Whether you have never had a wellness routine or have just been side tracked, the fall season is always a great time to begin anew or begin again.

With so many options and opportunities for wellness, it can get confusing and overwhelming which then leads to procrastination or feeling stuck. So, here are some tried-and-tested steps that are easy to follow:

#1 WHY do you want to begin a routine? This is probably the most crucial and important question to ask yourself. Motivation and self-will can ebb and flow, but when you’re connected and personally invested in something, it is easier to be consistent. Example: My doctor told me my cholesterol was out of range and I don’t want to take prescription medication. So, for 30 days, I am committed to eating Mediterranean style foods.

#2 Grab a friend. Community and connection are integral to your pursuits. Your friend or group will serve as accountability partners and cheerleaders; they may even choose to join you on their own journey for the 30 days. There is science behind being in a connected and like-minded group; the group will spread information, attitudes and behaviors amongst each other. This phenomenon is called “social contagion” and can work in your favor if you surround yourself with people that are on a similar path.

#3 Get Inspired. After you have reflected on your WHY and grabbed a friend or embedded yourself in a community, it’s time to get inspired. Pull some recipes from the web, cultivate an inspiring podcast list, research a book to support your journey or follow someone on social media that is already doing what you are setting out to do.

#4 Make a plan. The last important component of this journey is showing up consistently. If you are adjusting the way you eat, change your snacks or one meal. If you are adding movement into your wellness routine, show up for five minutes every day. If you are focusing on your mental health, meditate for two minutes or read a book for five minutes. The key to change? Showing up, consistently.

Choose ONE thing to focus on. I know it’s tempting to choose 10, but my personal experience and with hundreds of clients, is that people do too much and cannot maintain any level of sustainable commitment.

Remember, your physique is just part of the equation. Your wellness routine could include your skin – it’s your largest organ! It may include your mental wellbeing as our mental and emotional state can affect our bodies, energy levels and choices. It could also be a specific part of your body, maybe your hamstring or maybe heart health.

Life is a marathon not a sprint. Take care of you — intentionally and consistently.

Jennifer Yockey is owner of Gather Yoga & Wellness, author of Gathered Truths and host of The Gathered Truths Podcast. She is an E-RYT yoga/meditation teacher and wellness coach and can be reached at (760) 219.7953, [email protected]. For more information visit www.gatherlaquinta.com.

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