Women are claiming their strength in many aspects of life more than ever.

Women are lifting heavier weights and feeling more powerful, which translates to a stronger sense of self and increased confidence at home and at our workplace.

Women are crushing their lunch-time indoor cycling or bootcamp sessions, basking in the post-workout 'feel good' endorphins, ready to take on new challenges.

We want you to live better - to be reminded of how strong you really are and that you can accomplish new, challenging tasks - whether it is a new workout or new healthy habit!

Ready to get cracking?

The thought of starting a new fitness regime or healthy habit can be just as daunting and confusing as it is starting a new project. Whether you have just had kids, are recovering from injury or are completely new to the exercise game, questions like what to do, where to start, or who to call are common to all. Add to that the endless fitness options and content available these days, it can be overwhelming thinking about where to start!

To help you get over these roadblocks and get ready for #CLEANSLATE2017, we have a quick little exercise to help you on your way:

1. Know Your Goal

Having a goal in mind is the best motivation not just to start something, but to keep at it as well. So the most important thing to start with is having an idea of what you want to achieve (Get Strong, Get Lean, Eat Clean, Live Better).

When it comes to setting yourself a goal, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound (4 weeks). An example of this could be the ability to walk up the flight of stairs to the apartment and not feel out of breath, or it could be to progress to doing a pull up in a month’s time.

Ask yourself what it is you would like to achieve, establish some measurable outcomes to this goal and set yourself a realistic timeline for which to achieve this. Write all this down on the top of a sheet of paper.

2. Picking Your Activity

Just as having a goal is important to keeping motivated, participating in an activity you enjoy or knowing what is sustainable for yourself will also help you stay on track.

Running or weight training might have been the weight loss solution for someone else - however, if the idea of those activities fill you with dread, then that is obviously not the best way for you to start. Without the right motivations, and forced into an activity you do not enjoy, you will be so much more inclined to jump on any excuse to miss a session or fall off that 'no sugar' bandwagon.

For example - if you enjoy being around people or thrive on a bit of competition, then write down a list of group classes or sports teams you might be interesting in joining. If you get better focus being on your own, then you could look at fitness apps to download, gyms or clubs you can sign up to or trainers you can work with one on one. If you enjoy music and movement, then getting involved in group fitness or dance classes would be the perfect way for you to find motivation.

3. Relevance To Your Goal

Now that you have a list of activities you enjoy or might like to try, think about their relevance to your goal.

For example, if your goal is to improve on your fitness and eventually participate in a race, then low impact classes such as Pilates or Yoga should be complementary activities rather than the main activities you select.

Refer to the goal you have written at the top of your page then shortlist your activities by circling the items on your list with the most relevance.

4. Convenience

Location and timing are important factors that will set you up for success. Think about your current schedule and when you can realistically fit in sessions on a regular basis.

Would it work better for you to find something closer to home, closer to work or if you have children, closer to their activities? Knowing this will allow you to work out a smooth transition between getting to your workouts, work, home or drop offs. If you have younger children, things to consider include feeding, naps, childcare and whether the facility or activity would allow you to have your child with you.

5. Commit to your goal

Now that you have a shortlist of activities and a planned set of guidelines that could work for you, find a range of options and schedule them into your diary.

Update the #TEAMBUSYWOMAN community about your progress. Set your goals well, but also have an action plan to achieve them. Find a Sweat Buddy or your accountability partner to do the activity with you.

Make your health and wellness your priority by scheduling other commitments around these workouts that you have scheduled in. If one of your goals is to live better by spending more time with your loved ones, schedule a sweat session with them and work towards your healthy habits & healthy living, TOGETHER!

For those of you who are new to the fitness regime, be kind to yourself. Give yourself a couple of weeks to try out various options before deciding on the one that works best for you in terms of location, timing, rapport with the group/trainer and of course, the one you most enjoy.

Start with one session a week as the bare minimum or aim to fit in 2-3 workouts each week to get good consistency. Once you get into a good routine and start feeling changes in your energy levels, then look to progress by increasing exercise frequency or intensity of each workout.

Before you know it, regular exercise will be seamlessly incorporated into your new fit and healthy lifestyle!

Article contributed by expert Cheryl Lin, Founder of Eat Train Love, Singapore. Her extensive experience of over 15 years includes numerous certifications and accreditations in fitness and nutrition acquired whilst in New Zealand and Singapore. She most recently completed her certification in Elite Plant-Based Sports Nutrition, ZUU Level 1 Cobra Accreditation, as well as a teaching accreditation with Barre Body Australia.

Photo credit: OMMO Studios


Join us in our Clean Slate Challenge! We want you to live better. From 2nd January to 27th January, take part in our 4-week challenge on The Busy Woman Project's private Facebook group - share your goals with fellow like-minded Busy Women, learn tips, share content and support one another! Get your friends onboard as well, or make new ones - we are stronger together!

Drop us an email: [email protected] or send us a DM on Instagram (@thebusywomanproject) if you can't find our private Facebook group, we'll add you up!