Monthly Meditations: April 2019 Issue
Monthly Meditations is a series that I started in order to catalogue my thoughts on various subjects. I write and share these with somewhat of a consistent schedule on LinkedIn. I decided that it would be a good idea to put all of these thoughts into one place. That way, you don’t have to consume more information on social media (hats off to you), and you can catch up in one sitting over a nice cup of coffee. I try to encourage engagement and discussions on these topics, so feel free to comment on LinkedIn, in these monthly entries, or reach out to me personally. Enjoy!
Ask yourself, “Up until now, have my healthy choices offset my less than healthy ones?”
Right now, we have a choice to make that either aligns with our goals or it doesn't. For now, forget the weight on the scale and the results of the test. Because all of those are just a 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. In each moment we have the ability to alter our path. We can alter our mindset, our movement, our diet, and our social connections.
We have control over where our effort goes. And by focusing on doing the right thing right now, we can say we are becoming healthier.
This is how we build a strong, robust, and adaptable system that can handle our ever-changing lifestyle.
Doing another ten day cleanse, while not understanding what whole foods are, how to eat mindfully, or getting enough sleep, is like mowing your lawn while your house is burning down.
The issue with following a habit-based approach to nutrition is that it doesn’t sound sexy. Unlike the new fad diet, it isn’t wrapped in a shiny sales pitch, topped with a glittery marketing campaign, delivered by Instagram "influencers."
But it should get attention.
What we become is a result of our repeated, daily behaviours. Thus, everything must be treated like a skill. Deliberate practice of the essentials, consistently, day-in day-out. This is what will yield you tremendous results.
There’s a saying that neuroscientists love:
“Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
We must reinforce who wish to become with the habits that our ideal version of ourselves would carry out on a daily basis.
- Are they sitting most of the day?
- Are they frantically battling deadlines, projects, and coworkers?
- Do they have access to healthy food and filtered water?
- Is health an ongoing discussion of interest, or merely another topic to check off the list?
Environments shape individuals. Control what you can control, and improve the setting to improve mindsets.
4/09/19 - When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But poor health isn’t due to one problem requiring one solution.
Allostatic load is the cumulative stress - perceived, or not - that an individual experiences on a daily basis. Physical, social, mental, emotional, psycho-spiritual, environmental, financial, and cultural. When this stress builds up, it results in the chronic pile of numerous health conditions.
The proverbial hammer won’t work in a realm so complex and unique as a human life.
Learn new tools. Add them to the belt. Use when appropriate. Innovate. Iterate. Create feedback loops. Experiment. Explore.
One diet won’t cure everything. One exercise plan won’t fix all movement-based ailments. One stress management technique won’t heal all mental health concerns.
When you reduce the perceived stress of carrying out a healthy behaviour, you increase your chances that you can repeat it again in the future.
Along with this reduction in stress, you bring an entire host of other health benefits. This is because if you feel happy and relaxed, your hormonal, immune, digestive, detoxification, endocrine, and nervous systems all function much more efficiently.
Figure out what you can consistently enjoy. Healthy living shouldn't feel like a chore.
04/12/19 - Keep your end goal in sight. But don’t spend your time dreaming. Spend your time taking action, and building the appropriate skillset.
Action is what allows you to achieve your goals. It's helpful to remember that by focusing on what's in your control today, your goal will naturally take care of itself.
Too often we get caught up in what's not going well now, along with waiting to be happy in the future.
Instead of tomorrow, we have today. We can take action today and move forward just a little bit more.
That’s progress, and that is all that matters.
Achor’s “The Happiness Advantage” is a mental state of presence, appreciation, and abundance. It yields tremendous benefits in terms of productivity, creativity, and health.
Setting outcome goals is nice and all - as long as you can show appreciation and gratitude for yourself and your actions now, not later. If you think, “I’ll be happy once I’ve achieve this” what happens once you do reach the target? The brain becomes wired to set another objective - and moves happiness a bit further away. Again.
If you want to improve your well-being, redefine your version of success. Focus on your daily behaviours, building new habits, learning skills, and becoming a better human today.
Things you can control to make this happen:
Feet and shoulders square to them, make eye contact, smile, ask genuine questions, show empathy, and when you talk, bring enthusiasm. How we say things matters just as much - if not more - than what we say.
If any of this feels forced, pay attention to where your mind is. How are YOU feeling mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? If you feel uneasy, those around you will pick up on it.
What’s another thing that makes people feel excited? Knowing that they can help someone. And that someone may need to be you.
Have the heart to open up to someone and ask for help if you need it. This isn’t weakness, this is strength. This is not weakness. This is strength, courage, and empowerment.
Look at your daily routines and ask yourself if what you are doing is really the allowing you to take the steps in the right direction.
We can all value nutrition, exercise, and sleep at a surface level.
But true value comes from taking action, not knowing, wishing and dreaming. Do something small and meaningful that will make you just a little bit healthier today. You need to be able to get behind some form of action wholeheartedly.
Maybe that’s more water, more rest, more movement, more laughter, more vegetables, more mindfulness.
SOMEthing is better than NOthing.
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.