I received for review this month a book called 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You. It has one small change each week, starting with little things like “Drink more water” and moving up to grand stuff like “Live with purpose.” The theory is that in one year, you’ll be better and better in every way (to paraphrase Émile Coué, the father of affirmations).
I’m not much on affirmations, but I’m very big on self-improvement. I’m always trying to learn more and do better and stuff like that. While this year I am being a dismal failure at the HGP, I figured I could make one small change a week in spite of the demands of my schedule.
That is, of course, the point of the book. We may not all be able to get our centerpieces ready, purchase and wrap 1/8 of our Christmas presents, put a meal and a batch of cookies in the freezer, spend an hour a day on homemade presents, and prepare a gift basket for our houseguests in the second week of November– but we can all make one small change a week.
The first week I obediently drank more water, and I am glad to say that I have remained in the habit of doing so. The second week, I worked really hard on sleeping 7-8 hours every night. This isn’t always in my power, but I went to bed earlier.
This week, we are to get off the couch. Specifically, we’re supposed to move more in our daily lives, regardless of the amount of actual exercise we do. We’re supposed to get up and walk to see our colleagues instead of IMing them, park further from the entrance to the shops, and generally waste energy.
I started off well enough yesterday with a three-hour stroll around the museum including a mile on their walking trail, and tonight I’ll park at a distance from the music building and walk up three flights of stairs (we always do, La Bella and I).
The truth is, though, that I enjoy lolling on the couch. I spent nearly all day Saturday doing just that, even though I was working at the time on my laptop. When I have free time, I like to lie on the sofa with my feet up, reading, and curl up with knitting and a good book or a Netflix movie. My sister has assured me that this is something one just doesn’t tire of, and she may be right. I don’t get tired of it even if I loll around for hours on the weekend. If anything, I feel as though I don’t get enough lolling time.
52 Small Changes reminds us that the WHO attributes 2 million deaths each year to a sedentary lifestyle. Thee author says we should get up and clean while we watch TV, take walks before breakfast and during lunch and after dinner, replace inactive relaxation with active hobbies, and stand while using the computer.
As I say, I did well with that change yesterday. We had a houseguest, so I was actively cooking and cleaning before church, I stand through much of the service since I’m in the choir, and then I went to the museum, and I followed that with further cooking and cleaning. I did a lot of walking in the previous week, as well, and enjoyed it. I should keep that in mind.
Perhaps, if I make this change, I will have a cleaner house as well as a better chance of living to a ripe and active old age.