I ran into an email from Dane Findley of overfiftyandfit.com that suggests there are certain lifestyle habits that are the most important for well being. He calls them the 4 priorities. I’ve listed them below (please note that I’ve paraphrased them slightly but not altering their essential meaning).
The 4 Priorities
Life tends to flow more joyfully when these good habits are prioritized.
1. improved nutrition: daily diet is the single most important strategy for reducing inflammation and reducing the risk of accelerated aging.
2. Improved sleep: sleep is a key component to intelligent recovery. During deep sleep is when your body repairs itself most optimally.
3. Improved movement and strength.
4. Improved mindfulness and enhancement of joy.
I’ve become so focused on writing that I’ve let some of these slide.
Not a good idea. I have Parkinson’s disease - fortunately at a very early and stable stage. So these habits are absolutely critical to my long term well being. I won’t be healthy enough to write unless they are part of my daily schedule and actually executed at their appointed time.
I’ll go back to my daily journal at 7am to be sure I plan for these every day and add them in my schedule along with my writing. The 7am to 8am period really is my ‘power hour’ for prioritizing my day and doing my mindfulness practices. Logging exercise, sleep and nutrition is a key component to my strategy. “When performance is measured, performance improves.” It’s totally true in my case, so I’ll restart the logging process tomorrow. (It’s only been in the last few weeks that I’ve not been doing this. But once the habit is broken, I essentially feel like I’m starting all over again.)
This email was truly a wake-up call given that I see my Parkinson’s specialist this week and I’ll have to explain what I’ve done in these areas since my last visit. It’s no fun to have to explain to your doctor that you aren’t prioritizing the habits that will slow the progression of your disease.
But whether or not you have a chronic medical condition, this short and sweet list can really set the tone for your basic approach to living healthfully.