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Power of tiny gains in these extraordinary times

Chhavi Sethi
Chhavi Sethi
In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, he states “If you get one percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.”

Small things add up and this goes in both directions.

- 1000 steps extra in a day don’t feel like much. But add that up, it is 7000 extra in a week and 30000 extra steps in a month. Else 30000 steps less if not done.

- Just 1 biscuit extra above the diet doesn’t seem much. That’s just ~50calories extra. That is 350 calories extra in a week and ~2,100 calories extra in a month. Or 2,100 calories saved if you stick to your plan.

In the current situation where gyms and offices are closed, most people are home as social distancing is advised; there is no better time to experience this. Even though a lot of things seem out of your control, the things that really matter are still in your control. So consciously keep making those small decisions that you can control to get tiny gains. Here are a few things you can do to stay in control –

1) Fix a routine. Preferably stick as close as possible to the routine that you would have followed if you were going to office/school/gym etc. Do not consider your time at home as a vacation where everything happens as one pleases. Being in a routine will make it easier for you to get through this time.

2) Plan and prepare meals for yourself and the family at least the night before. Cook “before” you feel hungry not “after” you feel hungry. Stay at home moms (SAHM)/housewives could otherwise feel like entire day is spent cooking. Planning and prep in advance will ensure you are on track. This’ll also ensure you are tempted less by unhealthy foodstuff (snacks like namkeens or biscuits) available at arm’s length at home. Track what you eat.

3) Fix a time for your workout and follow it. This is especially important for SAHM, housewives who might feel overwhelmed with extra work with husband and kids at home. Inform your family of your workout time so they don’t disturb you in between. Use bodyweight/water bottles/dumbbells/resistance bands etc for your workouts.

4) Ensure you stay active throughout the day. If you were to go to work, you’ll walk to and from office, walk within the office, go for lunch to the cafeteria etc. At home because of a smaller space your movement is restricted. So think of ways to keep up the activity levels. If you are allowed to go out for walks, do that. If you are in a lock down may be try spot jogging/jumping/skipping rope/ going up and down the stairs. Innovate and make the best use of resources at hand.

5) The time that you are saving by not travelling to work, use that productively. Don’t work long hours just because you are home. Spend more time with your family, declutter your house, read a book, learn something new, observe the nature.

Let’s control the things we actually can. Let’s keep working on ourselves to get closer to our goals. Let's keep working on the tiny gains everyday. We can get through this together.

Take care and stay safe!