So traditionally we check-in with ourselves at the start of the new year. Well, I recently stumbled on Montana Money Adventures’ (MMA) annual check-in post, and it made me reflect on my year so far. She calls it creating your “Best of” List in which she and her family highlight memorable moments from their year and try to do more of that in the upcoming year. It’s a great idea and right up my alley.
But when I looked back on the year so far, all I remembered was misery and ailments. It hasn’t always been this way though. So inspired by MMA, I’ve been thinking of using her idea of themes to figure out why I have been unsuccessful in maintaining healthy eating and healthy living, and living just an overall lifestyle unfocused on health. So the question changed from what are my memorable moments to why I don’t have any memorable moments. I was too busy being sick (and tired).
When I dug deeper, I think the ‘forever’ part of healthy living has proven to be unsustainable. I’ve accomplished a lot more things when the goal is finite and somewhat timely. In fact, I have had successful bursts of healthy living. So what about my past history can I use to inform future success, I wondered?
The problem turned out to be the solution. What if I approached healthy living in short bursts. What can I do right now for a finite and defined amount of time?
Large chunks of anything are hard for me to swallow. I’m a nibbler in real life. I tend to prefer small meals over big meals. I make lists to break down tasks. I set milestones for long term goals. When worked seemed like it was going to be forever, I started My Early Retirement Journey. Even early retirement seems like it’s going to take forever, so I’ve fashioned several exit ramps to make it more palatable. So as for my health, what if I just pick something and commit to doing it for a short while, not forever. When that ends, take a break and try something else. Just focus on a simple goal to finish what I started- with no ulterior motives to make friends, build community, be social, find some lifelong hobby, etc. This I think I can do.
I can handle bite sized goals. I mean I stuck through my stupid side hustle through major surgery and a root canal because it had an end date. It was one semester. So that’s a good place to start. What is one thing I can do in the Fall “semester” that I can see to completion that positively impacts my health?
So here are the beginnings of my bite-sized goal for the fall
- Identify one positive health task or activity
- Start task/activity and see to completion
- Do no longer than 3 or 4 months
- Focus on things I might like (e.g. low stress, tension releasing, stretching, low risk for undesirable mood fluctuations, non-competitive, not anxiety-inducing)
What does your fall check-in look like? Any themes from your year so far you want to carryout until the end of the year? What does “back-to-school” season look like for you?