Summer never seems to last long enough.
Gone are the lazy “dog days,” to be replaced with the busy Back to School season.
September has been called the “other” January, because for many people, especially those with children in school, this marks a beginning, much like the first of the year.
Routines change with the school year. As we work to get kids into a regular schedule of school, homework and bedtime, this is a good time for adults to establish consistency as well.
Here are a few suggestions for a successful start to the new “school” year.
- Create a workout schedule. In order to make sure we get our exercise in, we have to plan it and commit to it. This means knowing what you will do and when, and putting it on your calendar. It could be an hour at the gym, or a scheduled class or training session. Even if it is a DVD at home, block it out and be sure you keep that appointment with yourself.
- Make a meal plan. When we leave things to chance we typically end up doing whatever is most convenient. With eating that often means less-than ideal choices. At the end of a long day you’re tired and hungry and out of willpower. If you already have something healthy at the ready, you won’t order a pizza. Lay out your week and plan all your healthy meals. Do as much prep work as possible on the weekends so you don’t have to think much during the work week.
- Keep a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule. Research shows going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) goes a long way towards helping us feel rested and refreshed. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Put the phone away and hour before bed and turn off the TV when it is time to sleep. Similarly, set that alarm for when you’re actually going to get up and do not hit snooze. You might be surprised how much better you feel.
- Set a small goal. The shift in the seasons is a great time for something new, and setting a goal can help you stay motivated. We have plenty of time before Winter and the holiday season hits, and by then you’re going to have a much harder time getting going. Start now by choosing a way to challenge yourself. It could be signing up for a race, setting a weight loss goal or doing a Whole 30. Whatever it is, make it measurable and achievable. That little goal can get you through the days when you just don’t feel like it.
As hard as it is seeing Summer end, there are some exciting things about Fall. Now’s your chance to make it your “other” January and go Back to School for your health and fitness.
Don’t wait for January to commit to healthier habits and a consistent routine. You’ll be glad you did!