Days habit missed: A few, not many
Ease of doing daily: Easy
Equipment required: List of goals
Is it something I’ll continue? Yes
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s very hard to be “on it” all the time – being 100% focussed on whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. It’s probably not actually all that healthy either! However, I realised last year that if I want to achieve my goals, I do need to be a little bit more consistent than I probably have been in the past. We all have days where our motivation is lacking and it all feels too bloody hard, and if I’m going to get to where I want to be, I’m going to have to suck it up and keep going a little more often than I have done.
Last year I spent some time really thinking about where it is I want to get to. I try to review the overall list monthly to keep on track (doesn’t always happen) and I’ve refined things as I’ve gone along. I keep a short list in Onenote (my favourite – means I can access my notes on whatever device I have handy), and I take some time each day just to remind myself of the benefits of working towards my goals. It probably takes less than 30 seconds to do.
There are some elements that have gone very well. Fortunately, I seem never to lack the motivation or discipline to exercise. I don’t always enjoy it (hello jumping lunges) but I do enjoy the way it makes me feel. Sometimes that’s about feeling either physically stronger or fitter. The mental benefits are more quickly realised – the satisfaction of having done something, feeling badass when you lift heavier weights or run a bit faster, the head space you get cycling along a peaceful country lane. Many of the physical benefits are also quick wins – I definitely feel more energised after most of my workouts. Obviously other gains are longer term (strength, speed) but the short term benefits are enough to get me started. The times I skip a planned workout are rare indeed. Of course sometimes I feel under the weather or plain can’t be arsed, and I do listen to my body and rest if I need to.
Healthy eating has gone through more peaks and troughs. Overall, my diet is massively better than it was 18 months ago. However, I probably still haven’t quite found the right balance for me. The benefits of a good diet are perhaps a bit more long term. The pleasure of eating something delicious is instantaneous (although often the regret is too!), whereas the positive benefits like better skin, reduced fat or more energy generally take a little longer to realise. However, reminding myself of the health benefits definitely helps when I’m “urge surfing”.
I’m still aiming for the magical 80/20 ratio of good, wholesome food to well, slightly less healthy fayre. This is not about aiming for perfection, but it’s about sustainability for the long term and reminding myself of why that matters is really powerful. Given how quick it is to do, this is one habit that’s a no brainer to keep up!