When the clock strikes 12 am on January 1st, the majority of the world continues to party, knowing that once they wake up later that day, they will find themselves beholden to their New Year’s resolutions. This creates a pressure, one I’m sure we have all experienced, to “perform perfection.”

Do these look familiar…

Did you know that 95% of people give up on their resolutions by January 10th? As a long-time trainer and Health Coach, I have my own beliefs and philosophies about why this happens, based on my own life experiences and those of my clients.

One of the worst things we can do for ourselves is put loads of pressure and expectations on our every move. This is what tends to overwhelm us, and therefore causes us to give up before we even have a chance to honor our beginning. When we make out long lists of things we need to change, which somehow always seems to be everything LOL, we end up with feelings of confusion over where to even begin. So…we decide it’s just easier never to begin. Therefore, something I like to teach my clients to use as a super applicable method for reaching optimal health, hottness, and well-being, and something I also use daily, is a method called “Crowding Out.”

Crowding Out is exactly the opposite of dieting or going on some extreme exercise program. First of all, I am a huge fan of physical, mental, and emotional transformation. However, I believe in accomplishing transformation in a way we can maintain long-term, and therefore avoid the roller coaster of gaining and losing, gaining and losing our goals.

Instead of focusing on what things you must take away from yourself, Crowding Out focuses on what things you can give yourself. In other words, crowding out means you will begin to add in the habits and behaviors that support your overall goals, and thus allow the adding in to crowd out the habits and behaviors that do not match your goals.

So, for starters, take one unhealthy meal or snack, and replace it with a healthy one. The key here is to start small. You don’t want to feel too much pressure or else you risk “rebellion.” Make sure the first few healthy habits you add in do not feel too hard to maintain on a consistent basis. Remember, we want to create healthy habits that last. Make one realistic change per week for 12 weeks, and I guarantee you will feel much less pressured along the way, and will more than likely end up being able to maintain the new lifestyle you created for yourself.

Ok…here’s a good place to start…

If you’ve been eating something like this for lunch:

…try replacing it with something closer to this instead:

Do this for one week and see how you feel. More than likely, you will begin to feel more energy, vitality, and have a bit more of a bounce in your step, which will just make you crave more of that feeling. That’s how it works. After the first week, keep that one healthy shift you made, and then add one more.

For example, if you are doing something like this on your Saturday afternoon:

Try replacing it with something a bit closer to this instead:

If you are adding in one healthy habit a week for 12 weeks, that’s 12 more healthy things you are giving yourself in 3 months. That’s a lot! Also, it’s good to acknowledge that as a result,  you will experience many of your  unhealthy habits falling away just because there is no longer any room for them. It’s practically magic:) Keep your focus on the new things you get to GIVE yourself rather than what needs to fall away, and as you begin to feel better and look better, you will find it easier and easier to continue doing more of the things that support your overall goal.

That’s it…that’s all you have to do to experience physical and habitual transformation. Too many people get caught up in the negative aspects of reaching health, hottness, and optimal well-being, and that can be extremely counterproductive. It’s ok to have goals, and to make lists…just don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to change everything at once. Changing your body, means changing your mind and your perception about what feels good to you. It is a process, and one that can be deeply profound and beautiful if you are gentle and loving towards yourself along the way. Your journey towards living a life you love in a body you love can begin right now. All you need is the willingness to commit to one healthy addition to your life per week. Those who commit, get fit!

I encourage you to begin your first week of crowding out. What healthy habit are you going to add in first? I’m exciting to find out! Please share with me here!  Here’s to your Health, Wellness, and Vitality!