I’ve been sharing recently that I want to get back into alignment with how I take care of myself on a day-to-day basis. There is one tool specifically that has been making this super simple and easy for me, and that is my Aligned Daily Checklist.
This is not a do-all-the-things checklist and it’s not a punishment-for-bad-behavior-yesterday checklist.
It’s a checklist that is personal, value-driven, and aligned with my current self. And in this episode, I’m sharing how you can create one for yourself.
Tune in today to hear all about this awesome new tool I’ve been using and how you can make the most of it on your own weight loss journey. I share some guidelines for what to include on it, how not to use this list, and what has been making mine so effective. I invite you to try it out, see how it goes, and remember that simplicity is key.
If you want to dive deeper into this work of changing your health habits, your relationship with yourself and with food, join me in The Last Beginning 2.0, an up-leveled version of my signature weight loss program. The program starts on February 14th, 2022 and I have some super fun bonuses coming to you when you join the waitlist to get you through the holiday season. So, sign up for the waitlist and I can’t wait to meet you inside!
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- What the Aligned Daily Checklist is.
- A prompt to help you get started with writing your checklist.
- How many things you should include on your checklist.
- The biggest problem we face when trying to make changes.
- Why this is a do list, not a don’t list.
- Some of the things I include in my checklist.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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- What are you struggling with? What would you love to learn more about? I would love your input because I want to make sure I help you where you need help most. Click here to submit any and all weight loss questions you have for me, and I look forward to answering them!
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- Ep #91: Your Body is a Miracle
- Ep #87: Habit Fading
- Ep #33: Should You Lose Weight?
Full Episode Transcript:
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 92.
Welcome to Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you’re a successful woman who is ready to stop struggling with your weight, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn everything you need to know to lose weight for the last time in bitesize pieces. Here’s your host, certified life and weight coach Natalie Brown.
Hello, everybody. Wow, did you notice the last couple of episodes were like supersized? It’s funny because most of the podcasts I listen to are at least 30 minutes per episode. Some are like hours long, and yet, seeing one of mine that was almost 30 minutes last week, shocked and surprised me. However, I personally think that spending time engrossed in the miracle of our bodies, as we did in last week’s episode, rather than the perceived tragedy of our bodies, is something we could be doing much more of, 30 minutes isn’t even close to enough time, IMO. Yep, just used an acronym. I have teenage children. I guess I can’t help it.
So, today I want to get back to short and sweet and share with you a simple tool I have been utilizing for myself recently. I think it is really helpful, and you may want to try it out yourself. I shared with you in Episode 87, how I notice some of my habits were fading a bit. And how I wanted to get back in alignment with how I want to take care of myself day-to-day. Well, one of the ways I decided to support me in this effort is to use a daily checklist.
Now, this isn’t just a write some crap down that I have to do today and cross it off checklist. It isn’t a listen to all the experts and try to do all the things they think I should checklist. It isn’t a punishment for my bad behavior yesterday checklist. This is a checklist of things that are personal, value, and priority-driven, important to me, and aligned with my current and future self.
Though it may sound like it, it doesn’t have to be long and complicated. In fact, the spirit of it is actually the opposite. Simple and focused. If you haven’t done any work on what you value or what your priorities are or who your future self is, that is totally okay. I have podcasts, by the way, on all of those things. If you would like to do that work, in addition.
But I will give you some questions here, some sort of prompts, a direction that you can use to create your own aligned checklist, now. The thing I love about this concept of aligned. Is that it is relevant to you, right now. It is current. Notice I said aligned with current and future self. I’d like to maybe switch that too and/or because if all you know is what’s important to you today, checklist can simply be aligned with who you are today.
The idea is to create a guideline for your day that supports you and what you want with lots of love. It gives you a visual reminder of what you want to create, what’s important, what to focus on, and that visual can also serve as a way to see and celebrate your success. As an opportunity to give yourself grace, and a way to lovingly commit to yourself to take aligned action.
So, here is a prompt to help you get started. What are you trying to create in terms of your health goals and your relationship with your body and yourself in the future? I want you to really think about this. Not just writing down the number you want to get to. But, why? What is it? What kind of life? What kind of person do you imagine? What does that look like, in specific?
