Amit Gawande

A Healthy Challenge.

With many avenues of tracking and improving my well-being already around me, I have decided to make the best use of them. I know I am not good at maintaining a healthy routine for any meaningful duration. Yet, I want to give myself another chance to succeed at forming one by constant nudges and tickles.

A reference to Whole Life Challenge with its pointed question “What is healthy to you?” front and centre came in handy. The tagline, “don’t try to fit health and wellness into your life. Fit your life into the context of health and wellness” resonated with me. I always had the tools that allow me to track my progress towards a healthy lifestyle; with the recommendations from this challenge, I know what I need to track. I am not undertaking any challenge, but I am going to follow along.

So, I am tracking the seven habits – nutrition, hydrate, exercise, mobilise, sleep, well-being and reflect. With health apps from Samsung and Google, I make note of everything I eat, being cognisant of my diet. I don’t want to cut down on anything yet, but just understand what goes in. Keeping myself hydrated is not a problem I face, I drink enough water regularly.

Though I already do the running and stretching pretty regularly, I am now consciously walking while carrying out the daily chores instead of riding my motor scooter. Though I can’t sleep with a watch on, I now manually enter my hours of sleep. Sure, I miss out on the detailed reports of my sleep pattern, but this is better than nothing. With the bedtime mode scheduled on my smartphone, the screen goes greyscale, reminding me to rid myself of the clingy device. It helps!

Building a habit for well-being has been difficult for me. Meditation, the only well-being activity that I know of, never stuck. I can meditate, but I don’t do this with the right spirit. The constant thought of “am I doing this right” keeps pestering me throughout, and I know I’m not doing it right. Well, who knew there are other well-being practises too – picking up a book, reaching out to a friend or organising a dishevelled space. Ah, now that I can do. And do well.

All said these are early days. I am just a week into tracking these habits and I have already missed out on a couple each day. (I am using a wonderfully simple app, Loop Habit Tracker, to track these). But I am allowing myself the leniency.