You never build a house without a foundation. You should approach your health in a similar fashion.
The foundation of your health should start with 2 things.
Daily Movement which could consist of strength training, cardio, or simply walking is the first.
Next would be nutrition. This is different for everyone but should consist of whole foods and remove all processed junk at a minimum.
If you just did the 2 things above you would see a dramatic improvement in your life.
The key to this being a success is how much consistency you have. If you execute on this only half of the time you will see less than stellar results and eventually none.
What you do day in and day out will determine if you succeed or not. Let’s define success in the context of being healthy. Again, this is going to vary from person to person but for our purposes here let’s just say you can maintain a healthy weight, good energy levels, and are in good health.
On the surface this seems so simple and doable yet most people can’t do it. I have to admit that I often times have to take a step back and have more empathy for people who struggle with this. If they have spent their whole adult life not caring about their health, trying to make that change can be difficult.
Some other things to consider as the foundation would be:
- Stress levels
- Healthy habits (what do you have in place, if any)
The question then becomes how do you start to build this foundation and where. With just about anything in life there you build from the basics to move up to the advanced.
Below are a couple quotes that hammer home the importance of mastering the basics before moving on.
“The Advanced Level is Mastery of the Basics”
“Master the basics. Then practice them every day without fail. Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
People don’t like the basics and I think it’s because they aren’t “sexy” or “flashy”. When it comes to health, people jump to the 3 ring circus and skip the basics and then they fail. Harsh but true.
I used to see this all the time when people would come to me to lose weight. They were 20-30 pounds overweight and had ZERO healthy habits, in other words none of what we laid out above. They would want to do some crazy boot camp style workout and follow some crazy fad diet. Would that work? Sometimes but it was NEVER sustainable. If they lost 10 pounds they gained back 20 after they couldn’t stick with it, quit and messed up their metabolism form crash dieting and working out too much.
If you are going to go after a goal, any goal, you don’t just want to achieve it you want to be able to maintain it. This is especially true of weight loss.
This is where if you did some funky diet that helped you lose weight but never practiced the simple things like planning your food or staying hydrated, when you decide to eat “normal” you gain the eight back. That’s one of the reasons diets have a 98% fail rate.
One tactic that I think helps you stay focused on the basics is if you play the long game. Most people attack their health with a 6 or 12 week program that they think will solve all their problems as opposed to saying “What can I do for the rest of my life that will allow me to be healthy and still enjoy it?”
One thing that makes it easier is making sure health is a top value for you. For example for most people family or financial security are top values. Where does health fit it? It had better be a top 3 or you will struggle with your health.
Being healthy is not complicated but most people complicate the hell out of it and then fail miserably.
Play the long game and master the basics day in and day out and you will win.