Year of the Habit: April

Happy April! Don’t you love it when the first of the month falls on a Sunday?

I’m ultra excited about this month’s habit, but first, let’s recap the year so far:

  • January: Started flossing every day, and still going strong! Can’t wait to stick it to my dentist.

  • February: Stopped biting my nails, also still going strong! I’m almost at the point where I feel like I can say “I used to bite my nails”, which is crazy.

  • March: Attempted to read every day. This was somewhat of a failure, as I couldn’t bring myself to get in bed early enough to read every night, even for five minutes. Alas, The Shadow of the Wind remains unfinished. However, I did manage to read two books last month: Enough by Patrick Rhone (exceptional; see my review here) and Minimalist Business by Ev Bogue. In addition, my good buddy Rich and I just started reading Catch-22, and I think treating the book as a joint-venture will yield a particularly fruitful reading experience.

I’ve also picked up some Bonus Habits along the way, which were not assigned to a particular month. These include publishing Monday–Friday, and going to the library on a semi-regular basis to work on my thesis — which is almost done.

Before my 25th birthday, I was also adhering to a strong workout routine every day. Since my 25th birthday, however, my dedication to my usual diet and exercise regimens has been unsteady.

That brings us to April. It’s beach season!

That’s right; April is going to be health nut month.

There are several tools and sub-habits I’m going to implement this month, most of which I’ll relate to you in future posts this week.

As you know, there are two components to healthiness: diet and exercise. I’m going to focus especially on the diet aspect during April because 80% of your body composition is determined by your diet. Part of the reason I burned out on my last workout regimen was that I tried to do too much. I was exercising six days a week at home in addition to yoga and karate classes. That’s unsustainable.

Eating garbage guilt-trips you into working out for four hours every day. It’s much easier to eat well and exercise spontaneously, when you feel like it. Exercise should be fun and invigorating, not exhausting.

I’m going to be Primal as much as possible this month, but of course, you can’t be perfect all the time. In particular, I have my monthly Manference dinner, Easter, and my little cousin’s birthday this month, all of which will present culinary hurdles. But, that’s OK. Remember the 80-20 principle. By identifying my potential fat days in advance, I’ll be able to anticipate them and act accordingly over the course of the month.

Furthermore, I’m going to use the Jerry Seinfeld Don’t Break the Chain method to track my healthy eating days. Seeing how many days in a row you can perform your habit is an excellent strategy, and it’s worked quite well for me so far this year.

How’s your Year of the Habit going?

For more about my health regimen, see the following at Mark’s Daily Apple:

  1. Primal Blueprint 101
  2. The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan
  3. 10 Real-Life Reasons Why the Primal Blueprint Works for Me

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