Health is unbelievably simple but as humans, our desire too often blinds us with great intentions. Intentions seem like a great thing but when it comes to health they are often the barrier to achieving sustainable results. You get stuck in the trap of more is better, classic overcompensation taking on too many changes at once which are not sustainable.
The issue is as humans, we want quick results and we think the more we do the better it is. Yes, quick results are achievable but they are not sustainable and will often put you in a worse place than you started. Much like those few extra kgs you are now carrying, didn’t happen overnight nor does cancer just pop up out of nowhere. We are just expressions of the way we think, live, eat and move. Real health is slow health!
Instead, let’s shift your trajectory off by 1degree, that is all it takes as that 1 degree will compound over time, and before you know it you will find yourself living the life you always dreamed of, full of energy, at a healthy weight with no aches and pains
Establish a Keystone Habit
The biggest mistake when kickstarting a health journey is trying to do it all at once. The common example; meditating for 20mins every day, going on a strict diet while training like you used when you were 20’s along with a long list of other positive habits. All I can say is good luck! It will never stick and you will most likely end up in a worse place than you started. Instead, pick one thing you can change, this is what is known as a keystone habit which sets the foundation for all future habits to build from.
Start Small & Simple
Now that you have picked one habit now you need to ensure you start small! Don’t overcommit early on. Too often when we are looking at making a positive change while full of motivation, we set ambitious and often unrealistic goals. For example, I will meditate for 20 min/day, a great goal and absolute something to work towards. However, don’t start there! You may go well for a week or two while motivation is high but as the motivation dwindles so too will your momentum and excuses will begin to creep in until there is no longer a habit and you are back at where you started.
Instead start with something so small making an excuse is harder than the habit itself. Let’s take the habit of meditation, instead of 20min each day start with no excuse, an achievable time such as 2 minutes. Everyone can spare 2 min, regardless of how busy you are! The primary focus is to establish the habit and then build from there. With a long enough timeline, anything is possible although it may be painfully slow, right now playing the long game will be the best thing you ever do for your health.
What makes this approach powerful is the compound effect as you stack another positive habit on top of an existing habit. It is important to keep in mind that you are playing the long game so don’t get carried away and stack things too soon. I find a month timeline works really well for stacking. At the start of each month either choose to gradually extend your current habit or stack another habit on top. For example; 2min meditation gets increased to 4 mins or 2 mins of meditation followed by journaling three things you are grateful for. By the end of the year, you would have made 12 positive changes in your life without really even noticing!
What is the one thing you could change today?
Keep it ridiculously simple and easy, it only needs to shift you off by 1degree.
Great Keystone Habits:
- Drink a glass of water on rising each day
- 5 Burpees every morning
- 2min Meditation/breathwork every morning
- Eat nothing within 3hours of going to sleep
“Everything you want is on the other side of consistency”