I know. I know. I know. New year, new you right? Hmm. That's a bad idea. Why? Because you have to get started somehow. And starting is the hardest. Among almost everyone's resolutions are to get in shape, eat better, drink less, etc etc etc. While these are certainly admirable goals, your first inclination is to most likely to try and change everything at once. This will lead to a period of brief activity, followed by a slow decline. It is a cycle that repeats itself.
This has constantly happened to me too. When people ask if this year my new attitude towards health are my new year's resolution, I say yes. They were my 2016 resolution, that I finally started at the end of 2017, and am continuing in 2018. I am sure that sounds familiar. As part of my health hacking experiments, I came up with a way that is working well and I want to share it here.
It is based on my theory that motivation is caused by the tension between your actual self and desired self. Actually it's not my theory, it is one we use in marketing all the time. Especially for advertising. But I think it's a great starting place. Why? Because you need to know where you are before you can get where you want to go. The trick here is to change nothing for one week. You need to get an accurate picture of what you actually do. There are 3 main components; activity, diet and sleep. Makes sense right? So here you go.
1. Get a fitness tracker.
Yes, get a fitness tracker. It's an investment. A simple one will do. At a bare minimum it should track your steps, allow you to set a goal and give you some analytical capacity. The purpose here is to track your passive daily activity, or what you normally do in a day. Most experts would recommend a minimum activity level of 10,000 steps per day. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but use this as a benchmark. Find out what you actually do.
2. Keep a food diary.
Keeping track of what you eat for the week is critical as well. All weight loss stems from a simple formula: calories in minus calories out. You cannot change that. Write down everything, including portion size, any second helpings, desserts, time meal was consumed, I mean write everything down. This includes drinks like water, juices, soft drinks and yes alcohol too. Don't cheat. Pretend its a normal week, and do as you would normally do. You do not need to count calories. Just write everything down.
3. Monitor your sleep.
Sleep is important. You should be getting 7 to 8 hours of solid zzz's per night. Most of us don't. I know I don't. Some fitness trackers will monitor your sleep patterns automatically, which I highly recommend, but if not, just write down. Time you go to bed and time you wake up. Try to note the quality of sleep you think you had. That's it.
I know it says 3 but I couldn't help adding a bonus. This one works for me. Every morning look into a full length mirror and pinch your fat. I mean really grab ahold of it and look at it. Think about how that makes you feel.
So the first part of changing yourself should be to find out how you stack up on these three critical areas. I cannot stress enough that you need to be honest. Just do what you normally do, and record it. What's the point you ask? You will find that this helps develop mindfulness. I will be posting on what to do next after you have this data in hand. Feel free to comment below, shout out, whatever. Cheers