Dust off those running shoes, hurry to the gym, shop organic at the health food store, pull out your goal sheets and focus intently, “This year is the year I ______.” Fill in the blank with whatever you can dream up, but its HEALTH SEASON!
Every year millions of people are triggered to pay attention and reengage with their health. Health club memberships are up. So are supplement sales. There is a palpable air of optimism out there. I love it! . . . . . . . Until about February 1st . 🙁 By then most people have ditched their plans and gone back to the same ‘ol health they had before. Was it the weight you wanted to lose? The abs you wanted to sculpt? Or the nagging aches you were finally going to address?
If it wasn’t who you were last year, you are probably not going to be the healthy person you want to be this year.
Who you are defines your health
Take inventory of your habits around health. What is your food culture? How do you positively deal with stress? Is exercise a staple of your week? Do you get quality sleep? Get the necessary health checkups? Be truthful and honest with yourself about your relationship with health. Maybe it’s great, poor or just needs a few tweaks. Whatever the case you probably aren’t reading this if you are completely satisfied with it. Who you are defines your habits and your habits define who you are.
Contrary to Majority Belief, You Can Change
Whatever the landscape of your life and health, you got here somehow. You acquired the habits that make up your health impacting routines early in life from your family, friends and probably some pretty sophisticated marketing indoctrination. But the good news is that you can change and learn something new. No old dogs here. The first step is to believe it. I mean really believe against all other thoughts, ideas and opinions that YOU CAN CHANGE.
What does a healthy you look like?
The key is to make a permanent change. Not just for January, but like, forever. Imagine it is not a burden to cook and eat healthy or go to the gym. It is just a part of who you are. That is the goal. It has to come from within you. In your mind’s eye of the healthy person you want to be, what are the healthy habits that person does to achieve the result they have. Don’t focus of the goal but the habits. Now those are the habits you want to create for yourself one at a time.
Getting to Work
There is so much out there about creating new lasting habits. I’m no expert but just a fellow voyager who wants to make changes too. I recommend you read Atomic Habits by James Clear. But once you decide what you want to change here are a few tips to tackle this effectively:
- It’s a whole lot easier to add something than take something away. Start eating a ton more vegetables before you try to cut our chocolate cake.
- Implement the new habit along with an existing one. So if you drink coffee every morning, create the habit of making your healthy smoothie or food for the day right after. Healthy and proportionate. Stack your habit right next to another one that is already automatic.
- Make it convenient and easy. In the case of the smoothie and food prep, have your ingredients sitting out and ready or at least readily available next to the coffee machine. Convenience is a huge trigger that can work for you or against you.
- Get verbal. I am totally comfortable with this one but it might put you out of your comfort zone a bit. Psychologist have said for years that your thoughts drive your emotions and your emotions drive your behaviors. So make the thought audible to drive the emotion to do or not do something. “I’m going to eat this spinach and chicken salad because it is the right portion size for me and is super healthy.” There, you just got a drip of energy because you just told your physiology that health is on its way and now you feel good about it. The opposite is true too. “I’m going to eat this brownie. It’s not particularly healthy for me and it isn’t going to help me achieve the vision of the healthy person that I am.” Ugh, I might eat the brownie this time, but if I do it over and over with all of the other delicious temptations out there, I will start having less eager to eat them. Do this with every activity that contributes and distracts from the habit you want to create.
Apply these to any habit you want to form or break. It can be around weight loss, exercise, meditation or even your daily spinal care that I give you.
This isn’t all encompassing but just my thoughts to help you focus and become the healthy person you are daring to believe that you are. Hit me up in February if you are still on your journey. I want to give you a high five. If you jump off the wagon, hit me up anyway. Perhaps we can encourage each other and get back on the journey.
Cheers, to the healthy you I know you are!