Is Your Life Sustainable?

IMG_5707I think this is a question we could all ask ourselves.  Check in with yourself once in awhile and think about different aspects of your lifestyle and ask yourself, “Could I continue like this and expect to feel the way I want to feel in the future?”.  It’s a question I should have asked myself in my 20’s, as I was putting in about 4 hours of exercise a day, not counting working on my feet all day, eating a junk-food vegetarian diet (not all vegetarians are necessarily healthy!) loaded with too many sugary foods and carbs, and a bit heavy on the sugary alcohol drinks.  Truth comes out.  No wonder I ended up with serious health issues later 20’s!  All good now, but it came to a pretty serious point before I took a good look at my lifestyle.  The interesting party of it was . . . I was considered “so healthy” by many!  It was a lack of knowledge on my part, and a lack of really reflecting on the choices I was making and asking myself that simple question . . is this sustainable?  Yes, I kept up with the lifestyle for years in my early 20’s, but could I sustain it?  Well, that answer became obvious down the road.  It’s a little disconcerting as well that I was considered healthy and ended up with so many health issues!  What does that mean for the general population?  Well, maybe the increasing number of illnesses – despite all the information available at our fingertips, doctors, supplements, health food stores, etc – answers that.  A healthy sustainable life involves many aspects.  You can be in top-shape but lack significant relationships; a high-up executive but lack joy; a loving parent but constantly fatigued; or super satisfied with your career but feeling an emptiness spiritually.  I like to go through a “Circle of Life” periodically and evaluate where I am, where I’d like to be, and steps I could take to get there.  Here are the different areas of life that I look at:  Spirituality, Creativity, Finances, Career, Education, Health, Physical Activity, Home Cooking, Home Environment, Relationships, Social Life, Sleep and Joy.  How do you feel in these areas?  Where are your strengths, where are your weaknesses?  And in each area, whether it’s an area of strength or weakness, it’s worth asking yourself whether your choices in this area are sustainable for the future.  If not, just take some time to reflect, or better yet write down, steps you could take to move toward a lifestyle that will bring about more satisfaction.  To quote Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, “This approach is not about acquiring more self-discipline or willpower.  It’s about personally discovering what nourishes you, what feeds you and ultimately what makes your life extraordinary.”  We all deserve the extraordinary!

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