Along with the New Year comes a mountain of discussion about healthy habits. There’s no shortage of advice on what to do and how to do it. We’ll save you lots of time and sifting and share the most foundational advice that articles, self-help gurus, and even medical journals espouse: create small, measurable goals. Taking on too much all at once might lead to burnout, so the research shows we need to champion consistency over intensity.
Gillian Stollwerk Garrett is a mom who is modeling this mantra every day. She loves her body, nourishes it well, and moves often to feel strong and energetic. Gilly, as she is affectionately known to the women dedicated to her organic skincare brand Gilly’s Organics, is a mother of three teenagers and a health enthusiast. She is the host of @EverydayRockstars on Instagram, and a business coach, often helping women overcome hurdles to reach success. Her formula is about giving herself grace and returning to what works for her, even after a break.
In short, commitment + flexibility = habit.
Gillian says that healthy habits are about what she takes from them, rather than adding something to a to-do list. Here’s more from Gillian about making those healthy habits stick around long past New Year’s!
My favorite way to move is yoga. It’s movement that is coupled with meditation and breathwork and it makes me strong, flexible, centered and calmer. I LOVE it!
I do yoga on average 6 times a week; however, that often looks very different day to day and week to week. Sometimes it’s an hour-long, 60-minute hot yoga sweat session and other days it’s 20 minutes on my mat at home. Both of those are wins!!
Also, switch things up so you don’t get bored. Doing something you love can still get monotonous without variety. For example, I practice at 3 different yoga studios and pick classes depending on the teacher, my energy level, and the type of yoga I’m in the mood for that day.
And even with all of my devotion, an accountability partner is key! Having my favorite instructors pushing me to leave everything on the mat is invaluable. I might be lacking in motivation, but I never regret a workout once I’m done.
Juicing is a habit that works wonders for me and my body. Truly, I believe it keeps me from getting sick so I stick with it! I try to drink a mostly green juice 3 or 4 times a week. I also will mix it up with carrots, beets, pineapple, oranges which all have such incredible health benefits.
Some people worry about sugar content in fruit juices, but I don’t. I watch junky sugar content and empty sugar content in my diet, but when it comes to juicing, I just look for high antioxidant, superfood benefits.
Again, being flexible is how I stay on track. Some days I juice at home, other days I stop by my favorite juice bar (hi Healthway!) to buy one. If I skip a couple of days here and there, I move on!
If you juice at home, make it easy on yourself and press several juices at once. This means I make a mess just once every few days. I wash all the veggies, press the juice and then store it in mason jars filled to the top. Greens last in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and non green veggies and fruit tend to last for 3-4 days.
While you’re at it, try making immune booster shots. I juice ginger, lemon, and oranges then pour them into an ice cube tray. When I’m feeling something coming on, I’ll pop a few juice cubes out of the tray and add some water.
Don’t forget all the easy options out there, too. Cold-pressed juice is available almost everywhere, I can even buy it at Trader Joe’s in a bottle.
Shortcuts are a good thing!
Meditation is one of those habits that can feel intimidating, but it’s really about pausing. My goal is 5 minutes a day and that’s it!
For me, I look at meditation as self-help. I have 3 teenagers (ages 19, almost 17 and 13) and I need to keep myself centered to help them with their lives. That old saying seems to always come true: we can’t pour from an empty cup. Meditation helps to replenish me.
A prompt often helps. For example, if I meditate in the morning I’ll visualize my day and how I want it to go. Whatever is on my mind, I breathe and let sh*t go!
If the silence is throwing me off, I repeat a mantra to keep me focused.
Also, guided meditations are really helpful to get started. There are free options on Instagram and YouTube, and some great paid apps as well.
Again, think of meditation in a selfish way. What can you get out of it? Personally, it’s the only way to reset my nervous system before I jump into the crazy day ahead.
Gillian Stollwerk Garrett is the founder of Gilly’s Organics and the Host of Everyday Rockstars. You can find her on instagram at @gillysorganics and @everydayrockstars.