A+ Method™ – Step #3: Adapt
The third step in the A+ Method™ is Adapt. In its most basic form, this step is about choosing a new habit. More importantly, this step is about identifying the most effective habit to change.
After the first step of accepting our life circumstance and identify stressors, followed by the second step of developing awareness of how those stressors feel in our bodies, we have a lot of information to finally go about making a change.
Based on this information, the Adaptation step is where we choose to start doing something new that can help us become more resilient. It’s about making an adjustment that will challenge us at just the right intensity so we can adapt over time.
This does not mean making a huge change. This also doesn’t mean making a change that appears to be directly in line with our goals. This is about making a change that will create a snowball effect that allows us to thrive.
Our bodies are meant to adapt over time, and adaptation can occur positively or negatively, depending on the stimulus. The Adaptation step reminds us to celebrate intentional, slow progress. Adaptation is when we begin to embrace the understanding that healthy living is a lifelong endeavor to which we never stop adapting.
Adaptation in Practice
For example, let’s say Jenna wants to lose 10 pounds. She assesses her life and realizes that she rarely eats breakfast and always has a huge dinner. She wants to reverse that, so she tries to become aware of what she’s feeling. She realizes that after work, she feels really tense in her body and wants to unwind, so she turns on the TV and watches while she eats a big dinner. She also notices that after she eats, she’s usually over-full.
Based on this information, Jenna realizes that the most optimal change for her would be to keep the TV off while she eats her dinner. She decides to take on the new habit of adapting to a life without numbing her work stress with television while she eats.
Because the TV is off, Jenna is forced to feel the stress in her body and work through it instead of ignoring it. She automatically slows down her breathing and begins to eat at the table. Since Jenna is more focused on her body and her breathing, she enjoys her food more, savors it, and notices when she’s full. She realizes that she actually feels more calm than she did when she was escaping her stress with the television, and she’s able to sleep more soundly that night.
The next morning, Jenna wakes up hungry for breakfast, and she prepares herself something healthy to start her day. This gives her much more energy all day long, it jumpstarts her metabolism, and it gives her the motivation to go for brisk walk during her lunch hour.
Because Jenna took the time to find the most effective change she could make, she was able to enjoy the health-filled snowball effect that her new habit had on the rest of her life. Now she just has to stick with it, which is the next step: Assure.
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