The ODAAT Plan
ODAAT or One Day At A Time -
One Day At A Time is a song made famous by Lena Martell, a Scottish singer, who had
a number one UK single with it in 1979.
I happen to believe it is also useful advice when moving toward a specific goal. Sometimes
we take on too much too soon.
In our quick fix, instant gratification society, there is an almost urgent desire for us to have “it” now, without even working for it. Our "I deserve" culture seems to imbue an attitude of if we have an automatic right to something, why can't we have it now.
But most things that are enduring are not to be rushed, we need to craft our art, apprentice our trade, study the medicine; we would do well to save instead of going into debt, and when it comes to better health and well-being, just as illness sneaks up on us, even a heart attack has a history, and most conditions started out of our conscious awareness long before the signs and symptoms appeared, so we are more likely to succeed if we know where we are headed, and take consistent, wise steps to get there. And can be patient.
So, where are you now and in which direction do you desire to head?
You may recall if you read the page on Healing Approaches the Illness - Wellness Continuum developed by an American doctors, john W Travis.
The ODAAT Way
There are many models and over time you may find another that makes more sense for you.
The ODAAT way has you consider how things are for your health and well-being right NOW, plan to firmly live the right continuum above, know where you are headed eg how it would look and feel and sound like to have a high level of wellness (ie the NEW) and what ACTIONS and steps you will need to take to get there.
Here's how to do it!
Take some time to plan before setting out on the ODAAT way
Remember and apply the five key principles of the Radical Healer Method
Be Aware - know where you are now, what's causing it, where you would rather be
Be Bold - be willing and now prepare to be bold in where you are headed
Be Radical - be prepared to employ radical steps to get there
Be Informed - you may need to learn new ways, take on a wider perspective
Be Blessed, Happy and Well - reap your rewards and share with others
The ODAAT Way is all about getting rid of negative habits (ways of believing, thinking, feeling, doing) and replacing them with new ones.
Most pieces of research say that it takes from 21 to 28 days regular practice to break in a new habit. It depends on how significant and challenging the new habit is. The focus is on developing the new and not on putting any attention on letting go the old.
be aware of where you are today, how your life, health and well-being are today, what's working and what's not, ie the NOW. Take some time, write it down.
Then imagine a time in the future when you have succeeded in making the changes necessary and now have a high level of health and wellness. Create a movie in your mind of what that NEW looks like, feels like, sounds like, what's different. – and where you would prefer to be at some point in the future.
You are now going to exchange the NOW for the NEW! Consider that NEW movie, what steps did you take to bring about the new.
Accept that some of the steps may require quite bold action; some of course will be simple and easy to fit in to your schedule. But others may be more challenging, they may need you to shift your schedule a little to accommodate the new step. You may need to consider getting up earlier in the morning - and once a day may be fine but every day! Some steps may be physically challenging, especially if you are not at your fittest. So it can be easy to give up. Others may challenge your family and friends and you may require to be tough to not give in to their remonstrations or mockery. Bold action may be needed with your nutrition. So be prepared. Develop your bold attitude.
Begin with shorter, easier actions; that way you will be less likely to fail and give up. As you progress, begin to be bold and introduce some more challenging actions, ones that will help you develop new neural pathways ie pathways in your brain that become new habits for health.
Over 14 days, or more, you are going to integrate into your daily ways, one new action a day toward better health and well-being. These will be the steps you need to take toward your goal for betterment.
For some actions, you will be swapping a new wiser way for a present less than wise one.
Begin with the shorter, easier actions; that way you will be less likely to fail and give up.
Decide your start date. No more delays or putting things off until tomorrow. Weekends are often best for some people, the start of a working week, especially one you know is to be busy, is less so. You need a few days where you can be awareness focussed on your new actions. What actions?
Draw up a list of not just one new thing to do but14, or more, ACTIONS it is possible for you to take, no matter how radical or different for you,that you know are needed to move you toward your new goal. These become your daily Steps to better health and well-being.
What's radical for one person may not be for another. So, it's what's radical for you that matters.
Ensure the ACTIONS contribute in some way to betterment in Body Mind Emotion Spirit … eg if you know you need to move more (BODY) then you may need to develop a new mindset first (MIND).
The example below addresses the four key aspects of health Body (Physical) Mind (Mental) Emotional (Feeling) Spiritual (Transcendental) – in which you address key approaches to health and well-being eg Nutrition, Hydration, Movement, Inspiration, Spiritual practice etc. You could simply use this example and notice a difference as the weeks pass. In just reading it, you may see just how radical you have to be.
