Di Dixon is a graduate of the NCFH Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Health and Medicine and the founder of Panoramic Health and Fitness. In this blog series, Di combines her expertise in farmer health and her passion for empowering people to overcome lifestyle obstacles with confidence, courage, and ease.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of the KISS principle and we often might describe ourselves or our actions as “all or nothing”. Both of these can affect our overall health habits and our overall lifestyle. So let’s look at both of them today and how they tie into your lifestyle.
KISS – Keep It Simple. When it comes to our health and improving what we already do we often overcomplicate it. I’m not sure about you, but my life is too short and too busy for complicated habits and routines. We also know that it’s what we do every day that will make the biggest difference to our overall results, not the things we do as a once-off.
That would be like buying your cattle, putting them in the paddock and expecting them to nurture themselves. In order to thrive they need daily feeding.
So, much like the cattle, we can’t expect that by doing all the healthy things for a day, then forgetting about them. We need consistency to thrive. This is where 5-minute actions come into play.
5 Minute Actions
These are very much what they sound like. An action that can be done in 5 minutes or less will take us closer to our goal. These actions must be realistic and achievable. Often these actions will feel insignificant, but over the course of weeks, days, months, and years these are the actions that add up. A simple equation to work by is that:
consistency = progress
In order to set yourself a 5-minute action start with your goal, then break it down into smaller and smaller steps, until you get to an action that is realistic for you to achieve in 5 mins or less and can be done every day.
For example, I would like to lose 10kg 🡪 eat less and move more 🡪 slow eating of meals down to stop over eating 🡪 place knife and fork down between mouthfuls.
In this example, your 5-minute action is to place your cutlery down between mouthfuls. By doing that small action daily your satiety (hunger/fullness) signals have time to take effect when you’re eating and you end up eating less overall. A simple, uncomplicated way to get daily runs on the board and improve your overall health habits.
Building this consistency into our habits also takes away from that “all or nothing” mentality that we can often slip into when we hit a stressful point with our health. Have you ever said to yourself “I just need a reset”? This is when we dive into the latest fad diet, 6-week challenge, or 30-day detox. These are the ones where we dive in and make wholesale changes to our lifestyle. We exercise every day, eat only veggies and protein, and practice self-care. How long does all that usually last?
While these programs and diets have their place, they’re often not designed to be the long-term fix we are after which is why we find that once they finish, we fall back into old habits, and soon enough the results we achieve are reversed. So let me ask, when it comes to your farm, would you harvest your crops and shear your sheep at the same time? Not usually, you’d pick one and focus on that. So why do we try to do both when it comes to our health?
So here are the key takeaways. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your health and feel like you can’t keep it all up. You’re making it too complicated and likely engaging in that all-or-nothing mindset. Break it down and keep it simple. Pick daily habits that you can achieve and focus on doing them well and consistently.
Di Dixon Healthy and Active Farmer Blog Series
This is blog post four in a series exploring health and wellbeing among farmers and farm workers, and how they can take simple, easy steps to improve their overall health and fitness. A list of the previous posts to date is below.
Fuelling for increased energy | National Centre for Farmer Health
The health and wellbeing of rural women | National Centre for Farmer Health
If you have a question or queries for Di, please reach out to her via email@example.com.