Starting a challenge means there is one first official day we all swore we would start anew and finally be the person we’ve always wanted to be.
But that doesn’t mean that starting today we’re eating an extreme diet and doing high-intensity interval training an hour each day—it means we set small, realistic goals for ourselves in every area of our life that we would like to improve.
In 90-days, you will have changed for the better just by taking the time to take care of yourself.
The hardest part of any lifestyle change is knowing when and how to start—and that’s where we come in.
Please keep in mind—we are in no way healthcare professionals. We are just a group of women who are dedicated to fitness, nutrition, organization and taking care of mental health in our daily lives who are looking to share our experiences with others. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult a doctor or other medical professional beforehand if needed.
Using the guide below, grab a notebook (or bullet journal) and outline the areas you would like to make some changes in your life.
Do I take enough time for myself and treat myself to fun things within reason?
Do I regularly take time for self-care?
Do I deal with any chronic illness (mental or physical) that I need to keep in mind during this challenge?
Do I need to consider therapy as a healthy means of coping?
How can I better keep my life together?
Do I use some sort of planner or journal?
Is my house in desperate need of organization?
Do I need to schedule time for daily and weekly chores?
Do I eat a clean, balanced diet?
Do I skip eating breakfast because I am too busy?
Do I eat out too much, or rely on fast food options too frequently?
Do I need to focus on drinking water?
Do I need to consult my physician about any food sensitivities or allergies I may have?
Should I be eating more vegetables and fruits?
Should I be eating less meat and dairy?
How often am I active?
What are the physical activities I actually enjoy?
Can I afford a gym membership, or should I get some inexpensive equipment for home?
What are my weight and measurement goals?
Again, use these questions for reference, but feel free to add anything else you would like to work on, whether it is talking to your mom on the phone more, getting out of an unhealthy relationship, completing a no-spend challenge or budget, you name it.
Feeling totally stuck? Here’s the challenge guidelines I have created for myself for the next 90 days.
First off, let me say I am a health nut. I am. I love diet and nutrition, and yoga. I have a love/hate relationship with the gym, and after switching careers and moving recently, I have fallen off the fitness wagon and will be using this challenge to reset my habits, and hopefully shed a few pounds.
I currently weigh the heaviest I have ever been, which in retrospect is still a healthy weight for myself. But the extra pounds are from excess water weight, an excess of salt and processed foods in my diet, and more. I have no energy, I have constant headaches, and I rely on coffee too much. I constantly pile too much on my plate and then end up pulling all-nighters to complete work tasks when I already spend 60 hours a week running my four businesses. I take care of others more than I take care of myself, and I need to refocus my goals on myself.
It’s time to take my life back—and I’m sure that is a sentiment you can relate. And this isn’t an attack on body positivity; rather, it’s an attack on me becoming complacent in unhealthy habits that I am sure you can relate to as well. We work constantly, we care for others constantly, and we struggle to find time for ourselves.
So, my main goals for this challenge will be to get healthier overall and fall into better habits.
- I’ll be using a bullet journal to track my progress all the way until Thursday, February 13th, 2020. I’ll be tracking my measurements, weight, mood, dietary and water log, and writing my mood down daily.
- I’ll be using an Apple Watch to track my exercise, a Fitiindex scale to track my measurements and weight, my Hydroflask to track my water, and our printable to track my overall progress.
- I will be better about scheduling my time and working during the actual workday so I can use my time in the morning and night for myself. And I will create a cleaning schedule for myself….including tackling my dreaded car mess. I have a pretty strict morning routine, but lately I have been sleeping in later and later.
- I will be regulating my sleep schedule and creating a strict bedtime for myself. I often have a habit of falling asleep at 11-1am and waking up at 6am, and that is simply not enough sleep to be healthy.
- I will be sticking to a strict whole foods, plant-based diet. No gluten, no animal products, no processed sugars, no alcohol, and limiting my caffeine intake. I am vegan, but I rely too much on processed foods and unhealthy carbs.
- I will be limiting my coffee drinking to one cup of coffee daily and will be switching out my morning pot of coffee with a morning matcha latte or smoothie.
- I will be drinking 100oz of water daily, as I typically do not drink any water throughout the day. My recommended daily water intake is around 80oz, so the extra 20oz will aid in hydration during my workouts. I use a 40oz hydro flask which I will carry with me so I can avoid using single-use plastics and bottles.
- I will be switching all my makeup and skincare products over to all-natural versions, as I am dealing with some eczema and hormonal acne for the past six months.
- I will be eating smaller meals more frequently, and focusing on packing a lunch rather than eating out every day (no more ordering pizza for dinner!)
- I will be posting daily on the Better Change Project Instagram to track my progress, share some tips, and more. (check out our Instagram challenge below!)
- I will be working out with a friend in the gym 4 times a week and doing a fun activity on a weekend morning such as hiking, yoga, taking a cycle class, or taking my dog for a long walk in our historic district.
- Monday: Total Body Workout
- Tuesday: Upper Body and Back
- Wednesday: Abs and Obliques
- Thursday: Lower Body
- Friday: Rest Day
- Saturday: Cardio and Hiking/Yoga/Cycle Class/Etc
- Sunday: Rest Day with a Long Walk
- I will regulate my stress more and will focus on walking or being active rather than sleeping whenever I feel stressed as was always my default.
- I will focus on being happier with who I am, no matter how hard that is sometimes. If you are struggling with mental health, check out some of our resources here or consult a professional.
- I will be setting small reward goals to help keep myself motivated—they will not relate to food, as food should never be a motivator.
With that being said, here is my plan for the week:
- Use the next three days as a diet reset, and focus on consuming whole and healthy foods like smoothies, gut healing soups, and roasted veggies.
- I will cook at home this weekend in lieu of eating out.
- I will start going to the gym Saturday morning, and will complete a total body workout that will be easy to easy my way back into a regular workout routine.
- I will clean my car…ugh.
- I will tackle organizing my closet and donate the dozens of items I don’t wear in the hopes of creating a capsule wardrobe. Who needs 15 different comic book t-shirts anyway?
- I will spend more time outside and take my dog on long walks daily.
- I will focus on sleeping more.
- I will regulate my work schedule and create realistic professional goals for myself.
With these goals in mind, I’m ready to start a new chapter of my wellness journey!
It will be a long 90-days, but I am excited to see what the outcome will be.
(h/t Better Change Project)