You could also create actions specific to your present situation and how you need to change it to create the new you desire. EG if you know you have a weight issue and you typically eat too much, especially processed takeaways, then portion control may need to be included as well as eating fresh produce. Giving up snacking might be called for. Thos steps may be easy for some, quite radical for another. You may need to consider doing portion control for a few days first before introducing new foods. Remembers ODAAT – One Day At A Time.
Planning is essential for, once you have started your plan, if you hit a day where you either haven’t planned ahead and you don’t have the whatever it takes for your day’s action eg if it was to eat three pieces of fruit and you forgot to buy in the fruit, that can be enough for you to stop training your new neural pathways in the way of health and to default to your previous tracks, perhaps taking the view of “I won’t be bothered.” “What’s the point.” “There’s always tomorrow.”
Your actions and steps need to be based and founded on sound research and information.
That may mean eg
exploring new, healthier ways of eating eg the benefits of a plant based diet, ketogenic diet, etc
researching best forms of movement for you given your present state of health and what your goals are
finding out what spirituality means to you and not rejecting it simply because of the word and your limiting beliefs
finding out about vitamins eg Vitamin B12 and how limited NHS practitioners'' information can be
In reviewing her present health situation, the NOW, this person realised she was eating too much snack food, and chocolate, because of her busy work life and that frequent highly processed meals were leading to a little weight gain and feeling fatigued. So she wanted to feel healthier, fitter, with more energy. Here are some of her daily steps.
Eat one piece of fruit per day – NB this is the action for this day and becomes an action for every subsequent day- you are building in and on new habits
Read a chapter of a relevant self-help book, one that will motivate and inspire you on your present journey, one that has simple easy to absorb chapters – so start today, then read a chapter a day. It could also be from your religious text book or the A Course in Miracles daily exercises.
Walk for fifteen minutes or thirty – start today, and build this habit in for the remainder of the 30 days – it could be going out specifically to walk in the woods, or it could be walking to work some more
Focus on effective rehydration – keep a litre bottle of water with you and sip from it all day, and all remaining days
Swim – experiment, can you begin today and swim for 20 – 40 minutes a day, and then build that in to your daily routine for the remaining days
Meditate – decide to get up half an hour earlier, find a place just for you and meditate – yes, you’ll need to figure out in advance what kind of meditation you will do then stick to it and build it in for the remainder of the thirty days. I took up meditation when I was working long hours in my own hotel, already rising at 5.30am. So I got up at 4.45 for a 30 minute meditation, then shower – and ended up with more energy, clarity of mind, and better work outcomes
Breathing – we seldom focu consciously on breathing and yet it is fundamental to life. Many of us breathe too shallowly. Use one of these two methods at least twice a day – breathing to the count of in 4- hold 7- out 8 or alternate nostril breathing
Intend – use your thoughts wisely. Take five minutes out once or twice a day. Send your intentions out for what you desire for others in the world. The universe will reward you.
Stand … many have become too sedentary. Every hour, ensure you stand up, walk around, go make a drink, just move for five minutes.
Gratitude … start the practice of gratitude. Keep a gratitude diary and once a day, reflect on that day and all that you had in that day to be grateful for.
Food … check what you are eating. Is it healthy. Start today to shop wisely, l and make only fresh food, predominantly plant based … cut right back on sugars and avoid processed and fast food takeaways.
Fresh vegetables … do you get enough fresh vegetables in a day – 1- 8 portions? Now is the time to ensure you get your fair share of fresh vegetables every day from now on - preferably steamed or raw
Mindfulness – ok so you are already meditating, Why not build in 5 – 10 minutes of mindfulness. Swap an unhealthy snack break for a mindfulness moment.
Qi-gong – another swap. If you are a TV aficionado then take ten minutes from your viewing time to practise some Gi Gong. Find simple routines. Here is a seven minute one …. or see this page Of course, you may prefer Yoga
Create – in our busy world, we forget to take time for Self, to flex our creative muscles. There is the old adage of use it or loose it! Can you find something you enjoy creating and spend at least 30 minutes a day on it….art, making music, baking, gardening, calligraphy, blogging or vlogging etc
Chocolate switch – swap from a daily half a bar of poor quality milk chocolate to two pieces of higher quality dark chocolate of 75% cocoa and above. Seventy-five percent dark chocolate can be healthy because of its relatively large amount of antioxidant-rich cocoa. It provides the most benefits when eaten in moderation and as a part of an overall healthy diet.
