48 Valuable Questions That Will Kickstart Your Health Journey
Asking questions is becoming something of a lost art…
From my experience, questioning is one of the most effective and easiest ways of learning. Whether it’s sharing collective knowledge by asking questions of others, or simply questioning yourself in your mind (or out loud if you don’t mind a few strange looks whilst you’re on the bus).
As children we were always asking questions. We were curious, trying to figure out the crazy world that we lived in. At some point in time though, something changed. Many of us reached a stage where we became tired of hearing the same old answers, so we stopped asking. We started accepting things as they are.
Had the great philosophers and scientists of the past adopted this way of thinking, we would be living in a world much different to the one we find ourselves in today.
That applies to every aspect of the life experience, particularly our health.
When you’re looking to make changes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by conflicting information in health and fitness magazines. One expert says one thing, whilst another says the complete opposite. The result – you walk away feeling like there’s no point in trying. You accept your current state of health, and that there’s nothing more you can do to get better.
I’m proposing an alternative.
By asking some simple questions – with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, health professionals and even yourself – you can unlock pieces of knowledge that would have otherwise remained uncovered. Questions can lead us down a path where we discover amazing new things. Where we solve the unsolvable. They are one of the most important tools in our toolbox when it comes to living a happy, healthy lifestyle, so we should use them often.
Today I want to stir up your inquisitive side. I want to encourage you to start asking questions again, so you can regain that child-like curiosity that makes the world go round. So you can start to take back a little more control over your heath and life situation, and move in the direction that you want to head.
Here are a sample of simple questions from my latest project, Healthy Habit Fink Cards. How you use them is entirely up to you. They could occupy your mind during your morning commute. They could be a topic for discussion over dinner with your family, a conversation starter at work, or even as the main focus of a lesson at school.
They’re yours to experiment with and use how you wish. If you find the questions useful and you’d like forty more of them in a shiny new deck of cards (at a discounted price of course), you can follow the links above or below to get your own set.
Onto the questions.
1. What is a healthy habit?
This is one of my favourite questions, for a couple of reasons.
One is that it gets people thinking about what a habit is in the first place. Habits are something that we hear quite a lot about, but we never really stop to consider what they involve. Second, is that we then have to decide what makes a habit healthy, which is going to be different for everyone.
Although a lot of us would like to think we’re quirky, spontaneous and random, the truth is that nearly everything that we do throughout the day is performed on autopilot. We’re executing habits that we’ve formed over years and years of repetition.
How we eat, sleep, stand, sit, walk, talk, breathe and near enough everything else in between is a habit. And any of those things can be done in ways that elevate your health or bring it down.
By asking questions about habits, you can start to make these unconscious behaviours conscious, and you can begin to to identify which habits may need a little bit more work on in order to impact your health on the whole.
2. Why do people struggle to keep their new year’s resolutions/stick to new habits?
This question gets us thinking about why we struggle to hold on to new habits and resolutions.
I’ve lost count of how many times in the past that I attempted to make a change, it’s gone well for a few weeks, but then despite my best efforts I’ve slowly slipped back into my old ways. You’ve probably done the same more than once too.
But why is that? Why do we struggle to form habits that are lasting and sustainable?
Is it because we bite off more than we can chew? Is it because of a lack of willpower, a lack of support, or perhaps a lack of planning?
There are many reasons why you might slip up and abandon your habit change, and its important to identify those potential obstacles that are personal to you. When you can do that successfully, you can start to plan how you’ll overcome those obstacles next time round.
3. What is one thing you could do today to eat a little healthier?
Changing the way you eat can be a daunting prospect.
When you see that someone else has been able to make big changes to their diet, or you hear about the next big health craze that’s supposed to be really good for you, its easy to feel like you have to jump in and make a load of changes at once. It’s overwhelming, and often times it means that people take no action at all.
I like this question because it implies that altering your diet doesn’t have to be a big, scary process. It just takes small steps repeated over time.
