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September Changes: Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

September is like a mini-New Year. It's a good time to take stock and maybe re-set a little. The kids are back to a new school year, and maybe you've said goodbye to your babies as they head to pre-school, or worse still, they've headed off to Uni for the first time.

The cooler days and cozy jumpers give us a sense of time for a new beginning. However, just like those New Year resolutions, it's best to pace yourself and set realistic goals, which you are far more likely to stick to and make some progress that you can be proud of.

1. Planning: It sounds so boring right? But planning for breakfasts, lunches and dinners can be so rewarding. Imagine the scenario: you have packed lunches made in advance the night before and you are feeling SO smug - especially when you then have time for your own breakfast in the morning!

Carve out some time at the weekend to get ready for the week. This typically includes the cutting of veggies and fruit, cooking up rice, quinoa or pasta, washing salad, hard boiling eggs, pre cooking chicken, and perhaps baking some healthier flapjack or granola bars. Get in a stock of air tight containers to keep it all fresh and you'll be set for quick packed lunches.

Menu plan for the evening meals. Get everyone to make a food choice for dinner, that way everyone gets a favourite, and it takes the pressure off you to come up with 7 evening meals. It makes shopping easier, and creates less waste.

2. Swap bad habits for good ones. Taking one step forward is infinitely better than standing still. You might not want to give up your Wednesday croissant and hot chocolate fix, but you can. Just replace it with an a healthier, alternative ‘treat’. Swapping out your tea and biscuits for two squares of 75% dark chocolate and a handful of raw cashew nuts is a lot easier than you think.

Baby steps are the key. Take one habit and aim to change that. One night a week clear of alcohol is better than none at all; one extra vegetable portion a day is a step in the right direction.

3. Your attitude determines your altitude. It’s no use mentally committing to a 10-mile run three times a week if you’re going to just think about it, rather than do it. Instead, stop plotting and start doing: get up, put on your trainers and just exit the front door. Less detail, more action.

The way you get there is more important than the goal!

4. Tell a friend. Voicing the possibility for change makes it more likely to happen. If you can rope a friend into keeping you accountable, so much the better. Accountability is part of my role as a health & nutrition coach; keeping you in action, motivated and moving towards whatever it is that you want for yourself and your life.

Real goals aren’t like wishing on stars – you don’t have to keep them a secret. And having a team behind you makes winning that much easier.

Make an appointment now with Marianne Andrews for a Free 20 Minute Better Health chat, and see how I can help you to feel more like your best self.

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