My thoughts on creating healthy habits for the new year were sponsored by Bulletproof, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Can you believe it’s already the third week of January?

I’ve noticed that quite a few people are in a slump as of late. It’s a tough time of year, and scientists have even claimed that the third Monday of every January is the most depressing day of the year, earning it the title “Blue Monday”.

As post-holiday credit card bills roll in, the holiday high wears off, and people realize they stuck to their super ambitious New Year’s Resolutions for precisely one day, we’re all apparently clouded by feelings of sadness and disappointment on this bummer of a day. Add in the fact that He Who Shall Not Be Named is about to take on a very important role in that country south of our border, and you’ve got a week that started off on a pretty glum note.

But oddly enough, I’m feeling pretty fan-freaking-tastic today.

You see, I didn’t do the whole goal-setting thing this year. I spent a lot of time being quiet, a lot of time writing, and a lot of time working my way through Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. And it reminded me of what’s most important to me:

Feeling good.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t believe every single day has to be all unicorns and rainbows. I know for a fact I’m not going to be cheery and chipper every minute of every day, and I know that, sometimes, things are going to feel hard, uncomfortable, and scary.

It’s just a part of life. But I’ve decided that it’s time for me to take responsibility for my health again, and I’m committing to feeling good.

The Goal is to Feel Good

I’m on a quest to feel good. Actually, scratch that. Amazing. Why? To put it simply, because I’m tired of feeling crappy.

I’m tired of feeling exhausted and burned out. I hate having to drag myself out of bed at 5:15 for my morning clients despite being in bed by 9:15 the night before. I’m sick of feeling moody, depressed, and hormonal.

I had a real wake up call when I did the Wild Rose Cleanse back in November. I always struggle to get up for my early morning clients, but I just figured it was because 5:15am wasn’t my body’s natural set point. But during those 12 days of the cleanse, 5:15am wake-ups weren’t an issue. I didn’t put two and two together until I went back to my normal eating habits and started having more difficulty waking up in the morning again.

Bummer, right?

And while I don’t think I’ve hit the point of adrenal fatigue yet, I’d much prefer to take a proactive than a reactive approach by taking proper care of my body before I have to take more drastic measures. So I did what I encourage my clients to do, and I took an inventory of all of my healthy habits that could use a little TLC. It was a fairly lengthy list.

Once you’ve got that list, you have a few choices:

A) You can try to work on all areas at once, completely overwhelm yourself, and then stop after 2 days.

B) You can do nothing.

C) You can take the Domino Approach (which I’ll explain below).

D) You can take the Baby Steps Approach (which I will also explain below).

The Domino Approach: choosing the habit that will inadvertently set other healthy habits into motion, or at least make them easier. You can also call it a “catalyst for change” which sounds really cool. Typically the habit you pick will be more challenging to change or implement, but it will likely give you greater results.

The Baby Steps Approach: picking the habit that’s the easiest to change or implement. This approach is probably less overwhelming and will give you a quick “win” or sense of accomplishment, provided you actually stick to it!

Neither one of these is better than the other. It depends on you, your personality, and where you are in your journey. Beginning to focus on your health for the first time in your life, a little overwhelmed by all the changes you feel you need to make, and feeling self-conscious about your ability to get them done? The Baby Steps Approach might be best for you right now.

Been on your journey for some time and ready to take your results to the next level? Still just starting out but enough is enough and you’re READY to make a change? Maybe the Domino Approach is what’ll serve you the best.

I decided to take the Domino Approach. I’ve made lots of lifestyle changes in the past, some of them BIG changes, and to be honest I’ve kind of been babying myself for the last few months. But I’m ready to give myself a little kick in the ass. I’m ready to feel good again.

My Catalysts for Change

When I looked at my list of healthy habits I wanted to improve, I recognized a few of them that would almost automatically improve the others. They would have the biggest positive impact on my overall health, and they would help me accomplish the things that make me feel good.

