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Have you made a resolution to be healthier this year? Most people at this time of year are naturally cued to think about changing their health and health habits. So I ask you this question:
I asked myself this question a couple years ago in the middle of pandemic as we were heading into the second lock down. I thought to myself, if I want to reduce my risk of having adverse effects from Covid or any other illnesses, I should try to improve my overall level of health. At the time I was 190lbs, 5’-10”, and I had a little extra fat around my belly. I estimated I needed to lose about 15 lbs to be at my ideal weight. I took a bunch of other measures of my health:
Then I asked myself a few simple questions:
1) What habits would I like to focus on to be healthier?
2) Why do I want to do these habits?
3) What was the minimum amount of time I am willing to perform these habits without disrupting my life?
4) What useless habits could I cut out of my routine to make up for the time I would need?
This is how it looked for me:
Once I identified what tiny habits I wanted to engage in, my main priority was to make it as easy as possible and to keep the streak alive. If I couldn’t do 30 mins then I would only do 15. I would reduce each habit proportionately to accommodate that day.
After that I never thought about my overall goal. I just made the habit the goal, which made it easier to succeed because I was having success each day I performed the habit. I wasn’t focused on where I wanted to be all the time. I wasn’t upset that I hadn’t reached my overall goals at that point (which can happen when I create my goals on a fancy vision board and focus on them every day, week, month.)… I just got satisfaction from when I performed the small daily activities that I committed to doing.
After a while my identity changed, I just became a guy who works out and meditates daily. Anytime I missed one day or one habit, I wouldn’t get upset, I would just notice I was off course. I know that it happens to people and I would get back on course. It also noticed that I would feel weird when I missed my routines and my body didn’t feel as good.
Well two years later, I accidentally grabbed my journal that I wrote all my metrics in and stumbled upon my old measurements.
All of them had improved! At the start, I thought I could lose 15 lbs when in fact, I lost 25 lbs and have kept it off for almost 2 years now. I could touch my toes for the first time in my life without bending my knees. I was no longer walking 10 minutes, I was running for 30. I could meditate for 15-20 mins easily and often when I have time for it, I try to go for longer. I literally made gains in every single area I was measuring, all of which I exceeded my original goals. I lost more weight, I had more energy, I was more flexible, I was more calm and it influenced my mind set.
So this year when you are thinking about what you want to achieve, think of the person you would like to be. Break it down to what habits you would have to perform daily to achieve whatever the intended outcome. Write those habits down and start focusing on the daily wins. If you don’t know what those habits are, make the first habit to read a book on the intended area of progress.
After you set that up, let go of the outcome (chances are you thought too small in the first place) and check in a few couple months and see if you are staying on course. If not, make tiny corrections and don’t beat yourself up about it… and repeat.
Eventually you will find the winning recipe for you!!
Happy New Year,
Dr. Jean Paul Bohemier DC, DCCJP
PS: This year one of my habits is to write a bit each day. I will send out my writing each month. I aim to create Health information for our patients and friends of Vibe. So for all of you out there reading this:
What areas of health would you like to learn about?
Let us know by calling us at 587-803-3354. Your feedback will help guide what valuable content is offered in the future.