Sustainability Matters

He who has their health has a thousand dreams. He who does not have their health has only one.
— Joe Polish via Lewis Howes, School of Greatness podcast

Sustainability is one those buzzwords you hear more and more. There’s so much talk about making sure the way we are living in and treating this planet is something that we can sustain for generations to come. There are many ways to look at what truly is sustainable when it comes to our planet but it’s important that we apply this on a more micro level as well – to ourselves and our health!

Everyone wants to look and feel better and even more so, do that RIGHT NOW. As soon as you’ve made that decision that you’re over wherever you are now with your health, it’s hard to have the patience and foresight to think about the long-term. It’s so enticing to want to sprint towards those results and to use any shortcut possible to get there. Maybe the initial motivation is some event (wedding, vacation, reunion) and that’s your focus or deadline. So, then that cleanse, fat flush, waist trainer, 7 day, 21 day, 30 day… is all too enticing. And for that short-term, you can do anything right? Only soup? No carbs? All carbs? No solid food? Just baby food? No exercise? All the exercise? Ha! Anything to reach that goal right?

But whether you reach your goal or not, we’ve all woken up from that hangover confused, back at square one and wondering where to go from here. Yes, we are amazing at pushing through for period of time, but what’s truly sustainable?

It may not be extreme (really it CAN’T be), but what can you do now and forever to get your health where you want it to be? Because guess what? You’ll need to. You reached the point you are right now as a culmination of everything you’ve done until now. That’s every micro-decision, indecision, and mindless habit you employed each and every day until now. It’s your status quo; it’s your default setting. Change that default and change your situation and eventual destination. But, there’s no free lunch. This won’t be happen tomorrow. But it’s that minor tweak, those small sustainable changes that will take you incrementally closer to your goal each day.

There is so much out there that looks to make it much more complicated than it is. But it absolutely does not have to be. Here it is:

  1. Don’t do anything now to get to your goal that you know you cannot do and sustain in the long run. This is because if you don’t change your default behavior, if the expectations you’ve set are so extreme and out of whack that you’re bound to fail… you will. Only this time, you’ll feel beat up and defeated. Think long-term. Think too obvious. Think no sweat.
  2. Pick that one thing or two things you can do that you know will get you close to your goal and won’t feel like pure torture.
  3. Build from there. Once you’ve got that down, add another ridiculously easy change.
  4.  Repeat.

I was listening to Dr. Layne Norton’s podcast (Physique Science Radio) and his guest described nutrition as “a battle of attrition” and I could not agree more. The success people have is most heavily influenced by what they can sustain. No plan is worth anything if people can’t stick with it. And that’s highly personal. Figure out what you can do and what works for you, find a baby step and take it proudly.