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#16 Healthy Habits: What Works for YOU?


The amount of health and wellness information that is out there today is insane!  For reals. It’s intense.  Meditating will fix everything.  But also I need to be reading a book every single week. And I need to be taking a HIIT class because so-and-so did it and she loves it.  And I’m sure that there is something new that I’m supposed to be eating and something that I’m not supposed to be eating anymore.

OMG.  I’m tired even talking about it.  But here’s what I used to do.  I would hear about something and then I would be ALL IN. I’d decide that meditation is THE ANSWER.  That it’s the thing I’ve been looking for - without ever considering if it actually works for me.  It’s hilarious.  Sometimes it does work out.  That’s how I found yoga over 20 years ago.  But I’ve also pushed through on plenty of health and wellness things that just weren’t for me.  

Sound familiar? 

Today we are going to dive into a revolutionary idea - that the healthy habits you create and let into your life have to work for you.  If they work for someone else, that’s awesome. But they only matter to you if they actually work for you. 

And of course this will include action you can take today.  That’s right, you can get more clarity on what works for you - and stop being distracted by the things that don’t. 

 

In this episode you will learn:

  1. How to stop wasting your time doing stuff that doesn’t work for you
  2. How to know if something works for you or not
  3. Action steps to clarify what healthy habits to keep and which ones to ditch

 

Disclaimer

I wanted to start off with something basic, just to clarify what I’m saying - experts and science and doctors are essential to our health and wellness.  I listen to them.  I know that based on science and doctors and experts that physical fitness is essential for me to be healthy.  I know that based on science and doctors and experts that running is ONE way to get that be physically active - but there’s also lots of evidence behind other ways to be physically fit.  What this podcast episode is about is that I get to decide if I’m going to run or swim or bike or walk or hike or climb or yoga or play basketball - I get to pick what will work for me.  

Stop Wasting Your Time on Stuff that Doesn't Work for YOU

Your time is valuable.  You already know this.  I know you do.  But here’s the thing.  If you try out something, like meditation or running or meal prepping - and you are not enjoying it - it is not adding to your life - it is not enhancing your well-being - it doesn’t help you get closer to your goals in a way that works for you - then why are you wasting your time doing it??!!

Your time is too valuable to waste on the things that don’t work for you.

How do I know what works for me?

Such a good question. You try it.  You try it and you reflect on your experience.  I haven’t talked about The StressLess Method much - but it’s a system that I created in 2013 to help people manage stress because I was totally annoyed with how useless the lunch-n-learn structure of learning was for people.  One of the steps of The StressLess Method is to Try It.  I know it seems so simple, but people often only "kind of try" something and don’t reflect on why it did or did not work for them.  I’ve worked with thousands of students and clients and watched them transform their lives by just doing this simple step - trying it, reflecting on why it did or did not work - and then using that information to build on it and integrate it into their lives.  


Let me give you an example

It's one of my favorites, so I’m sure I’ve used it before.  I have so many clients who look to their competitors and colleagues and become fixated on doing whatever that person is doing and then doing it.  Even if it doesn’t work for them.  So, if they hear that so-and-so has started a specific kind of meditation, then they are all in.  They will push through, even if it doesn't work for them.  They will keep doing it even when they hate it and are not seeing the results they wanted

 

How Disney World Ruined my Life

Ha! That’s a total exaggeration.  It’s mostly about me being stupid and doing something that my body was actively rejecting made my knee hurt every single day for the past 8 years.  

So, I was running the Disney Marathon. I had trained for months, starting from being able to run only a mile.  I really enjoyed running.  It felt great.  I made lots of friends. I liked how I felt while doing it, the feeling of the air in my lungs and my body moving for miles and miles.  I was super-slow, 13 min miles, but I didn’t care because I was loving it.  My body, specifically my left knee was not.  The day finally came and I was running at Disney World.  It was so cool, because to run 26.2 miles you run through ALL of the parks and get to see a bunch of cool behind the scenes stuff, plus lots of characters on the route.  I was so happy to be there, so proud of all I had accomplished.  I got to around mile 6, just as I was coming out of Cinderella’s Castle - it was so cool, the light from the sunrise was hitting it- and my knee goes out.  Sharp pain, I almost fell, I stopped running and took a beat.  But runners push through.  That's what we do. So, I started walking, then I started running again - sharp intense pain.  Long story short, I push through and finish the marathon.  And if you are doing your math correctly - I ran 20 more miles on an injured knee.  

I kept pushing through doing the marathon, through pain that was so much more than just being challenged or finding it difficult - through intense pain - all for my health and wellness.  It was not working for me.  And my body was clearly telling me that it was not working for me.  Is running inherently bad - NO.  Is running awesome for some people?  Absolutely.  Is running a good choice for me?  NOPE. 

I wouldn’t have known that without trying, but I really gave it a shot.  It doesn’t mean I’m a failure, it just means that running isn’t for me. 

I know that based on science and doctors and experts that physical fitness is essential for me to be healthy.  I know that based on science and doctors and experts that running is ONE way to get that be physically active.

But I get to decide if I’m going to run or swim or bike or walk or hike or climb or yoga or play basketball - I get to pick what will work for me. 

 

Action steps:  

  1. Pick a health and wellness habit or activity that you’d like to do or that you are doing.
  2. What parts really work for you?  Be specific.
  3. What parts of it don’t work for you?  Be specific.
  4. What benefits were you hoping to get and are you getting those results?
  5. Decide to modify it or ditch it or just do it more.

 

When you know what works for you, then you can make choices to include what really serves you in your life.  Take what works and leave the rest.

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