Over the past few weeks, I have been taking my dog for walks in nature whenever I can. With the beginning of spring—and the blossoming of new life all around me—I am reminded of how lucky I am to have had my own “new beginning.”
When I had cancer a few years ago, I promised myself that I would never take my health for granted again. There is nothing like a brush with illness to set priorities straight and remind us that nothing matters more than our health.
I wish I could tell you that I kept that promise to myself and always put my health first. But, alas, human nature prevailed. After a few years of renewed health, some old habits returned. Taking care of myself fell down on my list of priorities. Sound familiar?
My recent walks in nature are just one of the ways I am re-prioritizing my health again. However, I know that there is more I can do. Here are a couple of approaches I’m taking that you may find helpful as well.
1. Ask yourself: “Of the things in my control, what can I do to improve and/or maintain my health?” Notice that I deliberately said “in my control.” It’s important to recognize that some things will always be beyond our control. Instead, we need to focus our energy and efforts only on the things we can control.
2. Apply the 80-20 rule. I aim to keep my exercise and nutrition goals 80% of the time, but I give myself permission to be human 20% of the time. Maybe it’s a muffin with my morning coffee or occasionally choosing to stay in bed instead of going to the gym. But instead of criticizing myself for these allowances, I focus on the 80% of healthy things that I do instead.
Protecting our health is essential, not just for us, but for our loved ones as well. In the next few months:
What do you want to do each day for your health?
What do you need to add to your routine?
What do you need to stop doing?
Remember that small changes can have a big impact. Choose one or two things to focus on over the next few months and be consistent 80% of the time with it!
P.S. If you are feeling inspired by spring, I encourage you to also read this post Something to think about