Keeping Health Goals Within Reach
It’s easy to get caught up in the business of life and lose track of habits and health goals. To combat this, it is helpful to create your own structure and routines around these goals from what you know that works. Reflect on what isn’t working and find strategies that will set you up for success.
Health goals will remain on the radar by focusing on routines and habits. Explore the breakdown of how small changes in your daily behavior have the impact to move the needle on your larger health goals. If you missed my December blog focused on defining values and goals, particularly as it relates to your health, I’d recommend taking a peek there to help set ‘SMART’ goals.
Making new habits is hard! When starting off, reflect on times in your day that feel chaotic or aren’t working. Below, I’ve outlined three areas where routines can be particularly impactful: nighttime, morning, and eating patterns.
Table of Contents
Nighttime Routine: Examples & Questions to Ask
Nighttime routine examples:
- After dinner snack – depending on needs
- Set a bedtime
- Plan and decide meals for tomorrow
- Silence electronics for the night; cut screen time off 10-30 minutes before going to sleep
- Plan clothes for tomorrow
- Take supplements/medications if needed
- Brush teeth and put on pajamas
- Decompressing activity (journaling, meditation, reading, listening to music, a hot bath/shower)
Some of the above examples may be second nature to you. For example, brushing your teeth is likely an automatic habit. This is because we’ve been practicing this habit for years! When getting started, it took many reminders to ‘brush your teeth!’ before it became something you do without thinking twice a day. It takes focus and gentle reminders to turn a goal into a long-term habit.
Additionally, quality of sleep can be a motivator for enhancing the following day, as we know quality sleep supports our immune system, recovery, and stress levels. Some questions to ask yourself:
- How many hours of sleep are you getting?
- Is there anything disturbing your sleep?
- Do you feel tired during the day?
- In the afternoon, do you lean to coffee/caffeine or some other pick me up to get through the day?
- Are you mindful of screen time before bed?
Morning Routine: Examples & Thoughts
Morning routine examples:
- Start hydrating
- Eat within the first hour
- Set an intention for the day
- Gentle movement or exercise
- Listen to an inspiring song
- If you haven’t decided your meals, set aside time to do so
A morning routine sets the tone for the day by starting the day nourished, with a fresh perspective, and “can-do” mindset. Anything is possible!
Eating Patterns for Your Health Goals
When considering your health goals, it is important to strategize meals and frequency. This is a helpful template to start thinking about your eating patterns.
- Breakfast: we break the fast from sleeping
- Morning snack: varies depending on needs
- Lunch: Provides energy and nourishment midday
- Afternoon snack: usually a good idea
- Dinner: provides replenishment from our day
- After dinner snack: based on needs
Just like a routine, meal portions and frequency of eating vary based on individual needs. Here are some thoughts for planning meals to keep you energized throughout the day.
Writing down what you eat for 1-2 days and reflecting on how you feel can help you make simple small adjustments that can make a big impact on your day. It is easy to pick up or have a habit of going for snack foods like chips, nuts, or sweets.
A snack is nutritionally balanced with protein and carbohydrates. Examples include: apple with peanut butter, cottage cheese with seedy crackers and cherry tomatoes, a small portion of leftovers or what I like to call “bonus meals,” cup of soup, or whole grain toast with a hard boiled egg and avocado.
Of course, the ideas above don’t have to match your lifestyle. Assess your own routine, everyone’s routines are different. What is helpful and not helpful?
To learn about creating your own simple, healthy meal planning system and getting support to meet your health goals, schedule a free one-on-one Nutrition for Wellness Strategy Session with me!
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Cheers to your health,
By Alicia Connor, MA / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Chef
Links to Alicia Connor’s Socials:
- Quick & Delish on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/QuickDelishbyAliciaConnor
- Quick & Delish on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quick_delish/?hl=en
- Quick & Delish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aliciaconnorrd/
- Join Alicia Connor’s email list: quickanddelish.ck.page/cheers-to-your-health
- Sign up for Alicia Connor’s Virtual Meal Planning Series: https://www.quickanddelish.net/workshop
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Alicia Connor is a registered dietitian nutritionist and chef who is passionate about encouraging lifestyle shifts with a focus on meal planning and simplifying healthy eating. Alicia built a career as a chef, including working at a top San Francisco restaurant. As a young adult facing hereditary vision loss, she took control and pivoted to another career as a dietitian to grow roots deeper than ‘just cooking.’ She has seen the impact of meal planning and nutrition in her clients over the years, often through their increased energy, empowered weight loss journeys, and freedom to pursue more of their passions due to increased confidence.
Moving away from the mindset of dieting, Alicia helps clients build a toolkit of strategies to reduce stress and increase peace of mind. She supports her clients through one-on-one sessions and a virtual meal planning program to build helpful habits and create actionable plans to meet their goals.
‘Quick & Delish by Alicia Connor’ is a video cooking series on YouTube where Alicia presents easy recipes with minimal steps for flavorful, balanced meals.
- Header: 2 arrow signs one says ‘goal’ and the other ‘good health’ against a blue sky with puffy white clouds.
- Healthy night sleep creative concept sleep mask and notebook on a bed.
- Morning routine: a young woman is enjoying fresh orange juice at her kitchen counter loaded with fresh fruit.
- Attractive woman cooking a vegetable dish, chopping orange bell pepper at her kitchen counter.
- Author photo: Alicia Connor a pretty brunette with dark wavy shoulder-length hair wearing a denim jacket as she leans on a kitchen counter with assorted veggies in front of her.