In April I posted my spring health goals. I've had some limited success.
- Get moving – ideally regular running again but at least several walks a week. Yes walking, no running.
- No more diet coke – have given this up since Lent and can hopefully live without it now. Yes
- Less alcohol – more drink free days needed. Yes.
- Healthier desserts – I'm looking to buy and use more fruit. No.
- Eat more yoghurt – good for weight control and protecting the immune system. No.
- Less caffeine – this is something which in excess negatively affects my sleep and mood. Yes.
- Switch off laptop at least an hour before bedtime – not easy as I write many of my posts in the evening , but I will try. Hit and miss.
- Floss teeth – a perpetual promise to my dentist. No! Floss still sitting unopened in the bathroom.
- Pace rather than race – plan my days better and focus on the main tasks required so that I am not always chasing deadlines. Still working on this.
- Eat more vegetarian meals – for nutrition and to save money. No, if I'm honest.
- Take a multvitamin supplement and cod liver oil capsules – we have had too many coughs and colds this winter and my Mum swears by this combination. Yes! And I'm also taking evening primrose oil.
So what have I learnt from this? Here's my thoughts.
Minimalism has taught me to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life but I still sometimes lack motivation to make changes. Quite often I'm fearful of starting something new in case I fail.
There are many things I know I should do but which I put off because I don't make time for them or prioritise them. I put them off until that mythical day when I think I'll have more time and motivation. Here's my list:
- Taking breaks when working
- Making healthy eating choices
- Phoning or meeting up with friends
- A date with my husband
- Turning off my laptop/phone
- Spending time alone
- Spending more time with my family
- Just being
They're all positive things to do yet I often find it hard to practise these good habits.
It can be difficult to adopt healthy habits when we're set in our ways or to re-start them once we've let them slip. Instead of looking back at past failed attempts maybe we should forgive ourselves and make a decision to try one or two small healthy changes over the next month. We need to make these as important as our work to-do list or our list of chores. Sometimes we can be over enthusiastic in our attempts to overhaul our lives and commit to too many changes at once.
Leo Babauta in The Power of Less suggests concentrating on developing just one habit each month. Practising one new habit at a time allows you to be more focused and mindful of that new habit. And by focusing on one change daily for a month it will become established and will make you motivated to make further healthy changes month by month.
Leo also suggests going public with your goal. So here's my one healthy habit that I'm going to develop in June.
Regular exercise – more daily walks, and some running. I've run regularly in the past but have let it slip recently for various reasons. I'm going to be gentle with myself and start slowly. But I will let you know how I get on, honestly.
How about you? Do you think you could make one small change this month?