Living a healthier life
A healthier you? Of course, you want this! After all, how often have you told yourself: “Today/this week/this month/this year, I will eat more vegetables, work out more often, look after myself.” And how often did you fall into your old habits? We encourage you to make small changes and become the healthier version of yourself.
Before you start, ask yourself how a healthier you looks like. By picturing and defining the future version of you, you can create your very own strategy and choose targeted actions. If you are creative, you may put your own vision board together and display it where you can see it every day. Are you more the analytical type? Specific progress charts, for example at your fridge, can record the advances you’ve made.
1) Get an accountability buddy
To support you become a healthier version of yourself, team up with a friend. You may want to choose either a friend who’s working towards a similar and where you two can not only share your progress but also your tips and tricks for getting closer to your healthier you.
Alternatively, you team up with a friend who has been incorporating a healthier lifestyle and to whom you may look up to for having made these changes. The second one needs to be supportive and empathetic since your progress and timelines may be different from theirs. You may also experience different challenges than they did.
2) Embrace a more active lifestyle
In a region where it’s currently around 40 C/104 F degrees hot (more with the humidity), it’s easy to just stay indoors all day and week. You may have heard us talk about our comfortable couch and yes, on weekends, it’s our favourite spot at the moment.
Still, we’re meeting more and more folks who are refusing to be put to a stand still by these temperatures. Walking in malls and swimming in the evening are two ways to stay active. Yet, the bigger trend is taking the steps. This morning, we met a lovely executive who gave up on the lifts in his office tower and walks 10 flights of stairs up to his office. Another lady we met takes the stairs to her apartment on the 31st floor!! Both of them recognise this doesn’t come overnight. The executive is noticing his lung capacity improve over the weeks and he’s building up muscles in his thighs.
Choose ways for you to get up and get moving. Playing ping pong in your office’s cafeteria, hitting the stationary bike while watching TV or taking the kids to Bounce, there are so many options. Whatever you pick, do it regularly for at least 10 weeks. A habit is apparently formed after 66 days, not the previously assumed 21 days, and by adding it to your calendar for a longer period, you really manifest this new activity.
3) Take healthy snacks to work
It’s all too easy to be stressed out at work and grab whatever the little store in your office building has to offer. In ours, it’s mainly crisps, biscuits, chocolate… Do we need to say more? You get the picture. Unfortunately, these snacks don’t give you the energy you need and just spiral you further downwards
At the beginning of the week, bring some nutritious snacks to your work place. We love the idea of 6 apples for anyone in 5-day-per-week role. Spread them out and eat one each day. Offer them to anyone coming to your desk, needing some cheering up. Also help out your colleagues and support their journey to a healthier version of themselves. You can even afford go into a manic snacking attack without feeling guilty!
Ideal snack include apples, carrots (great as carrot sticks with hummus), celery sticks with peanut butter, yoghurt (add some fresh berries), cottage cheese (with some pineapple) and unsalted nuts. Be careful when it comes to fruit or granola bars as well as exotic fruits due to their high sugar content.
4) Give your mind some rest
It’s expected that we have 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. That’s a thought every 1.5 seconds on average. Add some constant access of information (think of your work email, personal email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, the news, radio, TV, o another Snapchat) and your brain has to digest a huge amount! Give it a break!
At some stage during your day, hit the pause button and switch off. This can be during a daily mediation exercise, when it gets super crazy (and it’s least expected, yet, very powerful) or part of your decompression after work.
We’ve discovered the app Lake which lets you doodle or colour a picture. For us, this works wonders as we can simply focus on the picture and don’t need much decision making energy. It’s relaxing and provides the right break for us (and no, we did not get paid to say this!).
Perhaps for you, it’s something else. Ironing? Going for a run? Cooking dinner? What comes spontaneously to your mind? Take the first two activities that pop up and do them every day. Tomorrow, start with the “pause my mind” activity number one. Then you alter and use “pause my mind” activity number 2 on the day after.
5) Turn your electronics off at night
We recently worked with an executive who suffered from interrupted sleep at night. It turned out that her mind was pre-occupied with work issues… because she’d “just very quickly” checked her emails before going to bed. When waking up at night, she’d just glance at her emails. For her, it became almost a routine that she didn’t realise how her mind became active once she flicked through her emails. Falling asleep became a struggle and she’d be wrecked before her new day even started.
Our client has since made a few modifications to her evening and night regime. Emails can be read until 8 pm and while she uses her phone as an alarm, it’s been moved to the other end of her bedroom. There’s no more temptation for a quick look when waking up during the night.
While she may have been busy checking her emails and doing some extra work, our client has chosen to create specific family evenings. Realising her kids will be off to college in just a few years, she’s now taken some evenings per week to re-connect with them and be more involved in their activities. Now, this didn’t go without some growing pains as you can imagine, still by now, her kids are loving the extra attention they’re getting!
You can create a healthier version of you by making small adjustments to your current lifestyle. Don’t focus on losing those 5 pounds. Create a holistic view for the new you.
We are curious to hear what changes you’ll be making this summer. Will you share them with us? We can become your private accountability buddy.
Until next time,