Sticking to Your Plan

By Kelly Krause
yoga stretch

When I first embarked on this journey, my only real goal was to simply get healthy. I didn’t set a lot of rules around the number of days I should exercise or amount of vegetables to consume. My energy was spent on finding workouts that I liked, cleaning up my diet and making sure I was having fun along the way. I knew I had a long road ahead and that my patience and attitude would be key players in my success.

yoga stretch

As much as I love structure and following plans, I also know how hard it can be to stick to them. Even more so when you have to juggle work, outside activities, time for yourself and time with friends and family. It all led me to realize that I’m a morning person who likes to exercise and train early so I can spend the day at work, then leave evenings open for friends and serendipity.

yoga stretch

While I don’t have an exact formula for success (everyone’s looks a little different!), I am happy to share with you the top 5 mantras and practices that help me every single day on my journey:

  1. Check in with yourself every day. Every morning after I wake up, I sit down with a cup of coffee and have a bit of quiet and alone time. I think about my intentions for the day, write down a few things I’d like to accomplish and take inventory on how I feel. It’s never a time to think about the miles that I didn’t run — it’s a time to focus on the present day. Checking in allows you to never lose sight of what’s important to you.
  2. Embrace being a beginner. Trust me, I know how intimidating it can be try a new discipline. I still have moments of uncertainty when I’m outside of my comfort zone, like with an aerial silks class I recently took. Thankfully, being a beginner is almost better — the instructors are there to help guide you and give you complete individualized attention. They want you to come back and want you to leave spreading the good word.
  3. Celebrate all goals. In the beginning of my journey, I couldn’t run more than a few minutes without becoming winded. But those few minutes were already an improvement from the sedentary lifestyle I was living. Thinking about the bigger picture of losing 100+lbs was overwhelming at times, but rewarding small milestones helped remind me that every day could be a celebration — at least a celebration of life.
  4. Do it today. It’s easy to think you’ll be more capable of trying something once you’re in better shape. When I began cycling, I was pretty fearful to climb this one tough hill on my road bike. I was convinced I needed months of training to tackle this monster. Until one day, out on a ride, I made it up on my first attempt. Easier than I thought it would be — it was in that moment that I wondered what else I had been missing out on in life. All because I told myself I should wait. The perfect day to try anything is today!
  5. If it’s not fun, move on. The best part about the journey is that it’s yours. Your life, your journey, your rules. You probably won’t like every workout you try and that’s ok. I love riding my bike but have a hard time catching onto yoga — while some of my friends are exact opposite. Do what suits you and makes you feel the best. Just never stop trying, you’ll be delighted to see what you’re capable of.

kelly krauseimage sources, top to bottom: stretch pose from LeMuse, yoga pose photo by jaimie baird photography, childhood photo of kelly krause