10 lifestyle changes I plan on adopting this year to get back to my best physical and mental shape.
The last couple of weeks I have been knee-deep into 2023 planning. I followed my new 12-week approach and planned the first quarter of this year very carefully.
Now that the dust has settled, I can see the big themes of this quarter (and the year overall) emerge. The biggest theme of 2023 for me is health and fitness. I am dedicating a huge chunk of my time to making sure I get back to my best physical and mental shape.
Now, you might be wondering, how do I plan on achieving it?
Let me share the plan with you. This is my attempt at making sure I put it out there for public accountability, as I mentioned in my recent blog post about learnings from last year.
Without waiting any longer, let me share my plans with you.
Get back into a regular gym routine
I look and feel my best when I have a consistent gym routine. It’s not magic.
In the first half of 2022, my life was more routine and I was going to the gym at least 5 times every week. Consequently, I was at my physical best.
Then, I moved to Toronto, life changed, and my regular gym routine became an afterthought.
It’s time to change that.
In 2023, I plan on going back to a regular gym routine. I plan on going to the gym at least 5 times every week. I want to cut myself some slack during the weekends as they tend to be more unpredictable.
Every Sunday, during my weekly review, I will hold myself accountable. This is of course on top of the habit tracker I already use.
More home-cooked meals
When I adopted a vegan lifestyle in the back half of 2021, I started cooking regularly. Apart from the weekends, I was having home-cooked meals all the time.
Unsurprisingly, this coincided with my most rapid weight loss phase. I was also feeling and looking my best.
Then one thing led to another, and gradually I drifted away from home-cooked meals, towards takeout and eating out. My move to Toronto accelerated this transition even more, unfortunately.
Things have been better in the last couple of months and I have been cooking more and more. However, I want to take that one step further.
I plan on having home-cooked meals 5 days every week. Most days I have one meal a day if you don’t consider some coffee and a bagel when I am working from cafes. That won’t count. I am talking about my main meals.
The idea is that by having more home-cooked meals I will start feeling like I did back in 2021.
Become a runner
I have tried this many times and failed.
I am not talking about doing cardio here and there. I want to identify as a runner.
The first step to achieving this was going through a full 5K program. I did that in 2021, then stopped.
This year, I plan on completing the 5K challenge once again and then taking it a step further from there by challenging myself more and more.
Drink a healthy smoothie every day
When I start my days with a healthy smoothie, I feel better, feel less hungry, have fewer energy dips, and can focus better. I have seen this pattern too many times to call it a coincidence.
I want to make this a habit in 2023.
Learn from numbers
If you have been reading my writing for some time now, you already know that I am a sucker for health and fitness apps.
Currently, I already use a plethora of them — Apple Health, 5K Runner, Zero, Athlytic, Heart&Stress, Streaks, and Renpho to name a few.
I want to continue doing this of course. On top of that, I want to analyze the data better.
Most of these apps do a great job collecting and presenting data, but do poorly at giving you actionable insights. Without that, the whole loop is very unproductive.
That’s why I plan on either coming up with a system to find actionable insights or using a different set of apps that do a better job.
Learn boxing or kickboxing
I tried a few boxing lessons in 2018, and absolutely loved them!
I tried it again in 2019, and loved it once more!
These were isolated events though where I learned it, tried it out, and then forgot all about it.
Looking back, I can see a significant correlation between feeling stronger, and full of self-confidence, and periods where I learned some kind of self-defense techniques.
That’s the main motivation for learning boxing or kickboxing for good this time. I want 2023 to be the year where I develop these self-defense skills.
Journal more frequently
I have dabbled with journaling many times, but it never truly stuck, until a couple of weeks ago.
Turns out, journaling is a very personalized activity. What works for one person, does not work for another. Most of my attempts so far, apart from the last one, have been trying to follow in the footsteps of someone else.
That didn’t work.
In my most recent attempt, I kept things stupidly simple, and started journaling using this “The Five Minute Journal”. I
have been loving it! I plan on doing more of this in 2023.
Less screen time
One of my biggest learnings from 2022 was the harmful effects of screen time.
This year I diligently practiced digital minimalism, and every period where I didn’t use too much screen, I could visible see a difference in my life.
When I say “screen time”, I mostly mean unproductive screen time.
I spend countless hours in front of a screen because of my job and passion. I love doing those! And I won’t stop it. However, the unproductive screen time, such as being on social media, YouTube, or just randomly scrolling through my phone, that’s what I have reduced drastically.
Not only do I plan on reducing my overall screen time even further, I especially want to cut down on it right before and after sleep.
Wear blue light glasses
Talking about reducing screen time, it’s unfair if I don’t mention my newly purchased blue light glasses.
I will be honest. I started wearing them because I thought I looked good wearing glasses…
Then, one of my closest friends told me about its benefits and how it really helps him in his software engineering career.
That’s when I invested in a good pair.
Since then, I have really reaped its rewards. Because of the sheer nature of my job, I need to look at screens during significant parts of my day. Wearing blue light glasses has reduced eye strain and headaches for me.
I am not sure if it’s just a placebo effect, but I do see a difference. So I will continue wearing them.
No screens before sleep
This one is easy.
If there is one health habit that I feel made the biggest difference in my life, it’s this one.
Unfortunately, I am not very consistent with this.
In 2023, however, I plan on sticking to this religiously.
I hope you found this a valuable read and have some takeaways that you can go ahead and implement in your wonderful lives.
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