Learning how to be healthy can be hard. But what’s even harder is turning wellness into a daily habit. Habits aren’t formed overnight.
It took years for me to adopt a regular wellness routine + the secret sauce to doing that isn’t actually a secret at all: make one small, sustainable change, then repeat.
Most women struggle not with the intention of being healthier, but in finding the time to be well. As a mom, wife + business owner, I always felt like something came up in my life that prevented me from being consistently healthy.
Let’s be honest, having a gym membership doesn’t do much good if you don’t know how to get your butt in the door in the first place. Much like having a fridge full of organic foods doesn’t do much for your nutrition if you don’t know how to prepare them before they spoil.
You want to be able to practice wellness enough where it can make a significant difference in your life.
Sometimes it’s hard to realize the potential you have to be well-rounded in health.
But it’s a matter of taking the short available time spurts you do have and challenging yourself to stick to the small practices you didn’t know could fit there.
One of the ways I make wellness fun and manageable on a tight schedule is by creating challenges every month. The challenge itself keeps me motivated + regularly turns my actions into habits.
These challenges are excuse-proof.
You can start at any point in the year. Each month stands alone as its own wellness benefit. No habit is a prerequisite to the next.
So, get started + tag me using @organicmommyceo + #organicmommyceo so I can cheer you on in your habit transformations!
January — Take Vitamins
Good nutrition isn’t hard to attain, but getting 100% accuracy everyday is a hard metric to hit. Taking a daily multivitamin alleviates the pressure to ace nutrition from what you’re eating. It’s like an insurance policy.
Purchase a multivitamin that is made from organic whole foods. You can read about my full daily vitamins + supplements here.
February — Get Fresh Air
Fresh air is highly underrated, so let’s give it the attention it deserves! Improve your sleep, stress levels + immunity by getting outside for a minimum of 10-minutes everyday.
And remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices.
March — Meditate
Spend a minimum of 5-minutes per day meditating this month. I’m a big fan of the Headspace app, but there are so many free guided meditations to choose from on YouTube… Pick any!
What’s most important to know: meditation isn’t supposed to be a complete quieting of your mind.
Get in a quiet space, sit upright and still, and let the thoughts flow in-through-and-out of your mind. Just let them pass through.
I had always thought I was supposed to be completely still + always failed at that, so I gave up on meditating for YEARS. Having had that myth busted, I’m passing it onto you: YOU CAN MEDITATE.
Don’t overthink it. Follow a guide + feel lighter!
April — Drink More Water
Aim for your standard 8 glasses per day.
Wear 8 bracelets or elastics on one arm + switch them to the other arm once you’ve finished a glass to keep track. Or use a habit tracker app, pen + paper, whatever… but keep a simple count that you can get to easily.
Breastfeeding moms: My general rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water at every nursing session. You’re going to hit more than those standard 8 glasses!
May — Stretch
The importance of stretching is underrated. You need flexibility to prevent injury + misalignment + without flexibility, your wellness can suffer greatly.
Surprisingly, this happens to moms more than you’d think — picking up children, nursing in awkward positions, not moving from awkward positions when the kids fall asleep on us, carrying groceries, staying up to work at our desks, etc.
Those postural challenges impede our nervous system’s ability to function optimally. So while going to a chiropractor can help with your alignment immensely, it’s not a one-and-done solution. You will always need to stretch.
For this month, let’s increase flexibility + mobility simply. I’ll guide you through the simple motions that you can do from anywhere.
It’s like: You can get your car a tune-up, but if you leave it parked in the driveway, the parts will tighten + rust + the tune-up isn’t best used.
Stretching looks harder than it truly is. If you’ve struggled with stretching in the past, it’s likely because — like me — you haven’t been stretching correctly.
I’ll walk you through 4 simple stretches step-by-step.
June — Morning Pages
One of the first major life changes I made when I became an entrepreneur was writing “morning pages”. It’s a free flowing writing of whatever comes to mind — a stream of consciousness — for 3 full pages.
The goal is to pick up a pen and physically write in a journal everyday.
I’m not a morning person by nature, but when I pushed myself — even in the hardest seasons — I always found that the earlier wake-up curbed my anxiety. I felt like I could catch my breath by myself (or with only the littlest one up in the house having quiet time) before the big energy of the day kicked in.
