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Thinking about doing the 12 Week Challenge and actually doing the challenge is two different things with completely different outcomes and takes several steps to prepare yourself to be successful in completing the challenge.
In this Preparation Guide, I am going to list the various steps and tools that are needed before starting the 12 week challenge, that includes mentally preparing yourself, thinking about your goals and outcomes you want to achieve, what to plan for, and how to stay motivated, and more.
While reading and using this guide before you start your challenge, I hope it makes your transition and journey on this 12 week challenge a smooth and successful process.
Going into this 12 week challenge can be daunting and having doubts about not being able to do it is normal. For my first challenge, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do or how to plan for. So putting together this guide from a busy mum myself who is completing the 12 week challenge again after some time and documenting my journey from start to finish may just help and inspire you to fulfill your goals and complete the 12 week challenge also.
It’s not always easy to jump into something that you haven’t done before or something that has restrictions in place to help achieve something that is a big part of your daily lifestyle.
Highlighting these simple techniques and barriers you might face is going to help give you by giving you the knowledge to help overcome these challenges.
Mindset is a big, even massive part of any new task you set your mind to. Having and building a positive mindset is going to give you the strength in completing and achieving what you set out to do.
As stated (Mindset – Wikipedia) a mindset represents the cognitive processes activated in response to a given task. It also goes on to explain the difference between a mixed and growth mindset. Those with a growth mindset believe “intelligence can be developed” and their abilities can be enhanced through the learning process.
Having a Growth Mindset is going to be extremely important to have on this 12 week challenge. Mindset is much more than just learning a new skill, it can affect the way you go about everything in life. In order to achieve or enhance what you set out to do, you first need to believe you have what it takes and that you are worthy, and have the power in yourself to go all the way.
Nurturing a growth mindset could be the single most important tool you can equip yourself with to help you achieve success.
Learning from past mistakes or past failures is all part of growth mindset. Believing that you can better yourself and improve while enjoying and embracing the process and journey embraces growth and positivity.
Goals and Outcomes
Going into this with clear intentions of what you want to gain and achieve while on the 12 week challenge and writing them down is going to be a great start. This is just the start of any successful brainstorming session. Knowing your ‘why’ is important as this is a lifelong journey to health and fitness.
When thinking about goals, it is best to write them down in a journal or somewhere you can refer to often. This will help you evaluate and assess your progress.
By breaking down your goals into categories, for example, long-term goals – what you want to achieve overall from the 12 week challenge and breaking those down even further into monthly, and weekly goals will help you to manage and not become overwhelmed.
My Goals might be the following:
- Long-Term – Lose Weight – 6 kgs in total during the 12 week challenge, Drop 1 dress size.
- Monthly Goal – Lose 2 kgs per month
- Weekly Goal – Fitness Goals – Walk 3 times a week, Workout – 2 times a week from app
- Daily – Hydration – Drink 2-3 litres of water, Nutrition – Cook healthy recipes from app.
Having a place to record these goals is going to be important to reflect back on and follow up on to hold yourself accountable for. Just saying at the beginning of the challenge isn’t going to be good enough.
Start with writing in a Journal every day, whether that be in the morning or evening, and check in on your daily tasks and ensure you are striving towards your goals for the end of that week and you are on track for the end of the month. If not, you need to look at what is holding you back, identify your good and bad habits, and if you can implement strategies to help you stay on track.
Defining goals that are manageable will help your mindset and enable you to stay focused. If your goals are larger and more time-consuming that may not be completed within the 12 week challenge that is perfectly fine, remember that this challenge isn’t just a challenge. It is about learning and educating yourself that this is a journey to a healthier lifestyle and some of the tools you implement during the challenge are worth keeping beyond the challenge to better your life and your family.
If you find that some of your goals are more complex, break them down even further. 1 year, 2 years and so on to be achieved. Just make sure you are setting follow-ups to monitor the progress of each of them. That is why it is so important to record them.
You will find in your 12 week challenge Tool Kit handbook, lots of prompts to get you started including pages to record your goals.
Joining the 12 Week Challenge
The exciting yet daunting part!
Signing up is such an exciting part, it’s about taking charge of your health and your body. You have made the commitment to improve your outlook on life for the better. Turning the focus on you and ultimately your family as they will benefit from the healthier version of you too. Not just the healthier and fitter but your mood will have an amazing boost along with your confidence.