And then, brainstorm things you can do/actions you can take that you believe will contribute to the creation of that outcome? So, take the time to be specific here and really break bigger things down into smaller things. For example, if you write down, eat better. Be specific about what that will actually look like for you. Eating a serving of veggies with every meal? Eating one dessert every day? Stopping eating when you feel full, right, or eating to satisfaction, etc.
If you write down exercise, be specific about what that means to you. If you write drink more water specify how much. Go back through that list and underline all the things you actually want to do. This isn’t what you should do, or what you think you should want to do. These are the things you have an actual desire to do. Go back through the things that you underline, right, that you want to do, and circle all of the things you think are doable for you right now. Meaning you have the time, energy, means, equipment, etcetera to do it.
So, that means if you put, sit down in a quiet space for every meal. Put my fork down between each bite and be mindful about how I am feeling throughout. But half of your meals are eating out with clients or in your car between shuttling teenagers around, this may not be doable. Or if you put exercise for an hour every day at the gym as something you want to do but your gym is currently closed because of COVID restrictions. Or you are working full time and taking care of your house and small children when you get home, or you don’t have a gym membership in the budget currently, this may not be doable.
For any of the things that you want to do, but don’t see as doable right now before we totally rule them out re-assess each of them and see if there’s a way to make it doable. Maybe you eat just one meal a week in quiet mindfulness, or you only require the sitting down part, or you redefine exercise like a 10-minute walk around the block, or even just 5 minutes of stretching.
Once you have your list of things that are both doable and desirable, you get to decide what you want to focus on tomorrow. This is where you want to engage your loving realistic adult brain to assist you. Because you may end up with a list of 22 things that are both doable and desirable. I personally think you should start with 3 and go from there. You can always add more tomorrow if 3 was easy.
Now, just as a little Asterix or caveat here, if you end up with a list of zero things you want to do and or zero things that are doable. You may want to re-assess this goal of weight loss, right? It may not be for you, right now. That’s kind of for another day, I do have a podcast called Should You Lose Weight that you can listen to. I can’t remember what episode it is off the top of my head, but I am sure that you can search it. But I think that is something to think about.
Now, it may either be that weight loss is really not something that you want to do right now or it may be that we need to kind of refine the idea of doable, right? We need to break some things down more. That’s typically the piece—There are usually things we want to do but we don’t see how we can, how it is possible etc. So, kind of tweaking that piece I think is what I would recommend if you end up in that place where you are, like, in the I don’t have anything that matches, bowl.
There’s lots of flexibility, in terms of how you do this. You can create it day-to-day. Where you switch things out on the checklist based on what your schedule is or how yesterday’s checklist went. You can decide what your most important items are and keep them the same for a week or two with the goal being consistent. This is a personalized, customized checklist for you to create with the aim of supporting and facilitating your success.
My current priorities that support my current health and as a result, my future self is to drink more water, one of them. I’m specifically shooting for half of my weight, in ounces, daily. Just cause’ it seemed like a really—a lot of people recommend that. It just seemed like, I can calculate that, that makes sense to me, and it’s not a huge amount that I can’t handle.
So, that works out to be about 4 of my very favorite simple modern water bottles, every day. I’m also prioritizing protein and veggies at every meal. Eating dessert if I choose to with a meal, rather than by itself or in the middle of the afternoon. Moving every day and meditating every day. So, that’s what my daily checklist looks like right now. And moving every day, I have talked about this lots of times on the podcast. But, moving to me looks like a whole bunch of different things. I have a big range, sort of a spectrum. That I have in terms of my definition of moving. But you get to decide that for yourself.
So, when I say moving every day I know exactly what it means to me. What counts as moving and same with meditating. Sometimes my meditations are longer, sometimes they’re shorter, sometimes it is a walking meditation, sometimes it is laying down meditation as I’m going to sleep. There’s all sort of ways that it looks. But I know that for me, I really like to work on the same thing for a few weeks. Before adding on, or moving on. Doesn’t have to look perfect for three weeks. But I like time to dial in what works and how best to accomplish what I want to accomplish with each of my priorities.
And then, kind of find a system, or a habit, or a pattern that gets the job done. I write mine out each day. I really love the ritual of it. I like drawing little squares for myself to actually check off. Because I love me a good checked box. And being a visual person, I like to see how far I have come, and how much more I need to do. I love using my favorite pens and different colors every day. I leave it out on my nightstand so that it is in view throughout the day. But you don’t have to leave it there, obviously, you can leave it on your counter. You could have it on your phone if you want. You get to decide, right?
