It’s very easy to list the kind of tasks that we need to take each day, but how long is it before you’re considered a person who undertakes that task as part of your identity, instead of someone who just does it because they know it’s important? Is there any difference?
Well – let’s say you write short stories. None of them have ever been seen by anyone else, and perhaps you don’t feel ready to enter the competitive circuit or to send your writings to possible publishers. Are you any less of a writer? Absolutely not. But do you feel like a writer compared to those who regularly write for a living? Possibly not.
For this reason, sometimes it’s important to become the kind of person who would undertake an action, without having to motivate themselves to do it, simply because it’s become so instinctually in your best interests that you don’t have to negotiate, argue, or even worry too much about sustainability. It’s the difference between running and becoming a runner, and you can do that without ever being paid a penny for the privilege.
Let’s consider how to do this, and the benefits of doing so, below:
Track your routine
Of course, it’s important to make sure you’re tracking an appropriate routine of healthy living as opposed to doing it when you wish to. This is because it’s so much easier to eat unhealthily given the amount of convenience, fast food, snacks, and many other easy options on offer. A good way to achieve this is to use a scanning app like MyFitnessPal or Lose It! – both can scan the barcodes of food you eat or add weights to calculate calories and micronutrients. If you’re getting started with a new diet, this can help you get to grips with your daily stats so much easier, so you begin to understand, naturally, the calculations involved with your food choices.
Plan your goals & break them down
What goals do you have? Healthy living isn’t necessarily ‘I must always choose the right thing, no matter what, until my old age’ – it’s about setting a point you wish to focus on and aiming for it. So for some underweight people, it may be that eating more calories in a day is important. Break down your goals. Say you wish to lose around 5 kilograms. Well, you can lose around 0.5kg a week quite comfortably if you calculate your maintenance calories (the calories you burn just being alive), through an online TDEE calculator. Then you subtract 500. As you can see, a broken down goal is an easier one to keep up with, and you get to celebrate your small victories along the way with that.
Progress is never linear
Unless you’re a super-athlete, never ever making a less-than-healthy decision is probably not sustainable. Attend a friend’s birthday party and you’re probably going to be given a glass of wine and maybe some cake. Some times, you may make healthy decisions like supplementing vitamin D or heading to a CBD shop. It’s okay to have these stop-gap measures as long as the overall trend is progressively healthy. So don’t think progress is perfectly linear, that will only make you feel less happy and end up falling into yo-yo dieting where you give up often and regularly. Health is about broader trends rather than perfect days.
With this advice, we hope you can make healthy living part of your identity in the most sustainable fashion.