For a healthy living, we need a basic framework

Sometime back, we celebrated our Republic Day!

We the people, solemnly resolve to constitute our selves into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic

Preamble of the Indian Constitution

Years ago, we promised that we will live by some cardinal rules. Since its introduction, there have been several changes. The changes run into several hundred. However, the basic framework of our constitution remains the same. No one changes its preamble. That is called the basic framework.

Need for a Basic Framework

Just like how a nation’s Magna Carta was framed to build a robust nation, we need a basic framework for our healthy and fit living. Do you have one?

I did not realize this for years. As a result, I had no roadmap for a healthy living. I ate, slept, and did whatever that came to me. I had np basic framework or the cardinal rules that could help me to build robust health.

And then, in the winter of 2017, I had an epiphany. I resolved to turn around my life. I told myself, “I will emerge out of the mess”. And then started my journey of building a strong foundation for my good health.

On January 1, 2018, I had my new year resolution – “To live and engage others in building a healthy life” I declared my 2018 to be the year of fitness. Later I extended the year 2019 to be another year for growing wisdom.

So much so that, a fat 106 kg middle-aged disgruntled banker turned into a 77 kg marathon runner. The story of my own transformation inspires me so much that I am writing a book for you to help you transform your life.

Concept of non-negotiability

So, to cut the story short here, I started the work from the very basics. I started to do and put into action what I knew but had never put into action. I knew that exercising can help my health. So, I started with a plan to exercise.

I realized on my deep reflection that we don’t do what we already know. For example, we know that we can get up in the morning and go exercising. This became one of the basic framework: Exercise.

It was now time to act on a well-known idea. So, the next thing was to figure out the reason/s for not exercising. The reasons I found were:

  1. Not having a proper plan. I told myself that I will allocate time for exercise every day.
  2. But, what if I allowed morning time from 6 am to 7 am and failed to turn up at that time. Should I give up on that day?
  3. And I told myself, “NO!” because this is what was happening all this while. I told myself, a proper and clear instruction I needed to take from myself.
  4. So, it was decided: Exercising is a non-negotiable act of every day.

I came up with this idea of non-negotiable items on the list. Make things non-negotiable under any circumstances that matter to life. Gradually, it has turned into a mantra for every aspect of my life.

Make things non-negotiable under any circumstances that matter to life.


Now, I have two lists for any day. List 1 of the non-negotiable items and List 2 of the remaining items. Exercising every day became the first item to enter into the non-negotiable list that day – The first of January 2018.

And this is how framed it:

No matter what time of the day it is, I will spend 40 minutes exercising. No matter how ill-equipped I was and I will do what I could. There will be no escape from this!

LIST I: Non NegotiableList II: Negotiable

And this non-negotiability led me to a lot of interesting scenarios initially. I found myself exercising on Sunday afternoons, late evenings, etc. While I was on travel, I would use the premises walking, running, and doing all sorts of seemingly stupid acrobats. But, I sustained through all.

I am sure you are going to face all this. But, you just stick around. Make your fitness a non-negotiable item. It will take you places.

Concept of Accountability

On deep reflection, I found another gold nugget of wisdom. We tend to not stick to our health plans because there is no accountability for it.

You will have people around you to prompt you for getting things done. Your boss makes sure that you are doing your job. You are sent reminders. Your team comes to you for coordination. You see, at home as well, you have your wife harping on you to get the daily items.

But, no one really cares if you are well or unwell until you fall down. Your health falls down. You yourself would be least bothered. Am I guessing it right?

Of course, I am. I know because I am one of you.

So, the next framework was fixing accountability for my fitness. And this is what I came up with.

Go public. Let your efforts be in the public eye. Be accountable. Let the people laugh at you if you fail. You gotta do it!

“We tend to keep things to ourselves fearing that we may never be successful at it. We don’t discuss our health plans with our peers. All we end up sharing casually is sob stories. I need to change that.”

In the winter of 2017, I had met my school group and we had a meet up after 23 long years. This group of people was so endearing to me even after so many years. I told myself, “let me begin here!”

Social Media : My public Accountability tools

So, on January 1, 2018, I sent out my first selfie – taking a walk outside. The grand journey of selfies began much before I came to know about Instagram.

Go public. Let your efforts be in the public eye. Be accountable. Let the people laugh at you if you fail. You gotta do it!


It’s been a while now. I love taking a selfie at the end of my work out. I then share it with friends on WhatsApp, on Instagram and Facebook. Of late I have started to explore Tumblr but I am still not active much there.

So, making my self accountable and keeping my workouts non-negotiale became the hallmarks. They are now forming the basic framework. I experiment with a lot of new ideas but these two remain the guiding cardinal principles.

About sanju 199 Articles
a runner, a fitness enthusiast


  1. Your non-negotiable list is perfect and just what I need! I fall into a trap of late nights so I get little sleep and then late mornings means less time for exercise. These 2 really go together.
    I never thought about posting selfies or my personal goals to the public. I think you are right, this would definitely hold me accountable. You continue to encourage and inspire me!

    • Thank you. Yes, you can try using Instagram. There are a lot of enthusiasts who get up in the morning and go out and run. The mission is accomplished when they share their daily heroism with the world.

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