Let us face it, nutrition is not a priority for many people; successful people inclusive. While we desire to eat healthy meals and live a healthy lifestyle, it takes hard work to pull it off …at least at first.
A successful person has a lot of decisions to make and it does take energy to make decisions especially if the decisions you make have huge impacts. Research shows that conscious decision-making uses up glucose. So, asking you to include deliberate thinking about your nutrition actually takes energy from you; energy that you could be using for other things (this is if you are a very busy and successful person).
Spending time on decision making about your nutrition and lifestyle takes effort and most times, these decisions made are usually not adhered to after a while. Yet still, you want to eat healthily, and be healthy.
So, what can you do about this?
The answer is simple: ‘Routinize’ your eating and lifestyle.
Form a ritual of it and then it becomes automatic after a while. Some experts have said it takes an average of 21 days for habits to form but it could take more or less for you depending on the task and you. The goal is to make a routine of it to the point that it becomes an automated response and you do not expend so much energy anymore.
Do not focus on will power to get you to achieve these tasks because it would drain your energy and give you less for other activities. Deliberate practice will require more energy for a while until it becomes an unconscious effort, leaving your brain free to do other things. The hard work is only at the beginning.
What is the hard work?
You have to map out a healthy eating strategy and lifestyle and deliberately practice it until it becomes a routine.
Research shows that you are not likely to break your plan in the mornings because you have more mental, physical, emotional and spiritual power in the morning. Most lapses in judgement and bending of goals and plans usually come later. So, plan to do your exercise in the morning.
As a business person, a tangible excuse can come up later in the evening that would make you cancel your new exercise ritual if you plan to do it in the evenings.
Also, create an environment where you can be certain to get fruits and vegetables 3 times a day. If you have to shop at the weekend or ensure that you can order fruits and vegetables at work or those in charge of your meals know to include fruits and vegetables every day. Do what it takes to create that environment for yourself.
Then be deliberate about eating fruits and vegetables with every meal or in a schedule that fits into your current everyday life. Once you can fit it into your already established rituals or routines then it can easily become a part of those rituals. Example, you eat breakfast at 8am and you have an apple along with your breakfast meal. This would promote sustainability of eating fruits daily because you eat breakfast at that time anyway.
It would be different from creating a different activity just to eat fruits and vegetables such as taking a break to buy a cup of smoothie which is not something that you would ordinarily do. It may not be sustainable.
Also, deliberately plan to sleep for 8 hours every night. If you sleep for about 8 hours, you will feel better and your brain will be more productive for you.
Sleeping for 8 hours a day, eating vegetables 3 times a day and doing at least 30 minutes exercise are activities that would not only improve your health and lifestyle but also improve your performance and productivity too. Creating energy and time for these activities and your 24 hours a day would be better for it.
“You have to live on this 24 hours of time. Out of it, you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use … is a matter of the highest urgency.”- Arnold Bennett’s
Don’t forget to eat better and live better – Be Healthy Africa
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