Ever met someone who seems to have the key to an optimized life?
Best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and co-owner of IMPress Books, George Couros not only stands out for his contributions to innovative thinking, leadership, and publishing but also champions an unwavering commitment to healthy living and continuous improvement.
Rooted in optimization and sustainability, his philosophy underscores the importance of individuality and growth. Let’s explore his wisdom and see how it can reshape our perspectives on a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The Turning Point in George’s Health Journey
An acclaimed author and speaker, George’s work demands extensive travels which made consistent healthy habits a challenge over the years. By August 2020, the scale tipped to 320 pounds. But it wasn’t just the number that alarmed him; it was realizing the increased health risks if he contracted COVID-19. This became his wake-up call.
It was in this pivotal moment that George’s perspective on health underwent a profound shift. Rather than being motivated by just looking better, George found inspiration in the desire to be there for his young children. It turns out, looking better is not a powerful or sustainable driver.
Determined to ensure a healthy future for himself and experience his family’s milestones, he committed to his health, emphasizing both exercise and nutrition.
Individualized, Sustainable Growth
Exercise is not enough. For George, “The biggest thing for me is always eating.” He emphasizes how critical it was to establish sustainable healthy eating habits. “I don’t obsess about stuff. I don’t weigh my food. I have developed a way of understanding how my body reacts to different foods.
I don’t focus on eating healthy food.
I focus on eating food that I like that’s healthy.
This shift from fleeting health trends to enduring lifestyle changes is evident throughout his journey and this doesn’t happen overnight. “Over the years, I’ve tried so many different approaches to get my health in check and each one of those things, if you looked at how I was at the end, you would consider them a failure. But, from each one of the things I tried, there’s something I took away that I use today.” For George, “the failures are not a waste of time”, but chances to learn and adapt and refine his approach.
This is a learning journey as much as it is a health journey.
Incremental Goals: Small, Medium, and Big
George points out the importance of setting measurable goals— small, medium, AND big. For example, “A small goal would be how many steps am I doing a day? I also set protein goals. Even writing down exercises that I’m going to do in a day so I can cross them off. And the reason I do small goals is because I feel like every single day I have a win.” He goes on to share, “Whether you’re getting the results right at the beginning or not, you have to feel like you’ve done what you needed to do.”
The reason I do small goals is because I feel like every single day I have a win.
In addition to daily goals, George also has weekly goals. Initially, these weekly goals focused on weight loss, but he also regularly revisits and recalibrates his goals to ensure that they align with his ever-evolving needs. Having achieved his big goal of losing 80 pounds (to date he’s lost over 100 pounds), he is now focused on his next big goal, running marathons so his weekly goal has to do with running times.
George is consistently pushing himself, keeping his baseline non-negotiables and he advocates for a balanced approach. Make a plan and “you should push yourself to the point where you feel challenged, but not push yourself to the point where you feel you won’t be able to go back the next day.”
George’s Tips to Optimize Your Health Journey
- Establish Consistent Routines:
It’s not just about setting goals, but about creating routines that embed those goals into your daily life. Whether it’s daily walks or scheduled meals, routines anchor progress, ensuring continuity regardless of life’s unpredictability.
- Harness the Power of Community:
Surround yourself with a supportive network of family, friends, and larger communities. Their encouragement and accountability, acting as both support and a commitment device, can be invaluable during wavering moments.
- Prioritize Sleep:
Despite the demands of our 24/7 world, rejuvenating sleep is essential for health, efficiency, and mood.
- Focus on Gains, Not Sacrifices:
Shift your mindset from what you’re giving up to the joys and energy that each step toward health brings. George notices, “Since I started marathon training, my mind is crisper.”
The Ripple Effects of Personal Health
Personal health isn’t just about you. Its impact resonates. George’s health journey isn’t just a personal transformation. It positively impacted his family time, amplified his work, and improved his overall happiness levels. And included in these benefits, George shares heartfelt gratitude for the ongoing journey and his improved well-being.
A Call to Action
George’s story speaks to resilience, introspection, and growth, reminding us all to set our own health goals and embrace a personalized, sustainable journey.
Ask yourself: What are the small, medium, and big goals you can set for a healthier, optimized life?