22 September 2023

Get Ready To Challenge Yourself This Autumn

Do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone? Do you avoid trying new things? Do you struggle to break out of your routine even though you know you want to make changes? Or, despite your desire to invest in your personal development, are you unable to find the necessary motivation? If so, this article could be helpful. As we leave behind the heat of the summer and begin to embrace autumn, spend September, a month of change and transformation, challenging yourself so you can enter into the winter and even the new year as a healthier person. If you're ready, here are some tips to assist you in making changes starting this September:

Have faith in yourself

The first step is to believe in yourself and your abilities. Take the first step without fear of what the process will bring you in the future. Just start whatever you want to do, whatever you want to challenge yourself with, or whatever small first steps. Don’t doubt yourself for a second. Don't listen to the voices in your head saying, “it’s too hard,” and don't let others cloud your motivation. Simply decide and begin.

Maintain a focus on healthy eating

If you have struggled with making healthy eating a way of life, forget about your previous attempts and focus on the present. For example, you can aim to reduce refined sugar. Too much sugar contributes to chronic diseases and can actually cause decreases in energy and increases in fatigue, despite the fact that it feels like it gives you energy. If you prefer, you can start by reducing sugars and then try to eliminate them entirely from your diet. If the thought of going cold turkey sounds too difficult, begin by making daily, weekly, or monthly reductions.

You can also affirm yourself with small reminders such as "I will not eat refined sugar today, I will eliminate foods containing refined sugar from my meals this week, or I will stop buying processed foods this month." Meanwhile, you can add additional fresh foods, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, to your meals, drink more water, and begin taking the supplements your doctor has suggested. You will notice that as you begin to nourish yourself from the inside, it will give you the energy to improve other aspects of your life.

Move a little bit every day

You may have tried regular exercise a few times and given up feeling unsuccessful, just like you may have had a hard time improving healthy eating habits in the past. However, increasing your activity level can become a way of life. So, no matter how few your steps or how many times you've tried unsuccessfully before, you can always try again. It helps to begin with attainable goals and objectives.

For example, you can begin with short-term and specific goals such as "I will take 4000 steps today, I will go to the gym at least twice this week, or I will get up early and run outside for 15 minutes." If you are not at a healthy weight, seek advice from your doctor to set a goal for weight reduction that can be implemented alongside a dietitian and a personal trainer. These professionals can work together to help design the best nutrition and activity programme for your specific needs.

Learn how to identify and manage stressors

Unfortunately, stress is unavoidable as we can encounter stressful situations at any time during our lives. Importantly, there is no effective or permanent way to completely eliminate stressors. So, learning how to manage stress is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical wellbeing. There are several approaches to identify and manage stressors. For instance, you can start the day with a five-minute meditation, practise mindfulness throughout the day, or prepare for sleep with a few minutes of relaxing breathing exercises.

Once you begin to identify your stress triggers, you can take breaks, get away from your current environment, even if only for a short time, listen to calming music, or go outside to the garden or balcony for some fresh air. You may also try exercises that focus on connecting the body and mind, such as yoga or Tai Chi and begin to incorporate the practises that you find most helpful into your daily routines.

Focus less on others, more on yourself

Do you, consciously or unconsciously, place more emphasis on other people's successes, lives, or lifestyles than on your own? If this is the case, you may be squandering your time and energy. You can remind yourself with mantras like "Today I will focus only on myself, today I will work for my own happiness, today I will prioritise myself."

To give yourself your full attention, you can repeat affirmations like "I am lucky for what I have, I appreciate what I have, I am aware of my successes, and I celebrate myself" every day.

Start a journal

September is a month of change and transformation, so it is a good time to start journaling in an effort to kick-start your inner transformation. You don't need to think about what to write too much; just make time to write every day. Gift yourself a special diary separate from your to-do lists. You can journal any time of day by making a list of what you are grateful for each day or freeform writing detailing your current life and aspirations.

By simply holding the pen, you may notice that everything had just been waiting to be transferred to the page. You may be surprised at how quickly the words flow from your pen, or not, but you'll surely say, “I'm glad I started writing.

Focus on the present rather than the past

To move forward it helps to leave behind both your own and others’ regrets and expectations. Forgive the past and bring your attention on to the present. By focusing on the present you can identify things you would like to change now to begin to create a more fulfilling life. Let go of the past to move forward to become the best version of yourself. Every day, remind yourself, "Today I will focus only on the present, I am free from the shadow of my past." This way, you can see what you already have, what can be changed or improved, or make specific investments in your personal development.

If you want to spend this autumn creating a better lifestyle, you can get started right away.

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