Adopting any new habit can be difficult, but there are some ways to make the adjustment a little easier.
If you’re finding any of the ElevateU challenges difficult to adopt, check out our tips below:
1. Avoid your phone for the first 30 minutes of the day
- Place your phone across the room while you sleep. This will help you resist the temptation to reach for your phone as soon as you wake.
- Keep a read or journal at your bedside. For some of us, our morning routine currently consists of laying in bed and scrolling on our phones when we first wake up. To avoid this, place an interesting book, motivational read, or a journal on your bedside table. This way, you’ll feed your mind with positivity, creativity, and even self reflection first thing without the temptation of your phone.
- Do something that doesn’t allow for a phone. Give yourself a distraction that will keep you preoccupied first thing in the morning. Some ideas include: cleaning your space, going for a quiet walk with a cup of coffee in hand, or planning out the day in your agenda. Whatever it is, make sure the activity requires your full focus and leaves your phone out of it.
2. Stick to a morning routine
- Set an early alarm and don't snooze! No matter how tempting it may be to sleep in, lasting change will only occur if we remain consistent. Set your alarm early enough to get a full morning routine in and stick to waking up at this time as much as you can.
- Get some movement in. Give yourself a boost of energy – and get your movement goal out of the way! – by moving your body each AM. This can be in the form of a morning walk, some at-home yoga, or maybe a workout class. Moving your body early on will not only wake you and your body up, but it’ll start your day off with some feel-good energy and positivity.
- Write down a plan. The best way to stick to any routine? Write out a plan. Use this plan to remind you of all you’d like to accomplish each morning until the routine becomes second nature.
3. Complete your nutrition goals
- Meal prep. Set aside a few hours each Sunday to chop, season, prep, and cook your meals and snacks for the week. Doing so will ensure you remain on track, help you include more nutrient dense foods into your daily meals, and resist the urge to reach for unhealthy options – we wouldn’t want those prepped healthy foods to go to waste, would we?
4. Get one hour of movement in
- Do it in the AM, as part of your morning routine. It’s easy to ensure a workout gets done if we knock it out first thing in the morning (we all know how exhausted we can feel after a long work day). Plus, scheduling or signing up for a workout makes it more difficult to back out when the time comes.
- Feel free to break it up from time to time. Short on time? Feel free to break your hour movement up into segments. Try fitting in a 30 minute morning workout followed by a 30 minute evening walk – whatever fits your schedule best.
- Choose movement you love. If we like doing something or are excited about it, we’re less likely to put it off. Choose movement you love and watch how much easier it is to check off this daily criteria.
5. Drink one gallon of water
- Sip, don’t chug. “Drink more water, “ they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said… Okay okay, this one is much easier said than done, especially if your body isn’t used to consuming that much water throughout the day. Our best advice is to start slow and “sip” your way to your goal throughout the entire day. Keep your water bottle in sight so that it acts as a constant reminder to drink up.
- Set a timeline. Create reference points and a timeline for the day that lists out how much water should be consumed by the time of day. For example, by 9am “X ounces” of water should have been drunk, by noon, “X ounces” and so on. Giving yourself target points breaks the larger goal into less daunting and achievable small goals so that you can reach your target inch by inch.
- Start early. As soon as you wake up each morning, drink a full glass of water. Aside from the benefit of chipping away at your gallon goal early on, drinking water upon waking clears your body of toxins, revs up your metabolism, and provides a boost of energy to help kickstart your day.
6. Stretch for 10 minutes before bed
- Work it into your nightly routine. An easy way to take on a new habit is to incorporate it into an already solid routine. Whatever your nightly wind down is, add in 10 minutes to hit your stretching goal. You can double up nightly tasks such as brushing your teeth while stretching (a little trick Co-founder Taylor uses) or if watching a show before heading to bed is your nightly go-to, get your stretching done then! It’ll make the time fly.
- Take it easy. The point behind this daily habit is to work on relaxation, so if the way you’ve been stretching brings discomfort, consider easing up a bit and do whatever feels good and releases tension. Stretching muscles too far or too much is detrimental, so ease into this one and stretch each part of your body a little at a time. Maybe look at this time as a yoga salutation – create a stretch flow that will relax and ready you for a good night’s sleep.
7. Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Set a bedtime reminder. Alarms work. We rely on them each morning, so why not utilize them at night to queue our bedtime? Consider setting an alarm or phone reminder to begin your nightly wind down and head into bed.
- Put your away 30 minutes before bed. Phones, as we all know very well, are incredibly distracting. Not to mention, it is SO easy to find ourselves down a rabbit hole of social media and apps, allowing minutes and even hours to pass us by. Avoid this situation by putting your phone down at least 30 minutes before bed and not touching it until the morning. This will give your mind a chance to settle down, allowing you to fall more easily asleep.
- Read over watching TV. Similar to phone usage (although maybe not as distracting) is watching TV before bed. Although this may feel relaxing at the time, the reality is that any form of artificial bright light, typically produced by electronics, tricks your body into thinking it's still daytime and prevents melatonin from being produced – a key hormone in falling asleep. Plus, the stimulation before bed negatively affects the quality of our sleep. Just as we should step away from our phones at least 30 minutes before bed, we should also turn off the TV. Try swapping this out for a book and read a chapter before bed instead.