Karl Henry: There are no mistakes - only lessons to be learned
School of Health Week 5: This week, Karl Henry says it's time to reassess
We are now half way through the back-to-school challenge, where each week I bring you a column that is designed to inform you, challenge you and improve your health. The homework is exactly that, work to do from week to week, simple but surprisingly hard too. Remember, this eight-week kickstart is to teach you tools for long-term health and real health takes a little bit of time. This week, it's time to take stock a little. To reassess. To look at what mistakes you have made and to make sure they become lessons.
So let's start with a little test. Here are 10 simple questions that I want you to answer. After each answer write a line or two about how you can do better.
* Are you cooking more than you did before the challenge?
* Have you done your health homework each week? l Have you measured your waistline since week one? l Are you drinking more water and less fizzy drinks?
* Have you done a spring clean of your kitchen and wardrobe? l Have you signed up for an event yet? l Are you reading more than you did before the challenge? l Are you doing your weekly food shop?
* Are you getting out of breath when you exercise?
* Are you getting eight hours of sleep a night?
So how did you get on? Rate yourself and give yourself a score.
These questions are some of the key components of the last four weeks, a summary if you will. If you aren't doing them I want you to spend a little bit of time trying to see why and how you can get them into your life now to being the change.
Trying to get healthy is so important, setting lists and plans are too, but assessing your progress is the bit that most people forget about. The test is a fun way of doing that. But ideally I want you to dig a little deeper. Take the following four headings and spend a little bit of time writing about each.
* Pros: What has really worked for you over the last four weeks, what has been easy, fun and really helped you to feel better?
* Cons: Exactly the opposite, what has been hard, what have you missed and just had no interest in doing?
* More of: These are simply the things that you want to do more of over the coming weeks, try to address the cons and ensure that you get them done in the future
* Less of: Sometimes we overdose on the things we love, doing too much of them. So this list is for the things you really do need to cut down on.
Now you're getting there, you see spending time and assessing your health gives you a sense of clarity going forward, an ability to feel that the next few weeks are indeed doable, possible and above all achievable.
Remember, trying is the important thing. If something doesn't work then you must learn from it. Just because it didn't work the first time doesn't mean that you have failed, it just means that you have to try to make things work for you a different way. I have "failed" at lots of things, but not once have I viewed them as failures, they are simply ways of learning, I assess them and then change my strategy so that I succeed the second or third time around.
Homework: A lot done, a lot more to do
* FOOD: Ok so hopefully by now you have caught the cooking bug. Food is so much healthier when we cook it ourselves, no question about it. So for this week, I want you focus on your fruit and veg intake. Aim for a total of seven portions a day; two of fruit and the rest vegetables.
* Exercise: We have done Hitt and more steady state exercise. You have even built your own programme. This week, I want you to take the exercise out of your comfort zone. I want you to try an exercise class, any class, that you haven't done before. Classes are a great way to meet like-minded people and stay fit for the winter months.
* Motivation: This week is a big motivation week, with reflecting and planning the order of the day. Support that with picking up a motivational book to read. Reading is a great way to stay focused and keep your determination high. So this week I want you to pick up two books for motivation.
* Lifestyle: The final bit of homework this week is to improve your lifestyle. I want you to spend some time filtering your social media accounts, deleting anyone or accounts that have a negative impact on your life.
We spend so much time on social media, it's crucial to ensure that it's a positive experience.
Health & Living