When people get into the health and fitness game,
And things start to get tough,
We sometimes hear that people just want to be normal.
As in, they want to do what everyone else is doing.
But, is this a good goal?
Is what is considered normal,
And what everyone else is doing even that beneficial?
Well, if you consider normal as average,
Then the average person is overweight,
Watching hours of TV per day,
Spending hours on their phone,
And generally, unhappy.
Let’s get this straight – normal sucks.
And sometimes to have things that others don’t have,
Requires you to do things that others won’t do.
That’s why we wanted to write this article to bring your attention to what normal really is,
Why you shouldn’t strive to be normal,
And what to do instead.
What it really means to be normal
When you look at the stats on what it means to be normal, you can start to see how unattractive it actually is.
Let’s start with exercise and activity.
Only 1/5 of Canadians reach the recommended amount of 150 minutes of physical activity per week,
Canadians, on average, are sedentary for 9.5 hours per day.
So, it appears that it’s normal to be lazy.
Next, let’s look at nutrition and obesity.
64% of Canadians are overweight or obese,
And Less than 50% eat 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies per day.
So, it appears that it’s normal to be fat and to make poor dietary decisions.
How about media consumption habits…
Well, Canadians, on average, watch 30 hours of TV per week,
And spend 24.5 hours per week on the web.
So, I’m guessing the average Canadian does not spend much quality time with the ones they love if they’re always on the web or on the tube.
Oh, and look at this….
12.6 % of Canadians experience depressive symptoms in their lifetime.
So, essentially, normal means that you likely don’t get much physical activity,
Disconnected to the ones you love,
And, as a result,
Let’s do something else.
Break free from normal
Now, Here’s how to not be normal.
Awareness is number 1.
The fact that you are reading this article is great.
You’re already breaking free from normal.
So, gold sticker to you for that one.
#2. Re-discover your VIPs
Again, with the VIPs.
V = values,
I = identity,
P = priorities.
Who are you?
Are you a father?
Are you an athlete?
Are you a successful business person?
What do you value?
Do you value family?
Do you value freedom?
Do you value fitness and health?
And what are your priorities in life?
Is it quality time with your family?
Is it 30 minutes of movement per day?
Is it eating to support a healthy lifestyle?
What do you actually want your life to look like?
What do you actually want to be, do and have?
Next, compare your current actions to your VIPs.
Do they match up?
If so, great.
Stop reading this article and go do them.
If not, start lining up your actions with who you are,
And what you believe in.
Would a good dad spend hours in the evening ignoring his kids as he watched TV?
Would a good husband bury his nose in his phone after work when he hasn’t seen or talked to his partner all day?
Would a fit-guy get drive-through instead of eating some lean protein and veggies for supper?
Compare your current actions to your VIPs and recalibrate them if necessary.
But, don’t try to change everything all at once.
You’ll likely crash and burn.
Pick the thing that stings the most,
The thing that makes you feel the most guilty,
Or the thing you feel confident you can take action on right now,
And set it as a goal every day.
Here are some other above-average tasks you can do…
a. Eating slowly by putting your fork down between each bite
b. Eating mindfully by playing the hunger game
c. Eating lean protein at every meal
d. Eating colourful fruits and veggies at each meal
e. Eating a healthy breakfast like a super shake
f. 10 minutes of activity per day
g. Using a pre-bed ritual
a. Making the choice to show up for your partner and family everyday
b. Combining family time with physical activity ie. playing soccer in the yard with your kids.
c. Doing something for your spouse and family members according to their love language each day
d. Eating supper as a family
Focus and presence of mind
a. Planning distraction time ie. time mindlessly surfing the web
b. Planning distraction-free productive time for your most important tasks
c. Having designated phone time and putting it away at other times
d. Meditating 5 minutes per day
And then once you’ve tried one action,
Assess how it went.
Determine if you want to continue to improve that action,
Or if you’d like to move on to another one.
And so goes the process of continuously taking action,
Assessing how it went,
And then moving on to another action.
You can do this for your whole life.
This is the process of continued development and improvement.
This is how you break free from normal.