Opinion: Fall back into good habits 

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by Jonathan Anzaldi 

As the curtains close on another eventful summer, September can be looked at as a time of year to start fresh and refocus. Calendars return with structure, and routine falls back into balance. As you dive headfirst into all the activities, extracurriculars, sports and social obligations this fall, I am here to remind you of one very important thing – yourself. 

I am an entrepreneur. Although I make my own schedule, I choose to wake up at 3:45 a.m. Monday through Friday. As a personal trainer, my first session begins at 5:15 a.m. and once that wraps, I typically have 6-7 more clients before I head home to work on other projects. There are days that I am absolutely exhausted, but the train keeps moving. 

In my field, we are used to hearing excuses. Tired? Same here. Tight on time? Join the club. Things to do? You and everyone else. I can understand that sometimes, life will throw us unexpected curveballs, but much like how a parent knows when their child is telling a fib, a trainer can always sniff out an excuse from a curveball. Excuses prevent us from getting to where we want to be. They are the lies that we tell ourselves (or others) because we are lazy, tired, fearful or doubtful of our own capabilities. Do not let the excuses win. By pushing past the excuses and making yourself uncomfortable, you will prioritize yourself and be one step closer to achieving what you want. 

I could easily roll out of bed an hour later than I do and arrive at my first client’s doorstep still with a few minutes to spare. Instead, I choose to wake up at the time that I do because that time is for me. I prioritize that window so that I can mentally and physically prepare for the day before I walk out my door and give all of myself to my clients. Stop thinking it’s not possible. Turn your “I wish” into an “I will.” Prioritize yourself and put yourself first. By doing so, you will succeed in all other aspects of your life. You will be a better partner, you will be a better parent, and you will be a better person. Not only will you feel more accomplished and see the changes in your mood and body, but others will, too. Fall back into good habits and carve out the time you need to succeed. Be consistent. Stay committed. You owe it to yourself. Here are some simple things you can implement daily to prioritize yourself. 

1. Stop snoozing. I challenge you to wake up 30 minutes earlier. You can do it! Put your phone and/or alarm across the room at night so you physically have to get out of bed in the morning to turn it off. Then, enjoy the peace of the morning. 

2. Hydrate (and caffeinate – if needed). Make sure to have a tall glass of water after waking up, and aim to drink at least a couple liters of water throughout your day. 

3. Map out the day. Whether you like lists, live by a calendar or like to time block your day – try to have it all out in front of you so you can see what needs to be done. This window is the perfect time to plan to do something physical that day. 

4. Move. One thing I know for sure is that no one has ever felt worse after exercising. Physical activity can look different for different people. Lift. Run. Hike. Paddleboard. Walk the dog. The most important thing is that you move. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day, and if you are not sure where to start, check out my YouTube channel. I have dozens of workouts you can do from home, the gym or anywhere in between. 

5. Eat Well. I am a personal trainer who loves to cook. I grew up in an Italian family where food was always celebrated. I believe we should enjoy eating what we love. Be conscious of your portions and remember, if you eat well, you feel well. 

Jonathan is a personal trainer, home cook, former restaurateur, content creator and a Laguna Beach resident. He hosts private training sessions and group fitness classes throughout coastal Orange County. Learn more about Jonathan by subscribing to his YouTube channel, where he shares home workouts and simple, flavorful recipes or by emailing him at [email protected]. Instagram: @jonathanryananzaldi.

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