So you want to be healthy? Do the same thing. Every day.
Ok like, don’t get into a rut. New experiences are awesome. Variety is the spice of life.
But there are certain things you should absolutely do every single day. This, I call autopilot.
Autopilot only really works when the behavior is a healthy one. When I say “do the same thing every day,” it does not apply to eating Doritos and staring at a screen from sun up to sun down. But if that behavior is a healthy breakfast, or an exercise program, or any other of the millions of healthy habits, they should absolutely be put on autopilot.
Let’s start with breakfast.
I am not a morning person. Ask anyone who’s interacted with “Morning Devin” and they will confirm this. I’ve never woken up feeling energized and ready to face the day. It’s always groggy and often negative. It takes a bit for me to get going.
If you put an endless buffet of breakfast options in front of me in the morning I’d likely choose the least healthy items possible. I’m too tired! Don’t give me a complex decision to make in this moment!
I need something easy. And everything started to click for me when my breakfast became automatic.
At the risk of sounding boring, I eat cranberry-walnut oatmeal, every single morning. I also have a pot of green tea. I love it. Not only do I find it to be a delicious combination (with cinnamon and sweetened with maple syrup), but I love the habit. It is comforting, to start every day with the same warm bowl of goodness.
To me this routine sets me up perfectly for my day. And most importantly, I don’t have to confront a complex food decision when tired and most vulnerable. The decision has already been made. I cannot stress how important this is! I don’t choose what to eat for breakfast. I eat my breakfast.
For you, your autopilot breakfast might not be cranberry-walnut oatmeal, and that is ok. You may like more variety (I admit that every once in awhile I’ll mix it up with a different fruit). The point is this:
habits make health.
Besides the morning, the other time of day where habits and routines are most important is right before bed. Like starting my day with my morning oatmeal, I know I will end my day with light stretching and meditation. Finding a quiet, relaxing pre-sleep habit, away from blue screens (this is important) will do wonders for your quality of sleep.
If all you do this week is focus on creating healthy morning and night habits and routines, I’d say it was a pretty good week. NOTE: They don’t have to be the same as mine. This is not prescriptive. Do what works for you, but make sure you find something you can practice indefinitely.
Final note: I find that having healthy habits I can rely on opens me up to new experiences that take me out of my comfort zone and challenge me. When I know that the foundation of my health is built on habits and routines in certain areas of my life, I can be bolder in others. The health foundation cannot be broken, so the risk seems less risky. Embrace the power of habit. Find that thing you can do for the rest of your life that also makes your body come alive.
What will be your healthy morning and nighttime routine?