Main Rule: Learn Moderation
Recently I decided to start a new chapter of my life. It was when my closest friend, and a great blogger (check his blog here) told me to track certain aspects of my life I wanted to change. He explained that tracking these changes would allow me to monitor my progress. I decided to give it a try, especially since I had tried to make some changes already and failed. This was on March 15 2017. Lets call this an Ides of March Resolution. If you don’t understand the “Ides of March” google it. After I started, I thought to myself “isn’t this like a new years resolution”. I quickly realized that it was completely different. Primarily because if I wanted to change something I would have to do so immediately, rather than waiting till January 1st, and secondly, if I didn’t succeed (which usually happens with new years resolutions by mid February) I would see the failure on my tracker and constantly be reminded of it. I would recommend to everyone, if you want to change something with your life, scrap the news years resolution and stick with an Ides or March (or any other month for that matter) Resolution.
So I started with a few simple tasks: drink 1 gallon (4 Litres) of water a day, eat better, exercise regularly, get a better sleep etc. There were a few more personal tasks that I tracked that aren’t relevant to this blog. Anyways, the tracker worked. It helped me establish a routine (which is unbelievably important for productivity), motivated me to exercise regularly, motivated me to pay more attention to my diet and I was able to break some habits that I had unsuccessfully tried to break in the past.
An unintended result of the tracker was I started paying more attention to my diet. According to google, diet (as a noun) has 2 definitions. The first: “The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats,” for example, a vegetarian diet. The second, which is more commonly known today: “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons,” for example, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. I found there are many similarities between Weight Watchers and a New Years Resolution because both are setting people up for failure. The first similarity I noticed is that for Weight Watchers, there is an intended start and end date, to which before the start date or after the end date, you convince yourself you can eat whatever you want. Also, depending on the diet/ new years resolution, the is a restriction which means you have to cut something out completely. Cutting something out completely is an awful way to change. I would recommend gradual changes until moderation is reached. Take me for instance, I haven’t had ice cream in 2 months. I don’t have a craving, yet if someone offered me a scoop, I wouldn’t have a problem eating that single scoop without needing a chocolate fudge sundae. See where I’m going, it’s all about moderation.
If you want to make a significant positive change to your lifestyle with regards to how you feel, I would start at your diet. Before exams at university I would try to have a nice healthy breakfast and justify it by saying, “eat good look good feel good do good” as that was my intention going into an exam, doing good (well). I only realize now that if I took away the “eat good” it would be very difficult for the rest to happen. Imagine going into an exam right after having a bacon cheese burger with a coke.
All I am saying is that most aspects of my life come down to diet. If you make gradual but positive changes to your diet, the benefits to your mental and physical health will far outweigh the momentary sadness you get not having that second scoop of ice cream.