I take time to acknowledge and inner high-five myself for the checked boxes. I love myself and I honor even the unchecked ones. B-rating is not useful. I open myself up to learning when I approach myself with compassion, right, even on the unchecked things. The keys to this being helpful are two things.
First, keep it simple, short, and sweet. Like the podcast, right? My list is so concise and focused that I can easily remember to do all of it. That’s the biggest problem typically when we try to make changes. We take on too much. We overcomplicate it and we, therefore, set ourselves up to fail from the get-go. We are not trying to change the world.
We aren’t trying to change our lives, or even our bodies overnight with this checklist. We are simply creating some focus for some of the actions in our day that help us align with what we want, that’s it. I don’t do well with trying to do it all. I just don’t. I make much more effective headway when it comes to pretty much everything in my life when I boil it down, I make it simple, and I narrow the focus to a few important things at a time. Important being relative to me.
Second, base your checklist on things you want to add, not subtract. This is not a don’t list. It’s a do list. Of course, there are things you want to stop doing, I’m sure. Yes. But, our brains respond best to focusing on what we want, rather than what we don’t want. The beauty of doing it this way is that some of the things you want to stop doing will naturally happen as you add new aligned habits.
So, my beverage consumption is a perfect example. When I focus on drinking four water bottles full of water. And that is my priority, there’s much less room in my day for other beverages. My thirst is satisfied and my focus on the goal of checking my four boxes first takes priority. I still have iced tea or seltzer water. Have you tried the Beach Plum LaCroix? It is my new obsession, so good, sorry, anyway. So, I still have those other beverages but they become an addition rather than a replacement and I just consume less as a result.
The same is true for my meal structure. I don’t only eat veggies and protein, right? I have other things in my meals. I often have fruit, sometimes I have grains, rice, whatever. But when I build my meals with those two things as a priority I make different choices and my meals look different and I feel different as a result I don’t have to say, no grains or carbs or no sugar because for me I’ve already previously built the habit of stopping when I am satisfied that is something I worked really, really hard to learn to listen to and it’s become how I live I just don’t overeat like I used to so no matter what the components of the meal there’s only room for that amount, right when I prioritize protein and veggies there’s just less space for other things
Now, just a caveat I feel better when I eat more protein and veggies. I know that about my body. So, I’m not prioritizing that because it is what I am supposed to eat, or because those are good, and other things are bad. Those items being on my checklist are there because they are what I want to put into my body. That is what is important to me. That doesn’t mean that has to be true for you I share with you my process here, and my checklist items just because they are what worked for me and support what I want and I want you to do the same thing for you
I’m loving this exercise right now and I will tell you what I am feeling awesome as a result of honoring it for sure. Physically and mentally because I am like I said giving myself all of those inner high-fives and just taking care of myself better try it out for you and see how it goes. Okay we did pretty good stayed on track here I was just checking how long the podcast was real fast.
So, just to kind of wrap things up here if you are wanting to dive deeper into this work of changing your health habits, relationships with yourself, and food, and all of it with me head to ItBeginsWithAThought.com/waitlist.
I am launching a brand new group program in 2022, that will teach you how to lead with love as you go through the process of attaining your health goals and healing your relationship with you and your body. Applications open in January, and the program begins on Valentine’s Day. Because love, of course, is the foundation of all of it.
I am so excited about this. I feel so passionate about it. It’s kind of a culmination of all of my work on myself, all of my continued learning, all of the work with my clients, and sort of the missing ingredients that I see a really strong need for in the world today. So, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to share more of it with you. The excited women on my waitlist are getting all sorts of fun gifts and bonuses while they wait. Including my navigating the holiday’s tool kit, that will be so helpful over the next couple of months. A podcast quick start guide.
So, they can start listening to podcasts with some guidance and framework. So, they can start making some changes now. And then I’m also going to do a fun holiday give-a-way in December for my waitlist, specifically. And they also get access to apply for the program before I open it up to everybody. So, join me at ItBeginsWithAThought.com/waitlist today and I’ll see you soon.
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight for the last time, come on over to itbeginswithathought.com. We’ll see you here next week.
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