“Me” Time – sometimes we work long hours to impress the boss, or it is the work culture, or because we don’t work as smartly as we do. By reviewing our work practice (this goes for house work too) where can you trim an hour a day to give you more “me” time?
How might this translate into a plan for our client?
Day One Apple
Day two Apple Read Chapter
Day three Apple Read Chapter Walk
Day four Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water
Day five Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim
Day six Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate
Day seven Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe
Day eight Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend
Day nine Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand
Day ten Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude
Day eleven Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food
Day twelve Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food Fresh Vegetables
Day thirteen Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food Fresh Vegetables Mindfulness
Day fourteen Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food Fresh Vegetables Mindfulness Qi Gong
Day fifteen Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food Fresh Vegetables Mindfulness Qi Gong Create
Day sixteen Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food Fresh Vegetables Mindfulness Qi Gong Create Dark Chocolate
Day seventeen Apple Read Chapter Walk Drink Water Swim Meditate Breathe Intend Stand Gratitude Food Fresh Vegetables Mindfulness Qi Gong Create Dark Chocolate “Me” Time
Now your ideas, what could you introduce daily? You can run with the above or do a totally new plan for yourself based on your specific needs. What information do you need to be able to make decisions?
NB – once you get used to a programme of daily changes you may want to build in weekly or monthly ACTIONS eg once a month you may treat yourself to a full-body aromatherapy body massage, you may decide to join a weekly developmental group of some kind, you may plan to visit a new gallery once a month, you may decide that a monthly theatre retreat is for you, or you may set up a monthly group based on a special interest of yours.
Be Blessed Be a Blessing
Count your blessings. What have you achieved? How has your life changed for the better? Do you bother to give thanks for that?
The aim of the ODAAT approach is to “Just Do It” as the Nike logo has said since 1988. Do not judge the actions or the outcomes of the actions as you go – just do the steps
After your 30 days (or however many days you decided at the outset) – you should have integrated lots of new habits to the point where you almost don’t have to think about them.
And too, you should have noticed differences in your health and well-being. What are yours? They may be more than you targeted for because health wise, many actions will have numerous side effects which the body itself has created. EG Lose weight and you should feel better, lighter, healthier, have more energy, greater clarity of mind, become more motivated. Who knows what it might be for you.
But following even the above seventeen days, you should have noticed and become aware of many changes some more noticeable than others.
Whatever the results, even if some were slightly off target, celebrate … punch the air, treat yourself to a night at the theatre, scream, have an OMG moment or whatever just helps you anchor your successes.
And in this happier non critical, non-judgemental state, calmly review those areas where success wasn’t quite what you expected it to be.
Were your expectations too high? Your timescale too short (Not everything can be turned around in 28 days. And this is not about curing. It is about becoming healthier .)
If, eg, you didn’t loose that weight, what might be the cause.? It may not just be to do with food and nutrition. It may be to do with a low functioning metabolism, or medicine you take regularly eg insulin is known to increase weight.
So is some medical intervention needed?
But do this review when you can celebrate your success and feel better about yourself. There is something about acceptance of where you are NOW. You may not yet be where you want to be but by goodness you are no longer where you once were.
And that is cause for celebration.
Continue with as many of the new habits as you can manage each day. And if you know for sure that one of your ACTIONS is definitely not helping, then SWAP it for an ACTION that does, but only if it is needed.
Remember your aim is all or a mix of the following – Better Health Well-being Wealth Relationships Gratitude Love Joy Spirituality, a feeling that there is a wider world out there, not just you alone, and that you have something to offer.
However, helpful or simple model this is, it cannot always convey a complex concept. It is possible to be physically ill yet oriented toward wellness, or to be physically healthy yet suffering poor mental health. This one-dimensional model simply doesn't show this distinction though you could figure it out for yourself.
For example, a lot of what I have been told about my diabetes type 2 diagnosis over the years is that the condition leads to all sorts of complications, including blindness and amputation, then death. If I bought into that I would clearly live on the left side of the continuum, but doctors never take into account or discuss with me my emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions, which have helped me live more on the right side of the continuum and now by conventional measurements show my diabetes to be well under control with few symptoms whilst I get on with life mostly feeling upbeat, positive, and blessed by Spirit.