It’s not an easy decision to make especially as a busy mum with work commitments, family commitments, and afterschool commitments. Having just one app that has all the resources you need in one place helps to simplify and streamline the process definitely makes this more achievable I found.
Upon signing up you will receive an email with further instructions on how to download The Healthy Mummy App and you will also be given a 12 Week Challenge Tool Kit Handbook.
Downloading and logging into The Healthy Mummy App and having a look around will help you get familiar with all the tools and resources that the program offers.
All the resources you will need are within the app, it is loaded with useful and important information to guide and educate you, including:
- Fitness tab
- Food tab
- Wellbeing tab
- Shop tab
Within the Fitness tab, you will find all types of various workouts along with the current date and day that helps track and mark off your workout and also records the amount of time you were active each day.
You are able to personalise your workouts to what you enjoy and your current fitness and activity level by filtering your preferences. There is also a handy ‘favourite’ feature you can highlight on the workouts you enjoy.
There are hundreds of different workouts from HIIT workouts to Yoga, Dance Cardio, and my favourite, the No Equipment workouts.
What I like best about the workouts is that they can be completed in as little as 10 minutes and can be done from anywhere and anytime. This has enabled me to easily complete a workout every day if I wanted to as I can do them from my lounge room and get the kids involved. Game changer!
The Food tab is where you will organise your weekly meals, record your daily intake of foods and drinks and find healthy, delicious recipes.
Having a meal planner is one of the most useful tools you can have.
Eating the right foods that provide a healthy balanced diet and teaching you about all the various types of foods to stay healthy is education and educating yourself is going to be what helps you to make this lifestyle stick and be successful for the future.
Each Wednesday the meal plan for the next week is released. When logged in, if you click on the food tab you will see under the ‘My Meal Plan’ tab week 1, week 2, and so on.
You also have a filter option that gives you a choice of what type of meal plans you would like to choose from.
There are so many filter options ranging from –
- hormone balancing,
- keto – which is my go-to meal plan
- or if you prefer you can choose just lunch or dinner etc.
Click on the Week 1 tab and from there you will see a preselected menu. You have the option to swap your meal from each category –
- morning snack,
- afternoon snack,
- dinner and
- evening snack
If you see a meal you would like to swap, click on the ‘swap’ on the meal. You will then be taken to a list within your selected filter of meal type. From there you can select the swap button within the meal you want to change to. This will then update that particular meal with the time and day selected.
Once you are happy with your weekly meal plan you can select the shopping tab. This will conveniently create a shopping list for every meal you have selected for that week. How easy is that!
I love this easy and simple feature. Saves so much time and effort and cuts out so much time going back through and manually writing my shopping list.
Staying hydrated is just as important when eating healthy and starting to exercise or increase your workouts.
Your body needs the extra water intake due to the body sweating and using up more calories while working out and moving your body more.
It’s not uncommon to get headaches or feel fatigued when you first start out eating healthier and exercising. This can be a sign of dehydration.
Setting a goal to increase your water intake can be one way to achieve hydration. You could try to achieve drinking 2-3 litres a day. Having a group of water bottles that equal your set amount can be motivation and a reminder to get through the required amount of water per day.
Carrying a water bottle around with you can be another simple way to get more water intake. If you are not a huge fan of water, try squeezing some lemon or lime juice into your water.
There is also some food that are high in water content to help boost your hydration. Foods like cucumber, celery, watermelon, strawberries, tomato, and lettuce are great examples.
The Wellbeing tab is a fairly new tab. The Healthy Mummy has since introduced a Wellness element that incorporates important yet sometimes forgotten elements in our lives like self-care, meditation, and yoga that can help to unwind and de-stress.
For me, wellness is just as important for a healthy lifestyle. With our busy lives, we often forget about ourselves, we are so busy we don’t have a chance to really stop and take care of our mental and emotional wellbeing.
Having the wellbeing tab conveniently in the app which we can easily access from a simple tab, means there is no excuse to incorporate wellness into our day. Even scheduling 10 minutes can make a change for the better.
The shop tab is where you have access to The Healthy Mummy products.
One of the most popular products from the range for me is the Smoothies.
From the premium ingredients containing over 24 vitamins and minerals to the convenience of getting up in the morning and not having to think about what to make in a rush. Taking a scoop of whey protein and mixing it with some healthy spinach or fruits to blend in my morning smoothie, makes my day so much easier.
