We often think of ‘getting healthy’ as something that has an end goal. Of course, targeted goal-setting can be a fantastic means of pushing yourself forward towards that ideal circumstance. You may wish to get to your target weight or run a mile in a certain time. Perhaps you just wish to attend the gym at least four times this week.
But no health goal is worthwhile unless it is repeatable, and practical to boot. It’s one thing to go on a run. But if you do not run after you have rested appropriately, can you call yourself ‘a runner?’ Health is only ever useful to us if it’s part of our lives, and keeps us supported. The daily decisions we make and the habits we build can help us become ‘a fitness person,’ or someone who simply makes the right decisions.
Your health approach should be for life, not just for new years, or because you feel a little sad about your waistline. However, if these things start off your weight journey, you should feel proud of that. No matter your justification, you are brave and courageous for wanting to get in shape, and anyone who puts you down because of that is acting in a terrible manner.
Let us consider:
The easiest thing in the world is to justify why you might not be keeping up with a decision you have made for yourself. It’s why new years resolutions are known for being broken as much as they are for being made. It’s why we often feel that sense of worry whenever we join the gym, as we wonder how long we’re going to be keeping up with this program. Depending on who you are and how you progress in life, you may have more or less trouble sticking to certain promises you have made to yourself – but most of us have failings we aren’t too happy about.
This is where the power of routine can come to your rescue. Remember, our habits are what make us. You cannot ‘get fit’ in the space of a day. It takes routine effort, it takes discipline in the kitchen, and it mostly relies on you getting to the gym on a regular basis, something you can depend on. It might be that instead of waking up at 7.30am each morning and then rushing to your office job, you decide to wake up at 5.30am each morning, head to the gym, have enough time to read in a cafe and watch some of the morning commute and walk into work feeling well-rested and able, and also feeling much better thanks to your exercise habits.
The more you fall into this routine, the more it will be second nature. Routine can often be seen as restrictive, particularly among young people. But it can actually provide the grounding to your life, and allow you to reach heights you might not have thought possible. Then, getting up early in the morning will not feel like a terrible thing to experience. It will just feel like part of your normal daily living.
Keep Your Vices In Check
Just as positive habits like those just discussed can be a beautiful thing to experience, it can also be that you have negative habits weighing you down. These are often your vices. It can be that drinking too much, smoking often, failing to get exercise, getting involved in social dramas that leave you stressed, and allowing your anger to get the better of you can all be considered habits you need to work on.
But this is hardly even scratching the surface. Gambling, internet or video game addictions, pornography, overeating, take a random selection of the population and you’ll find at least one of these addictions present, and in fact, you might be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t struggling with an issue they would rather be rid of. Keeping your vices in check through first identifying and accepting the problem, agreeing that you need to make a change, getting help and replacing it with something more helpful is, of course, the most stringent advice to be given. But first, realizing just how your life could be different if this wasn’t weighing you down could be amazing. We might not realize just how insidious an issue could be, or how it might be impeding every small aspect of our lives.
Socrates once said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” This shows that it’s not simply enough to slam on the brakes but to enter a new vehicle. This is why you often see prior addicts getting truly involved in a new obsession, but something they can be productive and healthy with. It might be they learn Jiu-Jitsu and become fascinated at how intricate and complex martial art is. They might take up painting. And not only this, but their experiences in fighting addiction have helped them learn resilience, or it might have given them something to artistically express. This method of using the light of negativity and becoming a prism that converts it to many different, more positive colors can be a beautiful way of seeing your journey, and over time, belief will help you get there.
The first change always feels like the hardest. The first week of attending the gym, the first decision to drink less, the first time you decide to veer away from a toxic person in your life. But remember, momentum builds. Before you know it, you’ll be at week five of your gym attendance. You’ll actually be feeling quite energetic. You’ll be pleased you went, and the session won’t feel like it took everything out of you. In this light, you’ll be much more likely to keep momentum at your side, and all of this advice in this column will come to fruition.
With these tips, you’re certain to take the right health approach in life.