A question occurred to me yesterday while I was sitting in a meeting…how do you take global concepts that you know make a positive impact to your health and actually apply them? on my blog here I talk big picture ideas but I also get into the details (hacks, tricks, tips, etc.). The blog serves as a way for me to have the furthest reach and potentially greatest impact. However, it is not tailored specifically for you. You still need to do some work to design the best approach to health that meets YOUR needs.
One of the biggest obstacles I see standing in your way of creating your approach is picking where to start. You may try to make it into rock science or look for a short cut.
Finding the daily choices that start the snowball rolling.
For instance , when you see a fantastic headline that promises details to instant fat loss, or immediate stress relief, or the one magic pill to cure all that ails you…do you click on the link? Do you read the article or buy the product?
I see two main things happening in those scenarios. I see marketing success, but I also see the assumption that this is built upon, which is that we all respond the same to various stimulus (or our physiology).
Yes, our bodies do follow standard principles and we can certainly use them to improve our health. Yes, there are ways we can live that will have significant impact on our health and quality of life.
However, jumping directly to biohacks, whether it is some special herb or balancing on one foot while drinking water through a straw (I just made that up to impress upon you the crazy tactics that people are willing to try).
The foundational principles will yield the best results.
How do you go about building those foundational principles?
Simply stated…with daily choices. You need to define your goals.
Then use the following simple framework to get you started:
- You should aim to eat better,
- move more,
- get better sleep,
- deal with stress.
Taking care of these four things will improve your overall health.
Back to the daily choices
Maybe you need to make a lifestyle 180 and that feels overwhelming. It feels like when you are looking at the top of the mountain from the base or you are staring at the final project which you haven’t even started. You may be feeling like that right now.
Or maybe you just need to do a small course correction to get your health back on track.
Newton’s law of motion
This is where daily choices can create a snowball effect or a string of successes. These both talk to the idea of building momentum. The hardest part is starting, but once you are moving it is easier to keep it going. The series of daily choices consistently made over time will create a lasting success.
This could be making a goal that for the next week you will eat an extra vegetable at every meal.
Or sweat every day.
Or go to bed an hour early.
Or meditate every morning.
The idea is to build upon the previous week’s accomplishments until it becomes part of your routine.
Over a year ago, Naval Admiral William H. McRaven gave the Commencement speech at The University of Texas where he shared 10 lessons he learned from basic SEAL training. The first one has stayed in my mind. It applies to the importance of habits and routines.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
What I challenge you to do is to pick one thing to implement today and making it a daily requirement. No matter what else falls apart that day, you’re going to follow through on completing it.
Just like making the bed, you will know you accomplished something, you stayed on track with one element of progress.
This is building awesome.
Are you ready to try it?
Still need a nudge? Here are a few more practices you could try…50 burpees every day, a walk after dinner, a salad for lunch, or even writing a thank you note per day.
I want you to try whatever experience has taught you or intuition tells you will make a substantial difference …that’s what I want you to pick to try first.
You will commit to this habit for the next week. Accomplishing one single, strategic task each day for a full week will start the snowball effect.
Sure, it’s not groundbreaking, or even really fancy. The thing is simple often works. So the question to you: are you with me?
I appreciate you reading to the end. I would love to hear what habit you are going to try first. Let me know in the comments below or you can share this post with a friend to help each other stay accountable.
Wishing you success,
P.S. If you are interested in an accountability group to help keep you on track, than fill out my Challenge Group Form HERE.