For some, blogging and writing comes easy to them. For others (i.e. me), writing can be quite challenging. In particular, I find it difficult to get my personality to translate into writing. The more I have been writing, the easier it has gotten however.
The saying “write drunk, edit sober” could not be more true. Some of the best writing I have done was after a couple glasses of wine 😉 Seriously though. Writing off the cuff without allowing your brain to wander and think about how people might construe what you say in a million different ways leaving you dazed and confused. Meanwhile, my computer screen is now on my screen saver because I’ve been daydreaming too long. This can be my biggest pitfall when trying to write for my blog. I’d like to think I’m a fairly confident person but my writing is something I am not overly confident about (at least not yet).
Other barriers that often impede my blog writing:
- It takes too long to write a blog post
- I think a blog post has to be “x” words or paragraphs long to be considered a “successful” post
- I forgot to take enough “quality” pictures for the post
- I don’t have time to edit my photos today
- And so on and so forth
See how this can easily spiral out of control and ultimately leading to no writing at all? The mind can truly f*** you some times.
As I was discussing this issue with my cousin over the phone, she bluntly pointed out, “this must be what your clients feel when it comes to eating better or participating in physical activity”. She hit the nail on the head. As an athlete growing up and having a mother who showed us the importance of cooking from scratch (most of the time), eating healthy and staying active has come relatively natural to me. Don’t get me wrong, as I age, it’s not always as easy, but nonetheless I have never really felt like exercise or eating fruits and vegetables was some unfathomable feat. I have always been that person who really can’t go more than 2-3 days without exercise mainly for my mental health.
However, my cousin is right. I often find that my clients and patients are so overwhelmed by all the nutrition and exercise information in the media and not quite sure how or where to start, let alone stay consistent with it. My cousin worked me through my struggle with blogging how I often work my patients through improving their diet or lifestyle. She asked me relatively simple questions to reflect on…
- What are your goals for blogging?
- Are your goals/expectations reasonable and attainable?
- What do you think is feasible to do on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis to get closer to your goals?
- What are some strategies to keep yourself accountable?
- How do you get back on track if you’ve fallen off the bandwagon?
After asking myself these questions and answering them truthfully, I was able to set more reasonable goals for myself. All these questions above apply to cultivating a healthy lifestyle as well, whether your focus is on diet or exercise. Although writing and blogging continues to be a work in progress for me, starting by setting SMART goals and remembering why I started blogging in the first place made all the difference. And at the end of the day, it’s truly about the content and making sure all of you get evidence-based nutrition information. Now let’s really quickly review what those SMART goals are. You have heard me talk about these types of goals before and trust me, you’ll hear it again! 😉
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Attainable
- R: Reasonable
- T: Timely
In other words, start by figuring out what your goals are for improving your healthy lifestyle, whether that be diet or exercise-focused. Be reasonable about how you can achieve or get closer to attaining those goals on a day-to-day, weekly, or hell even a monthly basis. We all have different starting and end points so stop comparing yourself to others and JUST GET STARTED.
I often find we are our own personal mind blocks. Many of my patients don’t participate in regular physical activity because they can’t afford gym memberships or they don’t have 60 minutes of time to dedicate (who are we kidding, even 30 minutes!). I try to remind clients that different strokes for different folks, meaning find what’s going to work for you. Even finding time for 2-3 ten-minute time periods to do exercise throughout the day 2-3x/week is better than doing anything at all. The same goes for cooking healthy meals…start by focusing on 1, 2, or even 3 nights a week, build your confidence, and adjust from there. I personally find that healthy meal planning for 3 nights a week works well for my life right now…one day of leftovers, weekend night of eating out, variable eating schedule on the weekend, you get the picture.
It’s easy to constantly get down on yourself when you see fit individuals appearing to eat these beautiful, amazing meals EVERY meal. But keep in mind, things aren’t always what they seem on social media and people have different levels of what they are willing to sacrifice or change for their desired quality of life. Therefore, any small step towards a healthy lifestyle is an important and good accomplishment that should celebrated, especially if you find it’s something that you know will be sustainable for YOUR life. So do you!