Below is roughly what I have done for the last 500 or so days. I lucked into this progression, but I am hoping it will help others in the future.
Start today. Do not wait until January 1, your birthday, etc. Just start.
Start simple. I recommend committing to a daily walk for a couple of weeks. One 20-minute per day is plenty. You can not commit to 20 minutes? How about a 10-minute walk after lunch and dinner? Don’t worry about a gym membership, a new diet, etc., for the first couple of weeks. Focus on moving more and more for a couple of weeks.
Pick a diet that works for you. Low calorie, or low/no-carb, keto, Mediterranean, whatever. Chances are any remotely sensible diet is an improvement over the typical (especially American) diet.
After a couple of weeks of moving and eating better, find some exercise you enjoy. The exercise could be playing a sport, riding a bike, lifting weights, etc. Remember, you do not have to love the activity, but it should be something you can stick with for a while.
Most importantly, be consistent. You do not have to be perfect. We all slip up from time to time or need a break. That’s not a problem. Your goal (hopefully) is not to achieve some arbitrary data point. Instead, it should be to improve your long-term health. In a perfect world, you can continue at this for the rest of your life. Treat it like a journey and not some kind of destination.
I could go on and on about this. Each point could easily be another post. But with the new year approaching, I wanted to get something like this out there ASAP.
Once eating better, consistent movement and exercise becomes staples of your daily routine, it is far easier to tune them (and experiment).
Quick Hat Tip: I am very much riffing on Tim Ferris’s 5 Bullet Friday. It is excellent and you should check it out.