If you’re finding an earlier wakeup is inhibiting your ability to do morning pages, then make them “whenever pages”. Just get writing. Let thoughts free-flow.
You’l find that you’re a much more grounded, clearer person for having put all of your worries, to-do’s, questions, etc. on paper. You’ll find that once you’ve pushed through the chaos at the forefront of your mind, you actually have creative ideas, smarter views on relationships + a more logical approach to navigating them, the list is truly endless.
So, join me this month in waking up + hitting the journal for 3 full uninterrupted pages.
July — Do 100 Squats
This challenge is simple. 100 squats everyday. Fit them in wherever you can.
I try to do a bunch before a shower as the water is warming up, then I finish my counts every time I stand at a sink:
- Do a few between washing dishes
- Add a squat between bringing each dish from the sink to the dishwasher
- Squat as you wash your hands in the bathroom
- Squat when you pick the kids up to wash their hands at the sink, etc.
Benefits of squatting:
- Increase your entire body strength + muscle
- Burn fat
- Improve circulation
- Get rid of cellulite
- Increase your flexibility + prevent injuries
- Improve your posture
- Build core strength
- Tone your abs, legs + butt
August — Stick to a Bed Time
August is a back-to-school month, so resetting a bedtime for the whole family is a smart priority.
Choose your ideal wake-up time — one that gives you a little alone time to get ready before the rest of the family wakes up — and count backwards to get your ideal amount of sleep.
For me, I need 8 hours. With a 6 AM wakeup time, that means I’m sleeping at 10 PM.
Aim to be winding down 20-minutes prior to lights out to give your body enough time to decompress before trying to sleep.
September — Read for 30 Minutes
Be a lifelong learner. I love self-development books for my reading time, but choose anything. Just keep your mind flexible + thoughtful by reading a little something everyday.
Challenge yourself to replace watching any before-bed TV with reading instead. You will feel a major change in your sleep quality!
October — Do 100 Kegels
Pelvic health isn’t talked about as much as it should be. You can exercise your lady parts and core + reap so many health benefits!
Do 100 kegels everyday — similar to the squats circuit, I anchor these to a practice I’m doing everyday, like driving.
You can do a few in the car at stop lights, waiting in the carpool lane, the coffee drive-thru, every time you get in the car before you hit start, every time you get out of the car before you turn it off, etc.
November — Connect Meaningfully
For this month of gratitude, connect with the people you’re thankful for most. Everyday, reach out to 1 person for meaningful connection.
This might mean going through your contacts list + sending a thoughtful text to say “Thinking of you! Grateful for X. How is Y? Wishing you a great Thanksgiving!”
I like to use this time to specifically connect with people I haven’t talked to regularly through the past year. It’s also a great time to clean out your contacts lists, Facebook friends, who you follow on Instagram, etc.
When you intentionally connect with those most important to you, your mood lifts, you have more quality relationships + less quantity to manage. Your interaction with people shifts from surface-level to deeper-level.
This is also a great time to reach out to a few target clients or followers who you’ve appreciated. Simple thank you’s go a long way for both your emotions and your engagement!
December — 1 Great Memory
This is my favorite challenge! Every day for this month, collect 1 great memory of the past year.
Filter through your favorite photos — pick 1 per day — and add it to an app like Chatbooks where you can print a family yearbook.
I try to take a selfie-video with my husband for a few minutes every night during this month to reflect on the past year (using those photos as a good way to jog our memories!).
Then, on New Years Eve, we compile the favorite photos and our little videos into a quickie movie. We watch that before the ball drops (and, honestly, haven’t made it to the ball dropping in a few years!).
It’s a great way to review the past year, see how far we’ve come + help us set smarter goals for the year ahead.
But beyond that, remembering is great for your mental health. The idea is that the more you re-learn or remind yourself of information again and again spaced out over time the better you’ll retain that information.
The more positive memories you retain, the more you have a positive outlook on life + that has a ripple effect on how you’re looking at the days ahead.
What challenges do you want to see in the year ahead? What ones did you like the best? What ones are you most excited to start?
Share your thoughts in the comments and help me develop this list. Don’t forget to tag #OrganicMommyCEO so that I can cheer you on!