I’m a little behind on posting, I got side tracked on other projects. I worked on a painting on Thursday night that I got thoroughly frustrated with after working on it for a few hours. I ended up scraping all the paint off of the canvas, and ended up not wanting to work on anything else.
Last night I stayed up way too late and drank way too much wine with a friend of mine. I invited her over for dinner to eat some of my healthy new groceries I said I was gonna get. Had a delightful time with her.
Now I am coming back to life, and back on track to revisit this lifestyle stuff I was talking about earlier this week. I started out the week talking about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself, and I have been doing just that.
I have been thinking about this in terms of lifestyle and habits. Lifestyle is the overall vision of how you and I want our life to be. The habits are the things we do that either makes that vision more of a reality, or less of a reality.
Some habits are good habits, and some habits are bad habits. In order to make any vision more of a reality, we have to both increase the good habits, and remove the bad habits. The reason why my vision is not reality, after all, is that I have plenty of bad habits that counteract all of my good habits.
Excising the bad habits is one of the most important, and most neglected, parts of changing any lifestyle. Bad habits can be invisible, and you and I may not even realize the effect that they have.
After thinking about this for a while, I realize another way of looking at this stuff is just strategy and tactics.
The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics
Strategy is what you want to accomplish, and tactics are the specific actions necessary to accomplish that. Things that you want to do, or results that you want to get, are strategy. Specific things to do to accomplish that are tactics.
This healthy lifestyle that I am putting together can be thought of as a couple of strategies: I will eat healthy food and exercise. I will fill my kitchen with delicious, healthy foods. I will keep my kitchen clean and clutter free.
The tactics flow from this. I change in to my jogging gear every morning when I get out of bed. I go grocery shopping every Wednesday. I clean my dishes every evening after I eat dinner.
The tactics flow out of the overall strategies, and they create the results that the strategy seeks.
Not Such A Big Deal
When I started this week of thinking about lifestyle and habits, it seemed like a much bigger topic than I thought. Once I got started though, I found out that it really isn’t that big a deal. Once I got going with a few changes, it started the ball rolling and everything went from there.
A little bit of momentum led to more momentum, and made the next step to implement these lifestyle changes easier than the previous change.
My suggestion for lifestyle change is this:
Start with the first thing, and do it today. Don’t think too much, and don’t worry. Figure out what the first thing is and decide to do it.
What do I mean by this? Every change has a first step. Determine what that should be, and get to it! The best first steps are symbolic in nature. The first step should be something that is a big change from anything you did previously, something that makes you feel like “my life is different now”.
For me, cleaning my kitchen and filling it with healthy food was a good first step. With that one action, I changed my lifestyle from eating whatever food I happened to pick up, healthy or not, to a lifestyle of eating fresh, healthy foods all the time. I’m actually writing this while eating an oat bran muffin and a nectarine with my morning coffee. Tasty.
So what change do you want to make? Do you want to flirt with more women out at bars? Smile and say “hi” to every woman you see out at the bar from now on. Do you want to meet a woman while grocery shopping? When you see a pretty girl at the store, go tell her that you didn’t mean to hit on anyone today, but that she is really cute, and made you change your mind.
There all sorts of things you can do to signify to yourself that your life is different, find one simple thing, and do it today.