There seems to be more social and financial pressure than in recent years. We feel more pressure to earn, to live up to social norms, and so forth.
With that type of pressure, it’s hard to stay healthy. When life is hectic, we often sacrifice our health. But that’s a mistake.
The moment you ignore your health, your overall well-being deteriorates FAST.
Last year, I had serious stomach problems which made me work out less. I also had less energy and focus and it was a dreadful feeling. I knew I had to get out of the slump, even if I didn’t feel a hundred percent.
After dealing with the issues for a while, I decided to change my mindset. Instead of taking the pain as it came, I decided to work out through my pain.
One person who inspired me to change my mindset is David Goggins, who wrote Can’t Hurt Me (I’ve listened to the audio version several times). In his book, he talks about how he started as a depressed, overweight young man. And how he transformed himself into a Navy SEAL and ultramarathon runner.
What I like most about his book is that he’s a “former quitter.” He didn’t have special talents. And yet, he made something out of his life. I especially like this quote from the book.
“Pain unlocks a secret doorway in the mind, one that leads to both peak performance, and beautiful silence.”
Sometimes we just need a little push to stay on the path. To stay motivated. And to keep doing the right thing.
In this article, I’ll share my top 3 healthy habits with you. These habits have helped me to stay healthy, productive, and positive.
1. Simplifying your diet
Without a clear diet, we tend to eat junk food. We eat whatever we can get our hands on. When your life is hectic, it’s really easy to get take out every night.
But when you eat unhealthy food, you also feel bad.
A lot of people assume that living by a diet takes a lot of time and energy. That’s not true.
You can save a lot of time by massively simplifying your diet. For example, you can eat the same thing every day as the famous sports commentator Skip Bayless.
In this video, he talks about how he’s been eating chicken and broccoli every day for more than 10 years.
He started it to keep everything simple and easy. At the time, he lived in a Residence Inn room in Southington, Connecticut, while working with ESPN. He had to travel from Connecticut to New York every weekend to be with his wife. Then traveled back to live in his hotel room during work days.
That’s a pretty hectic life. And he barely had time to pick and choose the right food to eat. But he knew he had to maintain his health. So he ordered a huge batch of broccoli and chicken from a nearby Chinese restaurant.
And after getting his large order, he would:
- Portion the food
- Store it in the fridge
- And when he needs a meal, he simply takes a pack of portioned food
- Heat it in the microwave
- And he’d have a healthy meal in just a few minutes.
It makes life a lot simpler. Plus, it’s also healthy if you eat food that’s good for you.
I don’t eat the exact same thing every day. But I do eat the same breakfast and lunch for months on end: Omelet, some bread, and fruit in the morning. Oatmeal for lunch. Some nuts and dates as a snack.
That’s all that I eat during the day. I do variate my dinner. But at least I don’t have to think about what I eat during the day.
You really don’t have to be trapped in analysis paralysis, debating whether to go to this restaurant or that one. Or if you should order pizza or salad for lunch. Just eat the same thing as much as you can. Keep it simple.
2. Scheduling your daily workouts
How do you maintain your workout when you live a hectic life? How about this: Schedule your workout around the same time every day.
Another former SEAL, Jocko Willink, is famous for waking up at 4 am and working out before breakfast. But you and I don’t have to do it in the morning. No need to keep comparing yourself to others.
I’m not a morning person and I tend to wake up without an alarm. I’ve been working out every day at 4 pm for the last few months. It works for me because I’ve completed my most important tasks for the day. And when I’m done, I can get on with preparing dinner.
These are my non-negotiable habits. The things that make a big difference when it comes to how I feel.
No matter how busy your day is, you can always make time for a 30-minute workout session. There are no excuses.
People sometimes motivate themselves the wrong way. That’s why they find it hard to get motivated.
Instead, here’s what you can try. When it’s time to exercise, say this to yourself:
“I’m just going to work out for 30 minutes”
Don’t feel like going for a run? Change into your running clothes and go for a walk. Usually, you’ll feel better and find it more of a hassle not to continue. So you’ll keep going.
The same with going to the gym or doing your home workouts. Just commit to something small, like a full body workout or a run. And start doing it immediately. What matters is that you get some form of exercise every day.
3. Doing things when you don’t feel like it
This used to be my biggest weakness. On the first sign of a setback, physical or emotional, I would often stop doing important things like working out, journaling, meditating, etc.
But as we all know, consistency is one of the most important things in life. If we want to build a career or have healthy relationships, we need to be consistent. We can’t be happy and excited one day and be down the next.
We need to execute—day in and day out.
I believe that’s a habit as well. And it’s the most difficult habit I’ve formed. I must be honest: I was never a consistent person. Like many others, I had my swings. I could be motivated for a few months and then deal with a small setback, which sent me into a downward spiral.
I got over that by forming the habit of doing things even if I don’t feel like it. That’s because life often sucks and is nearly always hard. We just got to accept that at our core.
When we do that, it becomes easier to do things when you don’t feel like it. When I deal with my Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS), I don’t feel like going for a run or walk. But I force myself to do it and I feel better afterward. 100% of the time.
Even if you don’t feel like it today, get a workout in. Could be for 10 minutes. It’s better than nothing.
What matters is that you did something you didn’t want to do. When you consistently do that, you become a consistent person.
And in today’s world, that’s worth more than gold.