When I first started my business, I was completely focused on changing lives by providing resources and designing customized programs. What I soon realized is that the heart of what I do is actually centered on coaching, particularly mindset coaching. Why? Behavioral change is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It requires an entire mindset shift: a willingness to both learn new habits and unlearn old ones.
The number one issue my clients struggle with is recognizing that their success ultimately is connected to feelings of worthiness. The only way for us to make our health a priority as insanely busy parents is to first recognize that we deserve to take care of our minds and bodies. I don’t think the guilt ever diminishes. I am going on year 5 of parenthood and every single day I wonder what more I can do, what more I could have done that day, and pray that my kids see how much I try even when it seems like it’s never enough.
You know what else I’ve learned? While these thoughts are inevitable for me as a mother, they don’t have to hinder me from reaching my wellness goals. It’s my job to recognize that the best way for me to pour into my family is to first pour into myself.
How many of you right now struggle with this concept? You know the saying: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Are you sleep-deprived, on edge, and feeling overloaded by our new norm? Are you using our current (pandemic) reality to justify why you don’t have time to exercise, carve out alone time, or get a decent night’s rest?
Our current reality is just that….a reality. We are taking on more than we should and there’s no way to completely show up 100% perfectly in all areas of our lives right now. But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, and especially in the last few months, it’s that one sure way to find ourselves struggling even more is to neglect ourselves.
Making your wellness a priority
Yes, our time is limited. Carving out hours of alone time each day may not be realistic. But, exercising with your kids is a viable option and a way to squeeze in movement without adding an additional time slot to your busy schedule. “Me time” is still beneficial in small time bouts of as little as 5-15 minutes. A brief moment of stillness, a meditation, or a warm cup of coffee before the kids wake up full force ALL count. All of these simple daily practices go a long way in how we feel both mentally and physically.
Despite our reality and new normal, we still have everything we need to be successful in our health and fitness journeys — with the right mindset.
5 tips to build the right mindset for fitness success
If you want to change your lifestyle but are overwhelmed by where to begin, here are some tips to help you simplify the process:
- Don’t underestimate the importance of your thoughts. Take time to be aware of the thoughts going through your mind. It’s critical that you are conscious of the changes you are making to reach your goals.
- Don’t set too many goals at once. It’s common for people to overcommit to a long list of goals and end up frustrated. Instead set ONE major goal and master those changes then progress onto the next major goal in your personal journey.
- Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset. If an hour-long workout isn’t realistic, commit to 30 minutes, even if that means 15 minutes twice a day. But don’t put your goals on pause because you aren’t able to do things “perfectly.” Consistency is the key, not perfection, and certainly not overcommitting.
- Focus on the process more than the results. The key to maintaining your results long-term is learning to enjoy and embrace the process, which never ends. Having the right mindset will allow you to be mentally present to enjoy the process of reaching your goals and maintaining your results long-term.
- Your relationship with food is more important than short-term success. So many of my clients start their journey focused on outcomes: losing weight, gaining weight etc. But the real success lies in developing a new relationship with food. Are you eating in a way that is sustainable long-term? Do you enjoy the foods you eat? Are you eating to fuel your body, and feel good? If you want to change your eating habits, start with these questions first. You should be able to answer yes to these questions before making any drastic changes to your eating habits. Otherwise you are more than likely going to find yourself in a dangerous “yo-yo” cycle of making changes, seeing short-term results, then moving on to another short-term solution once the results disappear.
Right now we all feel like we are in a daily juggling act. If you find yourself feeling frustrated or discouraged, remember this: Your health matters. The way you feel affects your capacity to show up for yourself and your kid). You deserve to make your health a priority each day.
About Christina Lumpkin
Christina Lumpkin is a certified Pre/Post-Natal Fitness Expert, Women’s Fitness Specialist, Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. In addition to her fitness credentials, the former Division I athlete holds a BA in Sociology from Columbia University and MBA in Healthcare Administration from South University. In her 10 years of training, coaching and teaching she’s coached hundreds of Moms-to-Be/Moms to transform their minds, bodies & lives by prioritizing their health day-by-day. She knows firsthand that new Moms need encouragement, resources and support in order to prioritize their health — MORE than just a workout guide or meal plan to see consistent, long-term results. Her business, Journey2Motherhood Fitness (J2M), offers personalized online and virtual programs with health coaching support, mindset motivation and fitness programs for long-term client success. J2M’s mission is to empower Moms by educating them about exercise, lifestyle management, and self-care. If you’re ready to transform your life but don’t know where to begin, see if J2M is a good fit for you. You can learn more about Christina on her AfterThird profile.