Committing to your health does not have to be a drag. Nor should it be! And, more importantly, it doesn’t have to be a massive life overhaul, either. You don’t have to workout more than you sleep, or swear off all social dinners with friends while you sit at home and sadly nibble on the raw chard leaf you grew in your organic garden. (Actually, please don’t!) The top thing to remember about a healthy lifestyle is that it’s made up of small, consistent, healthy choices, not obsessive and overly-restrictive imprisonment (especially not something that leads to sleeping on a treadmill at 4:00 AM!)
As the quintessential yoga instructor may breathily whisper during class, “if it’s available to you,” here’s a challenge….
Try to commit to one small action every day to remind yourself that you prioritize your well-being and health. Decide that you can fit in 60-ish seconds of something– either a physical move, a healthy choice, or a mindful meditation– no matter how many barbecues you go to, or how crazy of a workday it is. The purpose of these moves aren’t to substitute for a workout or add to you to-do list; the Bonus is just a moment in the day to trigger you to think about health.
On B.O.D. * I’ll be posting a daily suggestion, either a physical or mental action that contributes to your health. It will be different each day. You should post your own B.O.D.s, too! Every morning just pick one small thing you will do (in addition to what you already do!). Even better, pick the time you will do it,** and post it on B.O.D. to keep you accountable.
Give it a try! And tell me what you think.
MS, RD, PhD
* The link to B.O.D. is on the Menu on the right panel.
** Making something called an “implementation intention” makes you much more likely to successfully carry out your goal action. An implementation intention is basically letting your brain start to associate your intention with a specific situation. Having your brain’s automatic processing help you out will offload some of the willpower you need to generate to get things done.
If you say, or better yet write, “when x happens, I will do this” your brain will start to associate “x” as a situational trigger for your action. “X” can be “the mailman coming” or “I’m at a stoplight” or 2:34 PM.” If “x” is every day, and even better at the same time every day, then you will start to do a “B.O.D.” every day at that time, and it will become a habit!
For more info on implementation intentions, check out:
Gollwitzer, P.M. (1999). Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans. American Psychologist, 54(7), 493-503.