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Picking up a new fitness routine in the AM sounds great in theory, but how do you make good habits such as this one a reality? Five women share how they did it. 

1. Improve work-life balance



“About two years ago, I realised my life revolved entirely around work. Being a one-woman show, it was inevitable as I had to do everything myself. As a result, I was often exhausted and grouchy. It impacted my relationships as well.

I decided to start taking Fridays off to do yoga and just take one day off for myself. It helped immensely,” says Kate Low, founder of Perk by Kate who recognised that work is never ending and that she had to be healthy in order to push the business forward.

She now runs a three-man team, including herself, and has instilled a 4-day work week to ensure her employees don’t fall into the same trap as she did.

They make sure they are productive with operational tasks from Mondays to Thursdays, take Fridays off, and are on-the-go with customer service emails that come in over the weekend.  


2. Take up exercising in the morning



Karina Stewart, co-founder and concept director of Kamalaya Koh Samui Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa resort tells us that she lays out her activewear so that it’s the first thing she sees when she wakes up in the morning. She changes into it first before having a glass of water and lemon. We do agree that it’s harder to back out once you’ve already committed halfway.

In order to realise what you visualise, “make them into action steps and not just mental steps.”

Among the resort’s wellness programmes include one on embracing change.

ALSO READ: 8 Effortless Ways to Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically Detox


3. Cut down on snacking 



How many times do we tell ourselves not to finish that jar of M&Ms on our work desk within a week but fail to abide by that silent rule?

Keep a snack drawer in case of emergencies but don’t leave your chocolate bars and almonds in plain sight to stave off the munchies.


4. Be kind to one’s self



“One time I was sitting with my mother talking – probably more like whining – about something I was struggling with when she paused, looked at me and smiled. She said, ‘darling you need to be kind to yourself. You spend the most time with you in your lifetime, so why be so cruel?’” says Stephanie Dickson, founder of Green is the New Black Asia and The Wedge Asia, of the moment when the penny dropped for her.

“We all have the ongoing chatter in our heads. Sometimes you can turn the volume down, but better still you can change the narrative.”

She decided to speak to herself the way she would a best friend – loving and understanding, yet honest. “I started by telling myself I loved myself in the mirror every morning. It felt unbelievably uncomfortable at first but I would keep saying it until I laughed.”

ALSO READ: 7 Scary Ways You Might Be Unknowingly Destroying Your Self-Confidence

5. Ditch shopaholic ways



Stephanie loved shopping and getting new things until she stumbled upon scary statistics.

“According to Fashion Revolution, it takes 2,700 litres of water to produce a single cotton tee, which is the same amount that we consume in three years! I realised there’s no planet B, and all of us are playing a part. The documentaries always painted a very grim picture, which does the job.

“By spending more time researching where my clothes came from and who was affected along the way, choosing to buy pieces I would be proud to wear and talk about made all the difference. Now I buy only pieces I absolutely love and have a wonderful story behind them. It’s an ongoing journey but all it takes is the first step forward.”


6. Reshuffle dating priorities



When Milena Nguyen, founder of HER Academy, two-time TEDx speaker, and author, realised that she was repeatedly dating men that weren’t for her because she felt insecure, she sought to change to consciously finding her soulmate and building a powerful relationship that is true to her highest vision of love.

“Step one was choosing to believe that my dream is possible, step two was being honest with myself that I want this, and finally telling myself that I can do it.”