By Kenda Mullert
Getting healthy doesn’t have to cost money. Every working mom knows that there isn’t a secret stash of money to frequently spend on health food and the next network marketing solution. So I have five free ways to improve health immediately without spending a dime.
1. Write down ONE way you will be healthy this week.
Research says that if you write down your goals, you are 300% more likely to follow through and meet them. A lot of times we have great ideas and intentions to be healthy, but most of the time they don’t always happen. So right now, take out a notecard and write down one way you will be healthy this week.
Need ideas? Here are a few of mine:
- Always have a vegetable at dinner.
- Go to bed before 11 p.m. (no matter what).
- Bring my water bottle with me to work.
2. Pack a lunch you’re excited about.
I work with a lot of women who come to me to lose weight and one of the very first questions I ask them is “How many times do they eat out vs cook/prepare their own meals?” I don’t know if you would be surprised to learn that well over 90% of my clients eat out at lunch every day. The fastest way to lose weight and get healthy is to eat your own food.
I pack my lunch the same time I prepare dinner because it’s easier for me since I am in the mindset of preparing. Don’t pack leftovers if your dinner tasted awful and you didn’t like it. Putting forth effort to be healthy shouldn’t be rewarded with a meal that you didn’t enjoy. You need to look forward to your meal because you know it’s going to taste delicious!
3. Find accountability with a colleague at work.
Unless you are the only woman at your job, I could almost guarantee another female colleague would like to be held accountable to being healthy just like you would. Of course, we all have different ideas of what being healthy looks like—maybe you colleague is older and doesn’t want to exercise, but maybe she would appreciate a friendly conversation over lunch every week. (Example: You have to bring your healthy lunch because you have a planned date.) You’ll have to be brave and initiate the conversation, but I could almost bet that another woman is in your office trying to be healthy too. We all need someone to help keep us accountable! I’d take you up on it in a heartbeat if you were at my work.
4. Sit down at the end of the night.
I have a routine every night that usually includes cleaning the dishes or stuffing laundry into the corner of my room with a few other (what feels like) hundred tasks. But if we were to recognize that not everything we do between bedtime routine and our own collapse into our beds has to be done—I wonder if we would feel a little more rested or less-stressed in our body. Take 10 minutes (set a timer if you need it) and sit down on the couch. Ask your significant other to join you and have an adult conversation (bonus points if you aren’t planning tomorrow or talking schedule)
5. Change your clothes before you leave the office.
My personal fave—nothing makes me feel more relaxed and “me” than a t-shirt and a fleece. (cue yoga pants too!). I find that when I have separated myself from my working mom mode to my mom/wife mode, I am a lot more relaxed and realistic on how the evening is supposed to flow. What would our first interaction be with our kids or spouse if we were already not in “working mom” mode but rather “you” mode. I find that I am more friendly with my kids’ teachers, I don’t feel so grumpy when I think about dinner, and how I forgot to defrost the meat. It’s like I leave my work life behind and enter into the world that I love and find most rewarding.
So tell me—which of these free ways to improve health do you think you’ll try first?
I’d love to hear. And if you have any others to suggest, post them below, too!
Kenda Mullert is a working mom who helps women believe they are worth the effort to be healthy. She blogs at The Healthy Confident Woman. Read her previous WMAG post about how to believe you’re worth the effort to be healthy.