Eat protein. Don’t eat sugar. Exercise 4 times a week- but don’t forget to stretch afterwards. Sleep 8 hours per night. Meditate every day. How many of us have an unending list of “shoulds” that we try to incorporate into our lives to stay healthy? How many of us get so overwhelmed that we forget it all together and revert to our old habits?
In this age of information, we are inundated with information about the “best” ways to eat, exercise and spend out free time. We can even find all sorts of advice for how we should think about things. And sometimes, we can even do a decent job at incorporating a good deal of these healthy activities into our day. But, when we are spending an inordinate amount of time or brain space on practicing all these “healthy rules”, it can feel as though our lives revolve around trying to do the right thing for our wellness. Or, like many of us, we are so overwhelmed with responsibilities and activities, the “healthy rules” get lost among all the other things on our to-do list and it seems futile to focus in our health.
Prioritization is necessary for deciding which health goals we are working toward and which can wait. It is ok to not be working on every part of our health at all times. In fact, many times, it makes us much more successful at achieving our goals and incorporating new habits if we only choose a few to focus on. It helps us feel less overwhelmed and keeps our expectations reasonable.
Try listing all of your health goals and all of the things you want to do on a daily basis that will move you towards healthier habits. And then, pick 3. Only 3. Maybe choose the 3 that feel easier to achieve. Maybe choose the 3 that you believe are going to have the biggest impact on your health. Maybe choose the 3 that you have support from family and friends around. Truly, it is up to each of us to prioritize which 3 activities are the best for us. Then, commit to them for some period of time before reevaluating and seeing if you need to make any changes to your plan. But, when you choose 3, you can let the others go for a bit and fill that time focusing on other things that bring you joy like friends, family, nature and pets- because these things are truly adding to our wellbeing every day.
IHD offers guidance on prioritizing through Health Coaching with Amy and health consults with Jennifer. Contact us anytime so we can help you choose your 3!