Strategic Step #2: Automate & Re-Engineer Your Environment
We are creatures of habit. Did you know that on a typical day you make about 300 decisions about nutrition? Most of them are done unconsciously and can often lead to poor choices or overeating due to the many influences upon us in our world.
While you are gradually working on changing old habits and patterns and are overcoming the influence of your negative inner voice you can make an immediate difference by re-engineering automatic changes to your overall environment that support better health.
Here’s one unique example.
Go to your kitchen and pull out your typical dinner plate. Measure its diameter. It’s likely between 10-12 inches in diameter. Plates are getting bigger. 50 years ago they were 8 inches in diameter.
Did you know that decreasing a plate from 10 to 8 inches in diameter decreases its surface area by more than a third?
There are 2 unconsciously ingrained habits many of us have deep within us regarding plates and dinner.
We’ve learned to fill our plate.
We’ve learned to eat everything on our plate.
By these very facts we have been increasingly overeating over the past 50 years.
Here’s what to do…
Replace your dinner plates with ones that are 8-9 inches in diameter.
Do nothing else and with your same underling habits you’ll potentially eat one third less at dinner.
If, for example, you eat an 800 calorie dinner and reduce it by a third you could reduce up to 250 calories per day. That’s 1,750 calories per week or a ½ lb. In a year that’s 26 lbs. Significant, isn’t it?
Of course, there’s more to it than that but it is a very good positive start while you work to make other healthy mindful changes.
What else can you re-engineer or automate to allow for greater health without much time or effort? There are many possibilities but here are a couple more.
To allow for spontaneous physical activity carry a gym bag in your car or keep one in the office with appropriate clothing for the season and a personal hygiene kit for freshening up after.
For greater quality of restorative rest install black out blinds or curtains in your bedroom or use a sleep mask.
Strategic Step #3: Create time for your healthy lifestyle
Time is that finite thing we all seem to be short of when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Your negative inner voice is your greatest enemy here. It will repeatedly tell you “there is no time and it can’t be done”. Ultimately you must shift that inner voice to consciously ask “where can I create time and how can it be done?”
Again, this does not happen at the snap of your fingers. There are powerful beliefs operating beneath your surface to make sure of that and thousands of external influences in your life that do the same.
So, while you work to understand and shift these beliefs, here’s what you can do.
Use Strategic Abandonment
There are things related to healthy living that you know you should be doing more of. The glaringly obvious.
Ya, I know. I should get out for a walk every day.
There are also those things you know you should stop or do less of. The painfully silly.
Ya, the daily trip to the fast food joint should really stop or less TV time would be good.
Essentially strategic abandonment is to add something that is glaringly obvious as you eliminate something painfully silly. In many instances there could be a net zero impact on your time with a hugely positive impact on your health.
Here’s what to do.
Pull out a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. On the left brainstorm your glaringly obvious. On the right brainstorm your painfully silly. For the painfully silly consider what you are doing at home as well as in your business. At home… TV, gaming, social media time, etc. At work what roles do you currently do that you really should delegate, outsource, or automate? Where do you make the greatest impact on your business? Everything else can be let go. You may be holding onto roles because it’s become a habit or because you don’t believe someone else can do it well enough. Time to let go and create time!
Each week choose one from each column to change.
You don’t have to free up much time. This process can easily allow for structured exercise if you can create up to one hour a day. It can allow for healthy meal prep and eating if you can create another hour a day.
Week by week you’ll make significant change without much time or effort. The beautiful thing is that as you create more efficiencies in your life and eliminate more and more of the painfully silly you’ll have more time available to you.
The Game of Life
The bottom line is to get started. Keep it simple, make small changes and build upon them. Certainly there is so much more that is possible but by keeping it simple you’ll not overwhelm an already busy world.
As you free up more time and begin to experience the value of these initial types of changes you’ll be ready for the next step.
There are many influences over you, your time, and your actions that will attempt to knock you off track with any changes you make.
Take these first few steps and begin to set your path of living the healthier lifestyle that will lead to the results you want and your deep why.
If you continue to struggle to integrate change into your busy world or feel the need for support to stay on track please contact me. I’d be happy to discuss how I can help you further.
If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to contact us at 780.466.6204, or click here to send us an email.
Thanks to Brent Haydey of Fit4Results for providing this article and for giving us an in person presentation.