run in the evening. I am looking at you peanut butter.
  • Position the healthiest food options at eye level in the refrigerator.
  • Keep most if not all counters clear of food.
  • Tuck sweets and treats behind containers or above arm level in the pantry. Just having to take another step can help you think twice about whether or not your body is physically hungry and needs food.
  • Don’t ever eat from a package. Put the food on a plate/bowl.
  • Use 8 inch plates for meals. We eat with our eyes along with our stomach and if our plate looks empty, our mind will follow.
Strategies for Success for Wellness:
  • Have a large bottle of water on your nightstand and drink it upon waking. Aim for 20 ounces first thing.
  • Practice intermittent fasting (13 hours of fasting from dinner to breakfast). It is good for digestion, syncing your circadian rhythms and prevents night eating. I use the app “Zero,” for tracking.
  • Get 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight daily. This can help improve melatonin later in the day, improving sleep quality.
  • Remove perfumes in your life: dish soap, laundry detergent, hand soap, etc. I might as well mention artificial colors here too. Don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put in your body. I shop online at Thrive Market for a lot of my body products and pantry staples.
  • Drink half your weight in ounces and write this goal down in a planner and cross it off when you hit your goal intake.
  • Set boundaries for self-care. Do something for yourself daily (give yourself a facial, bath, enjoyable walk in nature, carve out time to read a book, etc) and plan something more of a splurge monthly.
  • Set boundaries for high quality and quantity of sleep. Avoid blue light/tech hours leading up to bed and have a bedtime.
  • Organize a morning routine; large or small.
  • Have an intention for the day. I use an app called “Affirmations.”
  • Make yourself uncomfortable to grow into the person you want to be. Our happiness allows us to be at our peak wellness.
  • Read, read some more and then some more.
  • Feed your brain with adventure and trying new things.
Strategies for Success for Diabetes:
  • Ground yourself so you can tap into your intuition to understand what your body tolerates (food/gut health) and what it needs (water, rest, sunshine, food).
  • Have routines and protocols. For example, I correct my lows with the same thing every time – and I have a meal I resort to when my blood sugar is being sticky and high.
  • Get the rest your body needs – prioritize sleep.
  • Hydrate first thing in the morning, until late afternoon. Have a water bottle on you at all times.
  • Take high-quality supplements. We are at a disadvantage of managing a chronic disease and our bodies’ can truly benefit from specific supplements.
  • Create a team to help you understand your diabetes and health needs. This can include being part of a type 1 community, your endo, CDE, etc.