One Of The Great Tragedies Of A Sustainable Lifestyle

One Of The Great Tragedies Of A Sustainable Lifestyle

When it comes to getting your health back or looking like you did back in college, you might seek out something extraordinary to get you there.

You might believe that if your training is not over the top, you’re not sore everyday or crushing crazy amounts of calories, it’s not working.

So often though, one stumbles back into their healthier ways not by repeatedly finding one extreme after another. They walk into it by journeying down a steady corridor of simplicity.

One of the Great Tragedies 

People are looking for a combo of magical workouts and mystical fat-burning pills that erase the need to actually change the way they eat, drink, sleep, and move without having to wrestle with the true root of the problem.

As they wait for the stars to align, there’s a whole parade of good stuff that strolls by unnoticed and undetected because it’s too simple.

  • It’s just not flashy enough for social media.
  • It’s just not extreme enough to brag about at the office.
  • It’s just not hard enough to feel you’ve earned your calories, wine or treats.

The Value of Sustainability 

Sustainability not a characteristic for the easily bored.

If everything has to be new and interesting all the time, you’ll probably miss out on the simplest opportunity to enjoy a sustainable lifestyle. You can do some interesting things around the edges, but at its core, a sustainable and healthy lifestyle is all about mastering the basics.

A good 2 step practice

  1. Latch onto something simple and practice the art of holy redundancy.
    • Take pictures of everything you eat and drink.
    • Go to bed 10 minutes earlier.
    • Drink water every time you pass a water fountain.
    • Take the stairs or walk up the escalator.
    • Park on the last row at the grocery store instead of circling like a vulture – even if you have the kids with you.
    • Pause for one minute, breathe deeply and rattle off 3 things you’re grateful for in that specific moment.
  2. Bring yourself to do it again and again and again and again for the next 3-6 months without looking for something flashy to numb the redundancy of staying the course.

Jim Collins explains the value of the sustainable effort when dissecting the 20 mile march to the South Pole in 1911.

  1.  Team 1 strategy: All out or nothing.
    • Allow outside forces determine their fate.
    • So excited at the start, they over do things and exhaust themselves.
    • Only move forward when the time is perfect.
    • When things great, go as far and as fast as you can.
  2. Team 2 strategy: a little, often, over the long haul.
    • Accept full responsibility for their fate.
    • Keep a steady pace of work AND recovery.
    • Consistency is used as a goal and a as a limitation.
    • If we redline physically, we can’t find safety, recovery, rest, and recharge.
Team 1 strategy = never returned from their adventure.
Team 2 strategy = well, we’re still talking about their successful sustainable tactics to this day. Ironic isn’t it.

One of the great tragedies of a sustainable lifestyle is that it’s very basic (aka: routine and mundane). It’s time to overlook the flashy and fancy in favor of the simple and realistic.

Brent Gallagher

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