By Cici Coleman, personal trainer and star of Channel 4’s First Dates.
We as a nation are very good at getting stuck. We create a story in our head that translates into a full-blown feature film, affecting our mood, posture, environment, and relationships. From years of trial and error, I have learnt that sometimes all we need to do is take it back to basics.
Why is it important to make changes?
Have you ever felt like the world is against you? Or like you have woken up on the wrong side of the bed every single day for a week? By Friday, you have entirely given up; you’re mentally drained, and you’ve prayed for the fire alarm to go off at work just so that you can get home, curl up in a ball and eat ice cream. I have been there, in fact, I probably should have received an award for it because this was happening daily at one point: I couldn’t understand why everything felt so challenging.
After A LOT of self-loathing, I decided something needed to change. I wasn’t sure what; I just knew there had to be a shift. I started small and began writing down things I was grateful for each night. Gradually, I could feel myself viewing the world from a different perspective; I was gravitating towards the things that made me feel alive & centred, like yoga, breathwork, and getting my 10k steps in. The more I did this; the better my days were; I was more focused and, dare I say, happier. From someone who for many years has compared themselves to others, believing everyone else had it easier than me, that high achievers were naturally born with motivation: I was proved very wrong; Motivation comes from change; it’s learnt behaviour. We have a choice in how we respond to a situation.
How can we make positive changes?
Keep it simple, go back to basics, and start with what your mind and body need to be their best version. Food is your fuel; eat a balanced diet. Move your body; as cliche as it sounds, nobody ever said they regretted their workout. And lastly, check in with yourself, and ask yourself, “How do I feel today?” “What minor tweak can I make to my day to improve it?”
There is no magic to shifting your behaviour, you can read all the books and have all the therapy, but ultimately it comes down to you making that first step. It doesn’t have to be drastic. Even the act of proactively creating a small habit (as simple as getting up 5 mins earlier) will make you feel more accomplished than you felt before. And it’s those small changes that create a big change or shift in mindset over time, without it having been a daunting process.
My top tips for creating better habits
- Breathwork – We all need to breathe
- Exercise – Your body will love you
- Walking in nature – Listen to the sound of the trees
- Prioritising sleep – Your life will transform
- Drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water per day – Watch your skin glow
- Not looking at your phone in the morning, before you have checked in with yourself first – You are number one!
- Seeing family & friends or anyone who allows you to be exactly who you are
- Affirmations in the morning – Trust me on this one
- Get a coach – The best thing I ever did. We can’t be an expert in everything
- Setting a mini goal for the week – Nothing more satisfying than ticking off that list
- Having a social media break – You will feel so much more present with everyone around you
About the expert
Cici Coleman is a personal trainer and co-host of the podcast The Dating Show with Pete Wicks. She is probably best known from her appearances on Channel 4’s First Dates. Speaking about her online coaching programme, Cici says, “I started online coaching because I wanted to help clients with their confidence in training. I know from my own experience how daunting it can feel to step into a gym where everyone looks like they know what they are doing (they don’t), and not know where to start. I’d like to help you feel supported and confident in and out of the gym space, which will hopefully give you more assurance in general life also. There is no better feeling than to feel like you are part of a team.”
For more information, please visit cicionlinecoaching.com