All it takes is 21 days!
Remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit. You must’ve noticed that when you talk to someone who has achieved their goal, they talk about staying true to a new routine. For example, someone who wanted to lose weight gave up a piece of a cake. The first 21 days were hard. After that, it was a piece of cake!
Don’t stop after 21 days, continue your hard work, and you’ll realise you’re so much better than you were 21 days ago, and that will be a turning point in your life. ‘Creating a 21 Day Writing Habit’ is a famous song by Ondi Laure. There is literally a song about this! If you have consistently stayed true to your resolution for 21 days leading up to Republic Day, you are on the right track.
The Happy Mid-Week Break
Republic Day is the first significant holiday at the start of the year. This year, this day happens to fall on a Wednesday. The first tempting mid-week break of the year- that immediately makes us feel happy. The Indian Constitution took effect on January 26, 1950. The nation takes a break to watch the republic day parade and hoist the Tiranga proudly! On this solemn occasion, we reflect on the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and our soldiers. On the other hand, we celebrate the sovereignty of India with our neighbours, friends and family.
Like any other occasion, republic Day also comes with specific food associations. When we join our neighbours and look proudly at the fluttering flag, we end up feeling proud of our nation. By and large, it’s a day off for most of us. We connect with friends during the flag hoisting ceremony, share some tea, coffee, and snacks over conversations, and experience a sense of belonging. We all are proud to be part of the great nation called India. Usually, after that, we go back home, eat a big meal and follow it up with some quality time with our families. Like any other holiday, we celebrate Republic Day with food, laughter and love for our nation.
However, this happens to be the 26th day of the year’s first month. Unfortunately, it coincides with the time when we are on the verge of breaking new year resolutions. Since habits take 21 days to form, one usually knows if one has managed to eat healthily, exercise daily or any similar resolution.
Think through it if you feel tempted to eat the jalebi served in the building premises or want to avail of 50% off on the red velvet cake. Have you formed a habit, and you can make an exception? Or you take a rain check and take some inspiration from what the day stands for?
To err is human, and oscillating between goals and action is also human. So what happens is we start with the right intent, but somewhere, work and other responsibilities derail us.
So, 26 days into the new year, let’s look at how to make health and fitness a priority in a sustained manner.
1. Make a realistic goal
Make smaller and achievable goals like walking for half an hour a day- instead of running a marathon. Do our resolutions match our daily priorities? For example, you want to practice dry fasting three days a week, but your work is such that it makes you feel weak. Re-do your strategy the way our freedom fighters did. When something did not work out, they tried a different approach. Maybe, download an app and start tracking calories following a 16:8 fasting window?
2. Find out if there is a pattern
There is a tragically beautiful saying, “Patterns are addictive”. You must have noticed that you promise to be a go-getter and stay true to the resolution you have made every year. You have always wanted to be in your best shape, and the pandemic has only motivated you further. However, are you someone who makes a similar resolution every year and somewhere loses focus?
We sometimes disregard our motivation due to perfectly plausible reasons and deviate from our goal. In that case, dive deeper. It is the time of the year to break the pattern. Learn to identify the triggers and be a new, positive you.
3. Break the pattern
This time, make a difference by breaking that pattern. So take inspiration from our leaders who never gave up! It’s just been 26 days into the new year, and you broke your resolution. But, still, the entire year is left! So pick up your resolution again or make a new one! Republic day is the perfect opportunity because energy is high, and love for our country and ourselves is running high!
4. Be the India that we celebrate on Republic day
Sovereign India stands for justice, integrity, courage, honesty and loyalty. We make something a habit when we find comfort in it. Stress eating, staying in bed all day, and smoking are acquired habits. These negative habits will persist if you give in to your need for immediate comfort. You need to get out of your comfort zone or break your pattern to build your health.
5. Make it fun
Find an alternative activity that makes you happy. It’s a proven fact that when your physical health improves, your mental health does too. So don’t binge to feel satisfied; instead, run a 2 km circuit and feel the same high.
6. Pay respect to your body
We take our body for granted- like we take our nation for granted at times. They both make us secure, and they’re a constant in our lives. Like the nation, our body is a marvel. It offers a cover of security around us. It’s very easy to lose that security if we don’t work towards building it. So, this January 26, let’s make a pledge towards our nation and ourselves. We will work towards improving them!
7. Leave that couch alone
When you sit, you use less energy than standing or moving. Long periods of sitting lead to various health issues- obesity is one of them. It also leads to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, extra body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. So get up and move around! Walk as much as you can and keep your body moving! You need to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. It sounds a lot, but it won’t seem like much when you start walking and have your favourite music playing. You won’t even realise where all the distance and steps went!
8. You did pay for the gym; you might as well go
How many of you joined the gym at the start of the new year? You’ve already paid for the gym! So go work out on the gorgeous looking machines and boost your stamina! You can manage anything if you can handle that! Build up muscles or reach your goal weight! Make an effort to be the best version of yourself. Be your favourite, like Geet from Jab we met was.
This republic day, wake up early and go to sleep early! India did get freedom at midnight, but you do not stay awake till midnight! So instead, wake up to a free India feeling refreshed and energetic and work towards a better and happier you.
Getting adequate sleep is essential to function correctly. It is vital to improve your sleeping pattern, so add it to your list of unfinished resolutions and get it done!
10. Find a purpose
We are not always motivated to rush to a stuffy gym or get out of our beds early in the morning to go for a walk! So why would anyone torture themselves like that?!
So how about we work towards wearing the pink lehenga at your friend’s wedding in March and showing off those gorgeous curves? How about we get stronger to carry 20 kgs of cylinder into the kitchen?
We promise you won’t need any more motivation to get healthy! It won’t even seem like torture after a while!
26 days into 2022. Another year of this pandemic. It’s about time you fulfil your resolutions. Break your pattern of giving up and make India’s 75th Republic day a turning point in your life!
All the best!