Your daily habits and routines help shape the success in your fitness journey. Habits and routine can be influenced and optimized by rearranging your daily environment. The two main environments that you frequent every day are your home and your workplace. How you organize these two places will hence help you reach your fitness goals quicker.
Let’s take a look at what you could do
The two main routines you should optimize in your home is nutrition and sleep.
Drinking enough water is something that most of us don’t do. Simply put out three full water bottles throughout your home, one in the kitchen, living room and room. If you live in a studio, have one in the kitchen and another one the living room. The point is it as to be easily accessible. You want to be able to reach for a water bottle without having to move much.
How you arrange the food in your kitchen will play a big role in how often you actually eat those foods. The biggest issue I have is buying a ton of spinach, put in the lower drawer of my fridge, forgetting about it and letting it rot down there.
Now, I put the spinach in the top rack, which happens to be at eye level, and now it never goes to waste. Moving the spinach from somewhere I didn’t see it to a place where it was easy for me to see made all the difference.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I encourage flexible, sustainable nutrition meaning it’s ok to have some “bad” foods here and there.
I reserve these cheat meals for dates with my girlfriend, dinners with friends and a special occasion. Note that these all happen outside my home. The foods in my kitchen are all healthy stuff. The reason I do this is that I have very little self-control and if I buy some “bad” food like ice cream or Nutella, it’s only a matter of hours before they are done. Not days, hours.
Side not on self-control
Self-control is a short term solution. You can’t have self-control forever. Set up your environments so you don’t have to use it.
Meal prep on autopilot
The following trick is a habit I formed for meal prepping. After each grocery run, I immediately chop up the veggies. If I don’t chop the veggies right away, I won’t do it later because I won’t have time.
I started this habit by saying “When I walk through the door after grocery shopping, I put the veggies on the table, chop them up and store them in tupperwares”
Now, whenever I look in my fridge, there are pre-cut veggies. If they aren’t pre-chopped, the odds of me eating them decreases a lot.
While I chop up all the veggies I cook rice/quinoa at the same time. That way, after 20-30 minutes, I have all my veggies cut, and a huge reserve of rice that is ready to get heated up for my meals.
Sleep is the other component of a happy and healthy life that most people neglect. We all know that we need 8 hours of sleep each night but most of us don’t. Why?
We have busy lives I know, but most of us do have the time to sleep 8 hours. It’s a matter of priorities and distractions. We often let our distractions (mainly screens, like phones, computers, and TV) take over our priorities like sleep. Thankfully, we can set up our home a certain way to minimize these.
For starters, you can actually invest in an alarm clock and leave all of your screens outside your room. That way you won’t be tempted to answer texts or browse social media after you set your alarm on your phone. This will create a no screen zone in your room that will help you sleep better.
Having a “no screen” time after a certain time also helps to fall asleep faster. Set a time like 9 or 10 pm after which you do not watch TV, work on the computer and browse social media. Getting stuck watching episode after episode on Netflix? Turn off autoplay!
Go to “account” on the top left corner, click on “playback settings” and turn off “auto-play”. Netflix makes more money the more you watch so they automatically switch this feature on. Sometimes the time between episodes is instantaneous, so we just sit there and say “ok just one more” for hours on end.
Prepping your morning the night before is a habit that has greatly helped me. Each night, before I go to bed, I do the following in this exact order:
Grind my coffee, put it in my coffee pot and set it to brew for the morning. Prepare my breakfast ingredients. I usually have eggs and toast so I take 3 eggs out of the carton and put it on two pieces of bread in my fridge. Next, I put a skillet on the stove and put the olive oil right beside it. Choose my clothes I will wear tomorrow and put them neatly beside my bed.
This allows me to wake and be on autopilot for the first 10 minutes. If I don’t prep all this stuff, I usually snooze my alarm for an extra 15 minutes, skip breakfast get a poor start to the day.
Always keep a reusable water bottle at the office/work. Do not bring it home. That is your work water bottle, try to fill it up at least twice throughout the day.
Bring your own food. The number one problem I hear about work food is that it’s not healthy. The easy way to avoid that is to bring your own food.
That isn’t to say you cant enjoy the office food now and then, but at least most of the food you eat at work will be homemade.
Keep healthy snacks at work. Whether it’s nuts, homemade protein bars, or fruits your bring in every other day, have something you can nibble on in case of emergency.
Keep a spare gym outfit at work in case you forget yours on the day. Put in a desk drawer, your locker, the back seat of your car or some other place and never miss a workout again because “you forgot your shorts”.
These examples are only a fraction of what you can do. We will all have different habits and routines according to our lifestyle and preferences, it’s important for you to find the ones that work for you.
Success, in fitness in other areas, can be attained quicker when we prepare for it. Immersing yourself in an environment that drives you daily towards your goals will help you greatly.
Give me a shout if you need help setting these up,