In the late 1980’s a groundbreaking personal development book called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was published by Dr. Stephen Covey. When it was released, no one could have predicted the massive success it would have. In addition to selling millions of books, it catapulted Covey into a position of influence that was truly astounding. He was named one of the top 25 most influential Americans and his book was named one of the top 10 most influential books.
The first habit he describes in the book (which he said is the most important) is one that we could all stand to get better at- being proactive not reactive.
As Covey explains, being proactive begins with a mindset. One that is fixated on what we can do each day to steer the areas of our life into the direction that we ultimately want them to go. This leads to the development of consistent behaviors that stimulate a positive change, and to the adoption of habits that maintain those changes.
Being reactive also begins with a mindset. The reactive mind lives under the belief that our attention should largely be placed only on the things that require our immediate attention. The reactive mind pays very little attention to anything other than the urgent needs of the moment and often leads us to overlook proactive behaviors.
When it comes to health, most people are much more reactive than they are proactive. Sadly, we tend to pay very little attention to our health habits until we perceive there is a problem that needs “fixing.” What we all need to do instead is realize that having good health, great fitness, or a pain free body, is like having a limited amount of money in an account where all our bills are paid from- if we never make any new deposits, eventually we will run out of money!
So, how can you make some good proactive deposits into your health and increase your ability to live healthy, fit and pain free? I’m glad you asked!
Here are 8 things that you can do right now to be proactive about your health.
1. Drink enough water each day to equal half your bodyweight in ounces.
2. Eliminate the 6 top inflammatory foods from your diet- sugar, wheat, dairy, fatty meats, fried food, alcohol and genetically modified organisms.
3. Exercise daily. Take walks, swim, bike, use a gym, do bodyweight exercise, mobility work, activation exercises and whatever else you can.
4. Work to reduce or eliminate your use of all chemical medications.
5. Load up on vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
6. Do deep breathing exercises regularly.
7. Learn and implement biomechanically optimal ways of doing things so as not to create abnormal stress on your body. This includes getting sufficient recovery time between activities.
8. Get up and move for a full 5 minutes every hour and try to avoid sitting for more than 4 total hours a day.
Above all the “to-do’s”, always keep in mind that everyday you are making withdrawals from your health and its up to you, (and only you) to make the necessary deposits so you don’t go bankrupt.
Hope this helps. May you and your health prosper!