The options are endless when it comes to the Smoothie range.
- smoothie bowls
- protein balls
- bliss balls
- protein bars
- slices and so much more.
From this tab, you can also access the Facebook group, your account and track your progress, and also the contact us button can be found.
Accountability is to be accountable and responsible for your actions. It also means something that needs to be worked at. There has to be a clear and consistent strategy on how something is going to be implemented and validated.
In this case, you are pledging to complete and achieve your goals throughout the 12 week challenge.
There are many ways to help you stay accountable. One way is The Healthy Mummy Support Group.
The Healthy Mummy Support Group.
As The Healthy Mummy states ‘When women support each other incredible things happen’. With 2 million mums that have joined the group and thousands that undertake the 12 week challenge each time there are always relatable topics and content to share and contribute to help and support each other.
Having a community to inspire and empower each other is an incredible advantage. Having access to past conversations that you can easily search through and read up on is handy to have as you can find your answer straight away.
The women and Heathy Mummy representatives are always happy and are prompt in answering and giving advice as they have been in the same situation and know the challenges and hurdles we face coming into the challenge.
Being part of this amazing group is great for motivation and accountability. Seeing other women and hearing how they are improving their lives and achieving their goals is a reassurance that you can also have the same success.
Showing up and putting in 100% effort will make all the difference to your end result.
The first few weeks will be the hardest, creating new habits and sticking to them can be a tough challenge and a cycle that can be hard to break.
Planning and setting intentions can help reduce the barriers and excuses. When you have a strategy and a routine it can be easier and less likely to make excuses for not showing up for a workout or eating the wrong foods from not organising and planning your meals in advanced
One goal you could set for the first month could be ‘to show up every day’. By the end of the first month, you would have established a new routine that incorporates both fitness and healthy eating and created a new habit to stick by for life.
Measurements and Photos
Before the start of the12 week challenge, be sure to take your starting measurements and photos.
Scales don’t always give us the full picture. Taking measurements and photos can show more accurate results and will help to maintain your motivation by evaluating your progress and noticing that the hard work and dedication are paying off.
Ensure that you wear the same outfit for both the before and after photos. An example could be active tights and a sports bra. This will ensure you can see the changes easily during the challenge.
Also ensure you are taking photos from all angles – left, right, behind, and front with your hand down beside you and you are taking them regularly during the challenge.
Once you have your meal plan in The Healthy Mummy app, it’s time to get your shopping list from the app and get shopping. I love online shopping, it’s as easy as ordering online and getting your groceries delivered straight to your door. Simple, quick, and takes the stress and temptation out of the equation.
On the Sunday before the challenge starts, I take the time to familiarise myself with the weeks meals and snacks and prep as much as I can so it doesn’t take as much time in the evenings after a busy day.
Prepping my snacks on Sunday before also gives me the flexibility to get on with my week without jeopardising my hard work and eating unhealthy. Snacks will last a few days and can even be frozen in individual snack bags to be taken out when needed.
Ensure you try and enjoy this step. Food and healthy choices at meal times need to be enjoyed in order to stick with it. Make the process fun, get the kids involved and make this part of your weekly routine.
Next Step Challenge Time!
By this time you are ready to start the challenge and smash your goals.
You have read through the 12 week challenge Tool Kit, logged into The Healthy Mummy app and organised your meal plan for the week, shopped from your shopping list generated from your meal plan, and prepared some meals and snacks.
Your mindset is positive, you have joined The Healthy Mummy private support group and submitted your pledge.
Lay out your activewear, dust off your joggers, and ensure you get some decent sleep.
By being prepared as much as possible and equipping yourself with the knowledge and know-how, you can go into and start the 12 Week Challenge with confidence.
By committing yourself and having a consistent approach, you can expect to notice results within the 12 weeks. Not only will you see and notice results, but you will also be transforming your mindset and the way you go about your life for the better.
Fitter, healthier, stronger and increase your wellbeing in life.
I wish you all the very best on your journey, smashing your goals and getting in your best shape, and kick-starting your healthier lifestyle.
You got this!
Sign up today and join me for the 12-week challenge!
This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
- Keto Paleo and Mediterranean Diets
- 7 Common Reasons: Why Can’t I Sleep
- Holistic Wellness Journey: My Tips and Guide for Success
- Understanding the Power of Calorie Deficit
- Finding Balance: Balanced Weight Loss and Self-Care