Think about the positive impact exercise has had on your life in the past-or how you hope it might impact you now. Then, fill in the blanks in the following sentence:
If I _________, then I _________.
For example: If I start walking daily, then I'll have more energy and feel better about myself.
Now, take it to the next level...
If I _________, then I _________. (If I have more energy and feel better about myself, then I'll be happier about how I look.)
And then to the next...
If I _________, then I _________. (If I am happier about how I look, I'll have more confidence overall and feel happier about my marriage and being a mom.
Another example we can think of to help you get started:
If I eat a turkey sandwich with mustard, tomato and cucumbers for lunch, I won't crash and burn by 2pm.
If I don't crash and burn by 2pm, I can sneak in a 30-minute yoga video while the baby naps.
If I can sneak in a 30-minute yoga video while the baby naps, I'll feel energized and accomplished, and will be motivated to take a long afternoon stroll tomorrow.
As you move through each level, you'll get to discover what's truly motivating you. Once you've tapped into that drive -- whether it's more calm, more confidence or even just a smaller size -- start leaving yourself little notes to encourage your new healthier habits. If you're constantly frenzied, try posting "I need five minutes" on your phone as a reminder to take some deep breaths. If you need a confidence boost, tape a note to your bathroom mirror exclaiming "You're a great mom!" All of these steps can help you change a negative mindset and remind you to take care of yourself (not just your newborn), to listen to what your body is telling you and to cut yourself some much-deserved slack. Consider them love notes -- to yourself!