Welcome to episode 490 of The Whole View! This week, Stacy and Dr. Sarah break down the science behind setting priorities and habits to help listeners focus on achievable goals that set them up for success!
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The Whole View, Episode 490: Setting Priorities & Creating Habits During Stressful Times
Welcome to episode 490!
Hi Dr. Sarah and Stacy, I am sure you get this question all the time, and you may have already covered this, but I thought I would ask anyway. How do we make time for health these days? For those of us who are in the mist of figuring out this whole journey to health, these past two years feel like they have just been a huge derailment to any of the goals I wanted to achieve.
When you are looking down a long list (food choices, sleep, exercise, supplements, and selfcare) knowing that you need all these things to come together, where or how do you even start? And stick with them! Just thinking about it causes me stress and I know that stress has an impact on our health as well. How do you set priorities and keep habits? What gives us the most bang for our efforts?
I would be so grateful for any tips or advice you have. Thanks to you both I know the ‘whys’ I just really need a simple ‘how’ to start with. Thank you!
Last week, Stacy and Dr. Sarah talked about a long list of priorities for supporting health (instead of weight loss-centered New Year’s resolutions).
It’s important to acknowledge that not everyone is there yet! Stacy and Dr. Sarah have been doing this for over a decade, and the most lasting changes they made are the ones they tackled individually.
Let’s shift the conversation from everything to the most important thing, which really depends on where you are in your health journey.
First, Give Yourself Some Grace.
We live through unprecedented times (and yes, we’ll cover Omicron soon), so it’s okay if something has to slide for your sanity! (3:17)
Dr. Sarah feels like the last two years have been a holding pattern and common feeling, and okay!
The key is to avoid the snowball of badness with your health, so be intentional with the flexibility you choose.
It helps to have a self-discovery process like reintroductions, so you understand your wiggle room. Check out Episode 483: Reintroductions Aren’t Just for the AIP.
Rethink from goals to journey and from journey to just the next step. Then, choose your next step- that one thing you want to work on.
Which step you choose depends on your starting point, where you are now. Or select a focus that’s just about keeping the wheels on the cart!
It’s okay if the thing you want to work on is maintaining! There’s value in this!
Pick One Thing to Work On When Setting Priorities
Choose just one thing to focus your attention on. It’s easier to work on one habit at a time. For more, see: (24:30)
Next, add in one good habit that you want to develop. Finally, let’s talk about some good “next steps,” depending on where you are in your health journey.
Just Starting Out Setting Priorities
Try cooking at home or eating more vegetables (even ½ serving more per day, then add more once that feels easy).
Think about the meals you already make that follow Nutrivore guidelines (meat or seafood, starchy veg or other starchy whole food, couple other veggies, healthy fats, nuts and seeds as condiments, some fruit), and make more of your meals look like that.
If you’re coming to this from poor health, eliminating gluten might be an excellent next step, or you could focus on swaps rather than eliminations—sweet potato at dinner instead of a roll, for example.
Sleep makes diet and other lifestyle priorities feel so much more doable!
Once you get good at those first few steps, try focusing on what small things you can do to improve on the work you’ve already done.
Like improving diet quality:
- Eating seafood at least twice per week
- Eating organ meat once per week (or organ meat pills)
- Eight servings of veggies per day
- Grow your own veggies
- Buy ¼ cow (with organs!)
- Upgrade an ingredient (e.g., better EVOO)
Next, look at any lifestyle changes you could start to implement. This can include a better bedtime routine, mindfulness or other resilience activity, or a movement routine.
Maybe add movement breaks throughout your day: Stacy and Dr. Sarah will talk about movement snacks in an upcoming show, but TLDR is that even 20 seconds count!
Addressing Lingering Issues
Maybe it’s time to go AIP. A gradual transition is okay! Or jump in on this session of Dr. Sarah’s AIP Lecture Series. You can also focus on gut health superfood focus for GI symptoms!
Challenge yourself to add rather than subtract! Don’t fall into the trap of eliminating more and more and more.
Work with a functional medicine doctor, or do some at-home testing that will give you actionable results such as vitamin D status, hormones balance, etc.
Biohacks that work: Joovv red light therapy. (Code WHOLEVIEW for $50 off your first purchase!)
Supplements like vitamin C, magnesium, CBD, Just Thrive probiotics can also help. Be sure to read labels and look for problematic ingredients.
Life is stressful no matter who you are, so seeking therapy is always an excellent way to check-in and make sure you’re taking care of your mental health just as much as your physical health!
Stacy recently shared how one thing was eating breakfast instead of her morning cup of coffee and how that affected many other things. This is an example of a “lynchpin” thing, which holds many different things together. You could also think of this as a domino effect.
Dr. Sarah experienced something similar by getting a high-energy velcro dog. Dogs thrive in routine, just like young children, and part of that routine is bedtime, early mornings, nature hikes every day, and lots of cuddles and laughter.
To Carrie and all of our listeners, be kind to yourself. If “all the things” feels overwhelming, pick one and start there. It’s important to set yourself up for success by setting goals for habits you know you can tackle. (1:04:20)
Hopefully, Stacy and Dr. Sarah have given you food for thought as to which one thing to focus on will give you the best bang for your buck.
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Thanks so much for listened and we will see you next week!
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