We talk a lot about habits in and around the gym, but if you don't know by now, your habits help shape your life - for better or worse. I can easily say that today I'm the happiest, healthiest, most fulfilled I've ever been. And that has almost nothing to do with my life circumstances! I owe a lot of that fulfillment to how I've intentionally shaped my perspective on life and the habits I choose to help me.
2024 is about to get started. What positive changes can you make between now and December 31st, 2024?
1. Reading, watching, & listening with intention
I began listening to podcasts more than music in my car a long time ago. Podcasts to learn about topics that interest me, self improvement, health and wellness, you name it. That habit has helped me learn and grow so much over the years. I listen to audiobooks in the same way; books that will help me learn and grow. I began to view my listening and reading "entertainment" as educational time. This habit has been the catalyst for so many habit changes in my life it's hard to quantify them!
There's nothing inherently wrong with watching shows or listening to music and podcasts for pure entertainment value, but I'm challenging you to shift some of that entertainment to education!
2. Weekly meal planning
You'd be surprised the number of people I talk to who don't have a weekly meal plan going into each week. Or, maybe you're not surprised, because that's you too.
So many people want to lose some weight and get in shape. And my first question is always, "What's your meal planning system?" If you don't have a plan, you won't lose weight or get in better shape. So that's the first place to start. Create a plan. Modify it, try new recipes, mess around with meal prep. Spend the next 6 months committed to planning your meals each week.
P.S. Hitting the drive-thru isn't a plan.
3. Walk more
Whether it's 10 minutes or an hour a day, I fully believe the average KC northlander needs to get more steps per day. The data is clear. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2017, the average American adult takes around 4,774 steps per day. This figure falls significantly short of the commonly recommended daily step goal of 10,000 steps for optimal health. And I doubt those numbers have improved since 2017.
The benefits of walking more? Longer life expectancy. Enhanced fitness levels. Mental health benefits. Weight management. Improved cardiovascular health.
Yes please, I'll take all of those.