Your Bare Necessities.
The ability to adapt, be malleable and go with the flow during times of change is vital if you are seeking success. So often people fear not being 100% perfect on their journey and instead of just doing their best when presented with obstacles, become paralyzed, throw in the towel and claim “life got in the way”. The perfect example of this can be seen around the holidays – the majority feel they are going to be faced with so many temptations and other obligations that they may as well put their health on the back burner until after new years.
First, perfection is a sham and doesn’t exist, therefore chasing it is futile and self-destructive. No one is perfect, no one has it all together and you do not need to be perfect in order to get where you want to regarding your fitness goals (-cue sigh of relief-). You just need to do your best in the face of adversity.
Second, you can absolutely still strive to be in line with your health and fitness goals when “life gets in the way” using the concept I’m going to give you below.
Good health and living a more wholesome experience means re-prioritizing your time to make room for the essentials that provide you vitality. We live in a society that glorifies being busy at the cost of our physical and mental health, resulting in a culture who as a whole is alarmingly out of tune with their own bodies.
We embody lives of tasks rather than lives of purpose, and because of this it’s no wonder so many ailments, including obesity, are on the rise. Remember, no one else’s body is more important to your health than yours. Practicing regular self-care is your foundation for being able to care for others and live the highest expression of yourself.
This is why I want to share with you the concept of Daily Non-Negotiables. This is a tool that comes in most handy for me on days or periods of time where my schedule is jammed so tight I fear I wont’ even be able to hear myself think and my to-do list looks more like a novel.
Daily Non-Negotiables are individual to you, but are simple things that you commit to doing everyday no matter what in order to keep your body and mind feeling great.
Here are 6 of mine:
- Prioritize foods that add value to my body. I always have lean proteins, plenty of veggies, fruits and healthy fats on hand and never get too busy to skip a meal. This keeps me energized, satiated, well-nourished and prevents me from having to fall on “convenience” options or un-necessarily over-indulging. This can be as simple as cooking any meats or veggies in bulk so I have extra servings.
- Daily movement. Unless I’m absolutely exhausted or sick, I do some purposeful movement every day. Ideally, I do a full, planned workout but some days all I can manage is a short walk or 5 minutes of foam rolling along with a few movements from my warm-up to keep me mobile. I understand that the ability to move my body is a privilege and not a chore and should not be taken advantage of.
- Ensure at least 7 hours of sleep. 7 is my magic number, anything less and I’m beat. No amount of work, chores or cruising through social media is important enough to rob me of a good night’s sleep, whatever it is can usually wait until the morning. Sleep is the most vital nutrient for strength, health, vibrancy and longevity and without a consistent, adequate dose my physical and mental function goes haywire.
- Mindfulness. It’s very easy to become “checked out” amidst multi-tasking and going through the motions of the daily grind. When I slow down, pause, pay attention and practice conscious awareness, I’m more in control of my actions rather than being on autopilot. I’m able to make more informed decisions (like picking healthy eats) and I notice the little things (like whether I’m rushing through a meal). I’m also better able to listen to my body and tune into my hunger/satiety signals (do I really need to eat this?), how I’m feeling physically and mentally (Am I really too tired/under-recovered to train today or am I just being a slacker?).
Create your plan of attack by having a small list of your own daily “do-your-best-bare-necessities” that will allow you to honor your needs, ensure you are receiving the things in life you need to be healthy and fulfilled each day and keep you moving forward towards your goals no matter how busy your day or week gets. Don’t fall victim to the all or nothing mindset, just prioritize. If you feel you are too busy to make your own health and well-being a priority, you may need to take a few steps back and re-evaluate.
Obstacles are always going to present themselves and there will never be a perfect, consistent time when everything is in line. Embrace that. And rather than stressing over those obstacles, refocus your energy towards doing your best each day, adapting and accepting the change of plans. Trust yourself and the process.
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