No, not e=mc 2 . That’s what would’ve occurred to you first if you have diligently read my first post on Unhurry. This PET formula is different. After going through my “Reverse Ageing” posts, particularly the last one on diet, many friends have asked me where to start, and more importantly, how to keep it going.

“This is one space where well begun is not half done; what matters is being at it consistently. What worked for me is what I am calling my PET formula.”

In fact, I didn’t discover this formula in the context of my health and wellbeing. This template is what I actually use it no matter what I need to manage. I know there’s a law of the instrument, “if you have the hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail”. But, I believe this PET is like a swiss army knife.
Trust me.
P in my PET stands for Purpose, E for Enablers, and T for Tracking.

Unless there’s a compelling purpose behind starting any long-term effort, we are very likely to discontinue that in the face of even minor hurdles. Aren’t we all familiar with new year resolutions, kicked off with a lot of gusto every January but losing momentum already by February? It’s not difficult to find excuses for not being able to continue what we started. We are more resolute when the purpose gets ignited by a strong inspiration. Or even by some amount of desperation for that matter. I had postponed my weight-loss journey for years, rationalising that I couldn’t find time from my busy work schedules. But when my knee started paining because of overweight, it threw this whole equation out of gear. If the degenerating knee doesn’t let me travel as much as I am required to, where does that leave my work? Also, the thought that potential health problems would mean a poor quality of life later in life, further consolidated my determination. When an activity is seen as a “means” to a “larger purpose”, we are very likely to stay the course.

“Vision without execution is hallucination”, said Thomas Edison. Enablers are the tools that make execution happen. If the purpose gives us a “why”, the enablers tell us “how. The key enabler in my wellness expedition was a twenty-four-hour chart given by Rachna. The chart had very little flexibility, whether it was with content or quantity of food, sleep, water and exercise. The rigour of the chart made sure that I got into a rhythm soon, and I could comply with every component even when I was travelling extensively. Sustained rhythm built the much-needed consistency in compliance. The charts are far better tools than the lists with dos and don’ts. It’s not unusual to take one of the dos or don’ts lightly and skip on one or the other days. Of course, the dos and don’ts do come in handy once we are well set.

Life would be simple if a single plan works.

“Often, the progress is not steady. Because the contexts change. You need to be alert and understand what’s happening inside your body, and course-correct as may be required.”

Regular tracking helps in looking for the signals of change. As is well known, you can only manage what you measure.
On the days when my weight didn’t go down or went down more than the usual, I would reflect back on what I did in the last twenty-four or forty-eight hours that might have caused it. And tweak that element the next day, to observe the impact the following day. This is how I discovered the importance of breathing exercises and sleep. While there would be a larger goal linked to the purpose, it will be useful to break the goal down into smaller milestones. This helps in better tracking, as also keeps one motivated with small victories. While my end goal was forty kilos, my first target was fifteen. Then another five, one more five and so on.
Isn’t my PET cute? Want to adopt it?

S. Sivakumar

A senior business leader at ITC Ltd. He could hide behind lack of time but has healed himself, lost 35 kg and walks the talk on making time for yourself to get healthy.

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