Health is Not Point A to Point B

photo by Matt Pierce (Instagram @wake.up.matt)

photo by Matt Pierce (Instagram @wake.up.matt)

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” - Mark Twain

Consider the idea that health is a state that ebbs and flows through our daily routines. We are becoming healthy. It’s a constant journey. It’s ever-evolving. It’s rewarding.

The exact definition is, “the absence of disease.” But there may be other definitions unique to specific experts in different fields. Each possibly has their own slight bias.

I’ll elaborate on my point of view: 

We don’t just wake up one day and all of a sudden become “healthy.”  Being healthy is the result of healthy behaviours. Focusing on the moment at hand and making the best possible choices is what leads to positive results. It’s about being as sure as hell these healthy choices outweigh the undesired ones.

Going to the doctor, dentist, eye care specialist, personal trainer, yoga instructor, or possibly even the use of a personal fitness tracking device, helps us to stay accountable. Not all of them, but the best ones will. We hit a requirement or goal. We check off all the boxes. These serve as valuable checkpoints and benchmarks to achieve. They are sign-posts making sure we are moving in the right direction.

I’m of the opinion that the more emphasis we put on what’s in our direct control, the better off we will be. Health is achieved through action.

Ask yourself, “Do my healthy choices offset my less than healthy ones?”

Reflecting back, your history is exposed. What does your trail of health look like, and what does the picture look like now?

Right now, we have a choice whether it aligns with our goals or not. For now, forget the weight on the scale and the results of the test. Because all of those were just the snap shot of your current situation — the result of your past behaviours.

What are you going to do now to move forward?

If we make positive, meaningful choices every day, we are healthier than we once were. This is amazing. In each moment we have the ability to alter our path. We can alter our mindset, our movement, our diet, our work, our family. We have control over where our effort goes. And by focusing on right now, we can say we are becoming healthier.

Allow me to introduce a spectrum that I find useful when I am trying achieve a goal:

Meaningful, Unconscious
Meaningful, Conscious

Undesired, Conscious
Undesired, Unconscious

The goal is to bring awareness to the Undesired, Unconscious choices we make on a daily basis. Honestly, this is very difficult. The good news: we don’t have to change them just yet. Just try to bring awareness to the undesirable choices you seem to make each day. No judgement. Just shine that spotlight on ‘em.

Next, figure out how you can substitute your Undesired, Conscious choices with Meaningful, Conscious choices. Not trying to master each, all at once. Small steps.

Finally, double down on your strengths — your Meaningful, Conscious behaviours. Celebrate these as small victories every time you exercise the action. The more these are practiced, the more they get wired into our deeper nature. They will become more easy. They become a habit. They become who we are.

The constant is that we are becoming.

What to Do Next?

1. Grab a notepad and pen. Title it, “Behaviour Tracking Journal.” Keep this beside you for the next week or so. Every time you exercise a behaviour you don’t necessarily care for, write it down. Also try to write down as many events that occurred leading up to this behaviour. You’re looking for patterns — triggers — to what may have caused you to make this choice.

2. Do one thing that will get you forward — even if it’s the smallest thing. If you want to lose weight, maybe that’s getting up and walking for two minutes. You might want to start a blog (In this case stop reading this post and just write your own — I won’t be upset). Remember that your “small” task will be different than someone else’s, and that’s okay. You’re learning what works for you.

Thank you for reading my article. I hope you found it helpful or at least thought-provoking. If this post did help you, consider sharing it with someone you think it would help too.