In 2022, I want to spend a much larger portion of my time focusing on improving my health and building healthier habits for the future. There are 3 areas which I plan to improve on this year: reducing alcohol intake, reduce intake of food that’s not cooked by me, and exercising more frequently.
Reducing Alcohol Intake
On reducing alcohol intake: my goal is to start small here. Although I don’t consume that much alcohol right now, I eventually want to bring it to 0. I’m certain that I won’t be able to drop alcohol cold turkey though given that going to bars/clubs is a part of my social life. My goal for 2022 is to stop purchasing cocktails at bars, clubs, or restaurants. What’s allowed? Company sponsored events with an open bar, friends buying me a drink, purchasing beer/wine/spirits at the grocery store, buying a mocktail at a bar, club, or restaurant. One thing that I want to try this year is making cocktails at home with Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit.
Reducing Intake of Non-Home Cooked Food
On reducing intake of food that’s not cooked by me: I have a pretty strong belief that businesses follow their incentives. When it comes to restaurants, processed food (cookies, chips), etc... I believe these businesses are highly incentivized to make food that tastes great, but have low incentive to ensure that food is healthy for you. I spent more time in 2021 to get better and faster at cooking things I enjoy eating and found that, no matter how unhealthy I made the dish, my body would still feel much, much better after eating the home cooked “very unhealthy” version than if I had eaten the equivalent at a restaurant. It now scares me what is put in fast food or restaurant dishes. My goal for 2022 is to cook more and to minimize the amount of snacking on cookies, chips, candy, etc... How do I plan on doing this? To cook more, I’ve found that being liberal about buying kitchen gear that I want and hosting group dinners where we cook a specific cuisine together makes it a lot more fun to cook (this has been an easy motivator to cook in the past, and has made it a lot of fun). On reducing bad snacking, my bad habit stems from not eating at the right times, getting really hungry, and grabbing whatever is available to eat which tends to be processed foods. To mitigate this, I plan on 1) always eating breakfast (important that it tastes really good!) and 2) having healthy snack options readily stocked. I’ve started “meal-prepping” these yogurt bowls in a mason jar (that actually taste really good!) lately and I’m hoping that helps. Recipe: chia seeds, greek yogurt, cinnamon, honey, blueberries, banana, and sliced almonds.
Exercising More Frequently
On exercising more frequently: historically, this hasn’t been much a problem for me given that basically my only hobby outside of computers is playing sports. However, playing sports was always pretty irregular. I wouldn’t play sports at all during the weekdays and then on the weekend I’d play for several hours. I want to improve my fitness by exercising every day. I’ve started to do this by focusing on getting much better at tennis. In my opinion, it’s a good sport to get good at given that it is fairly popular, relatively inexpensive, and, most importantly, a non-contact sport! To achieve this goal, I’ve signed up for a tennis league and have joined a tennis community to more easily find hitting partners. Additionally, I’ve found that exercise and playing sports has had huge benefits to my mental health. When things aren’t going my way at work, with friends/family, insert any area of life that I do not control, having a regular cadence of playing sports, getting outdoors, and getting some exercise has made me much happier.