When Getting Healthy Is No Big Deal
When is the right time to start a new healthy habit or quit an unhealthy one? The default answer is usually “the future”. You know, at some magical moment when things settle down. Or when we feel ready to make a change. We’ll definitely have more time and energy to do it right then. Just not now.
Sometimes the right time never comes. But if it does and we decide to take action, we typically want to jump right in and handle it quickly. Radical or restrictive plans seem like an ideal way to jump start our health and get us to where we want to be in no time. So, we go all-in and strive for perfection. The more dramatic the action, the bigger and better the results, right?
This approach may work for a while but it’s tough keep at it for the long haul. We figure we can gut it out til the goal is met but we don’t think beyond that. What exactly does it look like to maintain our new habits or never go back to our old ones? Unless we’ve realistically ramped up our healthy behaviors and can consistently do them, we often end up back where we started.
So why don’t we just start today by taking small, realistic actions that don’t require will power, massive deprivation, or perfection? Pick something you can see yourself doing for the long haul, master it, then move onto the next thing. At your pace. Over time. And if you miss a day, that’s cool. Just get back on it as soon as you can. In real life it’s rarely all-or-nothing.
Here’s some things most any of us can do. Starting today. Really.
Increase the number of steps you take each day. Track with a phone app, device, or go low-tech with timed walks or routes with increasing distances.
Eat 2 additional servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily. Most kids could add a ½ cup of carrot sticks and ¼ cup of dried blueberries and hardly notice. So, what’s our excuse?
Go to bed and get up at the same time daily, aiming for 7+ hours of sleep. Cut down on screen time to make this happen.
Sit, walk or meditate for 15 minutes. Goal here is to give your head some space. No reading, talking, or anything. Be with yourself and dig it.
Healthy habits that last don’t happen in a hurry. They ramp up gradually and are refined over time. Realistically, in a not-a-big-deal / I-can-do-this kind of way. It works. Try it now. Don’t wait til tomorrow.