01/03/2014 11:43 am ET Updated Mar 05, 2014

Staying Healthy Is as Simple as ABC

Many of us find it tempting to completely overhaul our routines this time of year -- only to wonder what happened to our resolve a few weeks later. Someone once told me you can only be really good about a few things -- and this is what I've learned by applying that principle...

Find something that anchors you.

Some people swear by yoga. For others it's getting up before dawn to watch the sunrise. They have a little routine, as sacred as it is grounding. Or maybe sacred because it's grounding.

The only time I take a break from workouts is when I'm ahead on workouts. There's a certain amount of running and a certain amount of working out with weights I'm committed to no matter what else is going on. It used to be workouts were the first things to go when life started to unravel. Now they're the last. I'm not the first to notice no problem ever got worse because you went running. Well except for running injuries. But you know what I mean.

No matter how quickly the day slips away from me, if it's a workout day I work out. It amounts to more than an hour of meditation, if you look at exercise that way -- which I do.

If I'm making something happen, working out is a good way to celebrate. It's hell, granted -- but it's also a break from the screens. If I'm stalled on work, working out gives me a fresh perspective. It certainly doesn't make anything worse. And I love how I feel afterward.

Find something that buffers you.

Donuts or sweetened cereal -- with coffee -- for breakfast. Soup and a sandwich -- with soda -- for lunch. Chips or a candy bar -- with more coffee -- for a snack. Then tacos or pizza or even steak -- with dessert -- for dinner.

That's what I ate on a typical day in my 20s. I often skipped dinner in favor of working late on weekdays. But I hardly ever worked out.

Looking back I wonder how I stayed so slender, or didn't collapse in a sugar coma.

After a while your body says, "That's enough." You put on a few pounds, start having headaches, whatever. Gradually it dawns on you the engine needs better fuel.

I'm as devoted to spinach salads now as I was to Snickers bars, then.

Life with my husband's been a lot of fun -- but we had a little bit of a learning curve with respect to the whole working together 24/7 without even the occasional urge to kill each other thing. I don't think we've had more than our share of stress, but we don't feel shortchanged in that department.

There have been many times when I've thought, "I am having a terrible week."

That's almost always followed by, "And I feel terrific!"

It's the diet.

I'm sure of it.

Find something that consumes you.

Do you have a reason to spring out of bed in the morning? Maybe it's your family. Maybe it's a cause. Maybe it's a job you love so much you're afraid to talk about it and make people feel worse by comparison.

Have a purpose for your life that's compelling enough to make you want to take good care of yourself -- so you can live long enough to fulfill it.

Have fun, and learn a lot.

Did I miss anything?