Starting well is probably on most people’s agenda, but the practicality of maintaining our resolutions and health goals can be less easy to achieve if we don’t have specific plans and goals in place.
Our daily choices can set us up for a good or a bad day and how we think and feel about these choices can have a knock-on effect for the next day, next week, next month, and the rest of the year.
One bad choice is just that and we get to choose again with the next choice whether we will continue on the downhill slope or whether we will pick ourselves up and make a better choice.
Planning is key – there’s a saying that says if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. This is so true. If there is no healthy food to eat, we will likely grab the quickest, cheapest and easiest thing to eat when we’re hungry. This is often not on the plan!
Consistency another key factor. Consistently making choices that lead towards a healthy goal really makes a difference. Intention is not enough – we will not get healthy by wanting it alone – it requires some action and choice on our part.
Tips on how to start and end well:
- Wake up and spend a few moments in the early morning sun
- Have a healthy breakfast – this varies from person to person, some are not hungry immediately and some people need to eat very soon after getting up, but generally, if you choose healthy foods to start your day with, it’s likely that you’ll continue to make healthy choices throughout the day
- Try and have some quiet time to reflect on your day and draw strength before heading out into the chaos
- Start a gratitude journal
- Exercise – pick a time of day and type of exercise that works well for you
- Decide on an eating plan that will work for you and make a list of the foods you need to stock in your home or at your office, including the types of snacks you’d like to eat. Shop for those foods and try to stick to your list. Pack enough food and snacks to keep you going through the day, so you don’t have to pop out to the shop or order in a take-away meal.
- Learn to listen to your body – notice how you feel after eating certain foods
- Don’t go food shopping on an empty stomach or if you’re feeling harassed. This is popular advice, but it really makes a difference.
- Relax and unwind at the end of the day. Take some time to connect with family or friends. Be social.
- Aim to get into bed at more or less the same time every night and ensure good quality sleep.
If you haven’t managed to start and end well, don’t despair. Try again the next day.
Why is it important to do this? Well, we want to feel vibrant, energetic, focused and able to get through the day without it having to be a drag. Many of us want to maintain a certain weight and try our best to avoid chronic medication that comes with lifestyle diseases. If we start and end each day well, the chances are it will be easier to do it again tomorrow and the result will be that we can feel our best and avoid any unnecessary health issues.
Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 6 January 2022 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am