Accountability vs. success
After a fruitful summer, I’ve decided to go back to the drawing board (as all good managers would say) and started to implement some strategies towards some things I want to change long term. Getting straight to the point – one is my nutrition, and one is an area within my social life. For the purpose of labelling – let’s address this as “extracurricular” – it’ll make sense soon.
Now, my nutrition is damn good. I have absolutely no qualms in making that statement. And I am a big believer of 80/20 where we should attain balance with anything we do. Hence the title of this article “Accountability vs Success” – an 80/20 rule typically allows you to take control whilst still enjoying reward.
But Nik, isn’t that a little weak? Surely if you want to commit to something you may as well go ALL IN? 100% effort?
Yes, yes you certainly can, and for some that strategy works and for some they thrive. In certain areas of my life, I like having that attitude, at certain times.
But I also think for general folk, and a long term healthy mindset, trying to be 100%, 100% of the time, is going to lead to eventual regression rather than long term sustainable progress. So, here are my strategies…!
For 80% of my eating week I am now turning to a plant-based diet. For years, plant based/veganism, it’s been all on trend hasn’t it, and for a long-term I was thinking what on earth is this bollocks. But through more and more research and dipping my toe in the odd short term experiment, I feel this could well be the way to go, for me. It’s not for everyone – which might kick us in the face later! But for me right now, this is the way to go.
So, 80% of my week – plants. It’s easy. And most importantly I have subscribed to a meal prep company called ALL PLANTS which make some unreal plant based ready meals, freshly prepared, frozen (to keep the goodness in) and easy to reheat when you are ready. This is not a hashtag #AD FYI, I pay for this, and I am just a big fan.
So, where does that leave my 20%? I will continue to eat fish at certain times of the week. I love fish, it’s nutrition profile is exceptional, and still a good way to get my protein in. I will no longer buy meat for the household, however I will allow myself to eat a good steak, or Sunday roast out if I want. Again, within that 20% credit allowance. The quality of such meat will no doubt be high (depending on where I dine of course) but by doing this I am giving myself a big chance of sustaining this strategy LONG TERM.
Ok, that’s that. Secondly.
I am a binge drinker. Full stop. I have always cursed drinking during the week, and for weeks on end you could say too, but then when I let myself go on the odd weekend, or when I am away, shit hits the fan. And I want it to stop.
It sounds ridiculous but when I proposed to Izy something in my mind just clicked the few days after, whilst I was reflecting, and this was a big area I felt I wanted to fix.
I’m not exactly saying I am going to turn into a Buddhist monk, and I love my music too much to not attend those beloved clubs in the white isle at certain times in the year. But besides those special one off occasions where the party-ness can perhaps be heightened… I had this image of good red wine, drinking more socially, long dinners, and simply just being in a way better head space within that area.
On a real personal level, it’s something I am really looking forward to changing in terms of a long-term habit.
My strategy – a 3-5 drink rule for the foreseeable future. And if something ‘big’ comes up shall we say – this is going to take a little experimenting in terms of how to deal with the occasion and event.
But for starters, I am a massive lightweight so don’t need a lot to drink, and I see myself drinking more often now, just less of it, and building a better relationship with the social element of alcohol.
Last weekend, we went for dinner with Izy’s family, my mum and some of our closest friends. It was a week on from the engagement and Izy’s birthday. Lots to celebrate. We had champagne, wine, the food was exceptional. I got really drunk (off 5 drinks – can you believe), I was in bed by 10.30pm, woke up the next morning to teach, and felt fucking good about life.
The point I am trying to make is – with whatever goal you want to set yourself, there must be an element of personal accountability. Set standards for yourself, it’s important. But also set yourself up for success. Long term, you will thank yourself for it.
So, here is to plants, and being a lightweight!