Perhaps today you might start having a green smoothie for breakfast. In a few weeks time you might feel ready to change your lunchtime meal, and so on. Nothing has to be all that difficult if you don;t want it to be. You can move forwards at your own pace, making changes when you want to make them.
And as you begin to have more and more small successes, your self esteem rises. You realise that you’re in charge. You’re the master of your own destiny, and you can make whatever changes you want to make.
4. What makes some people choose unhealthy food over healthy food?
Again, this question brings us back to identifying potential obstacles to making healthy changes. It’s about uncovering those common triggers and barriers and figuring out ways to avoid them or overcome them.
With regards to diet, one that I come across quite a lot is the social pressure when eating out at restaurants with friends or co-workers. You may feel like a bit of an outcast if you choose to avoid the meal or eat different food to them, and you may even be the butt of most of the jokes (so where do you get your protein from?).
When you start to ask yourself questions, you’ll inevitably come up with a few answers. They might include pre-eating something healthy, then just ordering a small salad. You might be able to suggest other activities that don’t revolve around food.
I’ve found that the more you get used to questioning, the more resourceful you become and the more you will be able to dig and find solutions to seemingly unsurmountable problems.
5. What is the difference between movement and fitness training?
Form me, this question brings my attention to my motivations, or my reasons ‘why’. Why do you move? Why do you go to the gym or go out for that walk a few times a week?
I’ve often talked about the idea of movement as a universal concept that is a key part of healthy living, whereas fitness is kind of a more watered down version of movement.
I practiced fitness in the past to look better, to reach arbitrary goals and to somehow impress others. I now practice movement to be healthier, live longer, to be a stronger version of myself, and because it’s something that I love doing. I have more authentic motivations behind why I train today, ones that are more in line with my values and beliefs.
If you’re doing something for reasons that are not true to you, then eventually you’ll come up against some kind of resistance and you wont want to push past it. So try to make sure that you know why you’re doing something before you throw yourself into it.
6. What’s one thing you could do to get more movement into your everyday life?
Like eating healthily, moving doesn’t have to be a big scary thing that you have to jump into with both feet. And on the contrary, doing that will probably get you injured, doing more harm than good.
Rather than going hard or going home, what’s one thing that you could do to increase the amount of movement in your everyday life?
It could be working at a standing desk. It might mean taking the stairs, or parking further from work so that you have to walk further. All these small things add up, and they will have more of an impact on your long term health than the few hours you spend on the treadmill at the gym every week.
7. What does living mindfully involve?
Mindfulness is a pretty popular term right now. We’ve all heard of the benefits of being more mindful, of being more aware of the thoughts in our heads and how they can affect our emotions and everyday decisions. But how we achieve this state is personal to each of us.
For some, twenty minutes of guided meditation each morning is the recommended dose. Others find mindfulness in movement, journalling, music, or just about any other creative hobby that you can think of.
The question highlights that it’s important to find what’s right for you, and find peace in your own way.
8. What is one thing you could do today to reduce your stress levels?
Stress is no joke. It’s an issue that lies at the root of just about every degenerative disease around today, so changing how we respond to it is probably worth considering.
Again, this is going to be different for everyone.
Some people may find that reading about stress and stress reduction techniques may help. Others prefer to talk it out with loved ones, or visiting a councillor. Movement, meditation, writing and a whole host of other activities can also help you to change your relationship with stress.
And again, it’s about exploring different ideas and different answers until you find what works for you. Then the only thing left to do is take action.
Want more thought provoking questions?
If you’ve enjoyed this post and you want more thought provoking questions like the ones above, ones that will help you discover more about your own health and life situation, then check out our Healthy Habits Fink Cards.
The cards will help you to:
- Understand the importance of healthy habits
- Learn what it means to be healthy
- Combat the notion that living healthily is boring, difficult and expensive
- Explore healthy eating, movement and mindfulness habits