And finally here I am at step 1. Most people start by making massive promises or waiting for a good time to begin making resolutions.
This is the absolute best way to set yourself up for failure. Instead start by investing your time into building a few good habits.
Make sure these habits are simple and extremely basic. Then, be stubborn about sticking to them.
There’s plenty of research to show that habits are extremely powerful tools that can change the way your brain works. The simplest example of a lifelong habit at work is the act of brushing your teeth. I’m guessing all of us get it done and don’t stop to think about it. We don’t question when we will do it or how anymore. We wake up and as if by magic, head straight to the bathroom.
But long long ago, this too would have needed a push. Your parents probably had to wake up earlier than you and force you to do it for months if not years before it stuck.
As an adult, no one else can push you, so your habits are your responsibility to create.
Step 1, therefore is just to get into a routine. For now, I’m not going to put myself under any pressure to see any results. I have my whole life in this body and I might as well invest my time in making it a good one.
Here’s what I plan to do :
1) Meal Prep on Saturday/Sunday afternoons: The plan is to make 7 servings of dal rice,7servings of chapathis, 7 servings of tuna and cut up 7 servings of veggies(to freeze)
It’s simple and I have been doing this for 2 weeks now. It’s not all the food I need for the whole week, but there’s enough choices in the fridge that are healthy and it only takes me an hour on 1 day of the week.
If after all this I feel like eating out, then I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now.. as long as I cook it , store it and mostly eat it.. I’ll consider it a win.
2) Exercise every day: the time, the intensity, the equipment and the moves don’t matter. Just a little, but everyday.
3) Get to bed by 9 30 pm: This one was set up by my psychiatrist and it’s worked wonders. I don’t watch any shows past 8 pm and I don’t go out for dinners on any week days. Whether I’m sleepy or not, I get in bed and stay there after 9 30. 2 months ago, this sometimes meant I stayed in bed awake till it was time to get to class.
But, I’ve been off sleep meds for 2 weeks now and I’ve been doing ok… And this is possibly the most important thing I do all day. This is what keeps me sane enough to accomplish everything else.
Aaand that’s it. Small goals, no expectations except the habit itself and how many ever tries it takes me to set them up.
Remember, habits are really just a collection of things your brain is wired to do on auto pilot and they are built by you repeating an action over and over again.
So if you are constantly starting a diet every Monday only to then fail at it by Wednesday, that is also a habit and those can be hard to break.
It’s extremely important, therefore, to set manageable habits and make a habit of succeeding at them (have I used the word habit enough yet?)
All other goals can come next. Start here. Make a small but stubborn commitment and stay with it.
I’ll tell you how I managed in a week. Maybe you can tell me how you did?