What could your “real life resolution” look like?

With the New Year here, it’s an interesting time to make (or renew) your commitment to health and fitness.

As a nutrition and fitness coach, when it comes to figuring out health and fitness in the context of real life, I’m sitting on a virtual pot of gold.

Clients go through my coaching program to sort through all their missed starts and life pitfalls. This helps us make their health and fitness goals a reality, even as the chaos of life continues.

So, to help YOU understand from others perspective, I decided to ask many of my client’s to divulge which strategies they’ve developed to make it all work — nutrition + juggling kids, work, daily tasks and deadlines… all of it.

Here are some of the most common and practical answers from some of my personal clients. Ones you may be able to apply to your life!

1. Check in with yourself every morning

“I start my day with reading or reciting “in my head” something positive that I’ve accomplished. It’s essentially plugging into myself first thing every morning. By doing this when I wake up, I remind myself that when I am healthy and happy, I have more to give to the world.”

2. Eat protein at breakfast

“I include protein at every breakfast. My favorite: My favorite: breakfast meatballs. Turkey + shredded veggies (zucchini, carrot, celery and onion), quick oats, egg whites and spices made into balls and cooked in muffin trays in advance. Then I heat them up in the morning.”

3. Bring a lunch you’re excited to eat

“I bring a lunch that is a simple salad with (quality) lunch meat for protein. Adding little extras like seeds and nuts to my salad along with avocado makes it something I look forward to eating, instead of leftovers that I would rather leave behind when others are going out.”

4. Pre-prep dinners

“PREP! This has been huge for me. I come home late and I’m often rushed to get food in me. Now I just take everything I’ve already cut up or cooked (in advance) and put it in a pan. It’s a much less ‘rush-y’ situation, which carries over into eating… so I’m eating slowly and not inhaling food right past my full point.

5. Eat at the table

“In the past, I ate dinner in a rush, then ran off to the next activity (soccer, coaching, etc.). I have been making a conscious effort to sit down and slowly eat the meal, so I can actually remember tasting and enjoying it.”

6. Exercise whenever, wherever, and however possible

“I never choose the closest parking spot. This way I can get in a little more walking. Also, during the school day (I’m a teacher), I walk as much as possible around my classroom as students are working, and around the building.”

7. Aim for “a little better” instead of “perfect”

“It’s not about being perfect. It’s about gradual and continuous improvement. I used to get really down on myself if I ate unhealthy or missed some workouts and felt like I had failed. Now I feel that I’ve put in some great work, and I can do even better tomorrow and next week.”

8. Get all sorts of support

“I use a meal service for healthy meals, which are pre-portioned. I commute an hour each way to/from work and I work long hours as an attorney, so having the ingredients there with recipes has helped immensely.”

9. Show up again the next morning

“Show up each day and do what you can on that day. Don’t jump ahead. This is not a race. It’s not a diet. It’s your life.”

Remember, you don’t have to get it “perfect”. Not now, not ever. All you have to do is make an effort, and keep being consistent.