Living in such a complicated world can seem so complex. But we’re creatures of habit. Ninety-three percent of our behavior is predictable.
And everyday the media reports on new research that suggests certain things are good or bad for you. It’s all quite confusing. We get so lost and so paralyzed by complicated details, we lose sight of making health simple. Don’t worry about whether or not coffee is good or bad for you. If the “science” of analyzing one substance and its effect on health hasn’t figured it out by now, the implications of that substance is mostly unknown for you as an individual. In fact, even the number one selling drug in America, Lipitor, designed to reduce your cholesterol has very little evidence to suggest it prolongs your life. In reality, our longevity is limited by our genes and our everyday behaviors.
All I ask is that you stop and think about your life today.
We’re all expected to live 82 years or so in the developed world. What do we want out of those years? Do you want to prolong your life at the end? Do you want to live to be 92 instead of 82? Or do you want to feel your best prior to getting old and limited by age? What do you think will give you the most happiness out of life? Living your life optimally as a young person? Or stretching your life out at the end for another decade of life as a slow-moving senior citizen?
Now, think about your everyday. Spend a few minutes and write down how you spend your day. What are you doing? What are you doing that’s probably good for you? What are you doing that’s probably not that great for you? What are you doing too much of? Not enough of? Make a list. It’s actually pretty simple. For everything you identify that’s not so great for you, write a simple way you can change that behavior.
Think about just three things– sleep, food, activity. Changes should be very, very simple. It’s things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It could be eating less meat. It could be sleeping 7 hours instead of six. It could be drinking with friends 3 nights a week instead of four. It could be one less hour of sitting in front of your computer.
Life really isn’t about your health. It’s about happiness. Health is just one component of happiness. So take a break every once in a while and sit down and think about a few small everyday things that have huge impact on your happiness.
video portrait of Drew Anderson by me.