I recently decided that I needed to give myself a little challenge in order to motivate me to achieve some of my goals. With my younger daughter turning two in a matter of weeks, I don’t think I can claim the ‘baby weight’ excuse any more – it’s time to get rid of it once and for all! However, I don’t believe in crash diets allowing me to lose weight, then gain it all back in a short time. For me, it’s all about habits – good and bad. And over the last couple of years some sneaky little bad habits have crept their way into my life, and it’s time to say goodbye to them…for good! I recently read a quote that really resonated with me, and I can’t get it out of my head: If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up! So here is my last first step. 

Fueled by my own determination, as well as the encouraging things I read on skinnymom.com every day, I decided to take my challenge to the blog. I hereby challenge myself to change my habits, turn them into positive change, and be proud of the healthy difference I can see in myself.

Anyone who knows a little something about goal setting will be familiar with the fact that you must break large goals into smaller ones to make them truly achievable. So that is the approach that I’ll be taking. After all, slow and steady wins the race, right? Here I am at the end of week one, and last weekend I decided to give myself two challenges to kick things off: no buying breakfast and no eating after 7:30pm.

Getting up at 5:45am, trying to get out of the house in order to make my 45-minute commute and be in the office by 8am makes for a hectic morning. I always want to spend a little time with my girls before work, while making myself look semi-presentable for the day ahead, so I tend to sacrifice the time needed to have breakfast at home. Yes, I know – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and believe me, I’m a total breakfast person. But unless I want to set my alarm for 5:15am (umm, no thank you!), it means I will continue to have this meal on the run. Working in a college with several food options just steps from my office meant that I was frequently getting a breakfast sandwich to begin my day – but no more! This week’s challenge was to bring my own breakfast, and I did – every day. I felt really proud of that simple change, and it’s definitely one I plan to continue with.

My second personal challenge this week was not to eat after 7:30pm. As I was trying to determine the first two goals I would strive for, I began thinking and realized that I was terrible at snacking after putting the kids to bed at night. Why did I do this? No real reason; it was rarely because of genuine hunger, and I just knew that it had to stop. This week I did very well with that goal and was happy to realize that I was feeling much better! Just a nice cup of tea at night did the trick for me.

I’d say that week one of my Mum Challenge has been a success!! My goals for next week are to continue with the two new habits I started to create last week, and to add two new goals in an effort to develop additional healthy habits.

The first is to get at least two workouts in this week. That may not seem like much, but these days it really is for me. And like I said, you have to start small in order to be successful. Hopefully in a short time I can work it up to three and four workouts a week, but right now, two is a stretch goal for me, so that’s where I’ll begin.

My second goal this week is to write down everything I eat. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve done this before and can vouch for it being an excellent trick for watching what you eat. Looking at it all written in front of you is a great motivator. I’ll be tracking everything on myfitnesspal.com.

So, off I go to week two…if you’re looking for a day to start changing habits in your life – today is the day! Join me in creating new habits, and living a healthier life.