This topic is so important and has helped SO MANY people, myself included that it is a chapter in our book “The Transformation Book” and is episode 28 on our podcast The Transformation Show.
You can CLICK HERE to go listen to the podcast.
Managing your minimums narrows your focus, helps you identify what works for you and your body, and simplifies behavior change.
What Are Minimums?
I refer to minimums as the 1-5 behaviors that YOU identify as having the biggest impact on how you look, feel, and perform. In other words, what are the behaviors/habits that support you in being the BEST version of YOU!
Over time you have noticed how certain things (food, behaviors, activities) make you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. Now it’s time to identify what those things are and plan to consistently do more of the things that MATTER THE MOST.
Too often when you embark on a goal or are working to create new positive habits, you think you need to do everything all at once. More often than not this leads to failure because you have taken on too much too quickly.
When you focus on fewer behaviors/habits you are actually MORE successful because you can do them consistently. These are your minimums.
Little hinges swing big doors. What you may perceive are “small” behaviors will over time add up to the results you desire.
Humans differ from one person to the next. It is important for YOU to tune into and recognize what works best for YOU and YOUR body. Notice and name when you are feeling good, full of energy, and successful.
What is contributing to this?
For example, when it comes to food you may have noticed…
- Some foods make you feel better than others.
- Some foods don’t make you feel good at all – you may have a food sensitivity that you didn’t recognize before.
- You may feel better with cooked vegetables versus raw or different types of carbohydrates.
- Some foods (or food situations) may trigger certain behaviors that are not healthy.
This may not only require you to really pay attention but it may also take some experimenting and observing.
Questions to ask yourself as you identify your minimums:
- What habits or behaviors do you perform consistently?
- Which small changes that you have made a REALLY big difference?
- What makes you feel good physically, emotionally, and mentally?
- What things make your body work best (immune function is high, digestion is good, mood is good, you are sleeping well, you have good energy), etc.?
Be aware that at any given point your minimums may shift and change a bit. This could be due to a variety of things. Your activity level, your stress level, or your health situation to name a few. For example, I know that when my activity level increases, I need to focus on having the right types of carbs, in the right amounts, and at the right times.
Another way to think of your minimums is like a set of instructions for what you need. Your own personal Owner’s Manual.
Below are examples of minimums:
- Getting 8 hours of quality sleep.
- Eating protein at each meal.
- Getting in 8000 steps each day.
- Drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
- Avoiding gluten.
- Eating 5-7 servings of non-starchy vegetables each day.
- Practicing self-care daily.
Think foundational behaviors. Minimums are behaviors/habits (things you have control over), not outcomes.
How Do You Manage Your Minimums?
Your minimums are ideally behaviors/habits that you are able to perform all of the time. By no means is it about being 100% perfect but these are the few things that happen NO MATTER WHAT. That is why you only choose a few.
They happen no matter what because of the impact they have on your health and well being and because they are small behaviors that you are confident you can do. Will there be certain times when they don’t happen? SURE, but it will be a very small percentage of the time.
Your minimums are there so that when you are traveling, “life happens,” your schedule becomes more demanding, or your stress level increases you have a few behaviors to focus on that will support you feeling good.
If you find yourself inconsistent with the behaviors you have identified as your minimums then it is time to re-evaluate and shift how many/what your minimums are.
The purpose and idea behind Managing Your Minimums is to give you a small number of behaviors/habits to focus on at one time. Pick the few things that make the greatest difference for YOU and focus your time and energy there. Then you can fill other things around your minimums.
In Health & Happiness,