  • Bulletproof Coffee for Breakfast: since getting back into the Bulletproof Lifestyle in November, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my mid-day sugar cravings and my performance in my off-season workouts. The energy I get from the Upgraded Coffee Beans and the Brain Octane Oil combined with the healthy, fat-burning fats in the Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee keep me going all through my morning clients and even through my own training sessions. I’ve been going into my swims and strength training sessions slightly fasted, having only consumed my Bulletproof Coffee before, and so far so good! For my harder workouts I still consume some carbohydrates before, and I find I have even more energy now than I used to. I’m going to continue this regimen as my training picks up in the coming months to see how it affects my performance.
  • Consistent Meal-Planning: This is something I’ve been on and off with over the last couple of years. I used to be the meal-planning BOSS and had it allll laid out to a T. I then got to a point where I was pretty comfortable with things and was able to pull it all off without having a set plan (because my routine was consistently crazy so I knew what I needed). But since becoming self-employed, this hasn’t worked out too well. My schedule is rarely the same, and even though I think “oh, I’ll be home for lunch so I can whip something up“, I’m still finding it’s easier to reach for that bowl of cereal or handful of nuts instead of eating a real lunch. And even when I have created meal plans, they haven’t been that successful because….
  • Consistent Meal-Prepping: My meal prep game has sucked lately. To be honest I just get lazy. I used to spend like 8 hours in the kitchen on Sundays prepping all my meals and snacks and organizing them in the fridge. That’s kind of the last thing I want to do on my one day off now. But I know how beneficial this is when things get crazy, as they tend to do, so my plan is to get back at it with less intensity but also with some help. Boyfriend to the rescue!
  • Less Screen Time: My work requires me to spend the vast majority of my day staring at a screen. It’s not really something I can get away from without creating more work for myself (which I have no desire to do). But what I can do is stop the mindless scrolling. Stop looking at animal memes before bed. Stop double tapping Instagram pictures for 10 minutes at a time. I’m making a conscious effort to spend less “mindless” time on social media, so I can actually use the downtime I do have for something more productive, like taking good care of myself!
  • healthy habitsBonus: Get back to basics. Drinking the water. Eating the green stuff. Getting all the sleep my body needs. Meditating. These are habits that were second nature to me for quite some time (except the meditating, that one’s kinda new), but through busyness, through the holidays, through life, their consistency has had its ups and downs. My awesome mentor Dai Manuel just started another round of his free Whole Life Fitness Manifesto challenge, which focuses on getting you to commit to spending 30 minutes on your health each day through physical activity, personal development, and mindfulness. I signed up for the accountability in getting back to those basics that are important to me, and so far it’s working! We’re about a week and a half into it, but you can still register here if you’re looking for some support, accountability, and inspiration!

When you’ve been slacking in the health department, it can feel overwhelming to get back to all those healthy habits that make you feel oh-so good. When there’s so many things to do and so many areas to improve, where do you start?

If you’re finding yourself in a similar boat, I encourage you to walk through the steps I did! Make an inventory of all areas of your well-being that could use a little TLC, and then take either the Domino Approach or the Baby Steps Approach to begin making the necessary changes.

Do you have any new healthy habits you’re focusing on for the New Year? Are you getting back to basics with some older ones that have taken a back seat?

Showing 6 comments
  • Carin Harris

    Nice! I have noticed so many benefits from my new Bulletproof life too! As for meal planning – well I’ve never been really good with that. If something gets taken out of the freezer the day before it tends to get forgotten in the back of the fridge. Yeah it’s kind of sad LOL.
    Less screen time? Well that is my dream but when I do have less time there I tend to panic about all the work that isn’t getting done.
    Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

    • Ariana

      Haha, I hear you about leaving things to die in the fridge! I need to keep them front and centre or they get forgotten 😉 So glad you’ve been loving your new Bulletproof lifestyle too!

  • Sally Riley

    Great post, Ariana! Your post made me think of ways how I can make myself better this year! Baby steps can make a huge difference. I should start assessing myself and list all the areas that I want to improve. Thanks for the helpful tips! Wish you all the best this 2017!

    • Ariana

      Thanks Sally! I hope this process serves you well 🙂

  • Elise

    Yeeessss this spoke to me so much!

    I accidentally (nothing to do with January – I don’t set resolutions!) decided to join a gym this month (it was a deal!) which is the first time I’ve been to the gym in probably 5 years?! I wanted to get stronger and fitter for summer activities. As a domino, I’m also not drinking wine mid week (a shocking change for anyone who knows me!) and I’m aiming for a litre of water a day, and 2 on gym days (again – I’m pretty much chronically dehydrated… this is huge).

    Really great reading this article! I didn’t even know it was a thing, and I would have definitely thought I was a baby stepper usually 👍😉

    • Ariana

      AMAZING!! I’m so proud of you! That’s awesome to hear. I know the water (and the wine 😉 ) are big ones for you, so BIG props to you! Look at you rockin’ the domino approach 😉 Keep it up!!

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