I am by no means a perfect person. In fact, it is my acknowledgment of my wealth of imperfections that allows me to be helpful to other people. I have embraced my ‘isms’ to the point that I genuinely believe my honesty in their existence and my motivation to improve upon them is what gives my life meaning.
If I don’t have any room to grow, what is the purpose of my life?
While I am always slightly uncomfortable writing posts about my own experiences to help others (as it feels somewhat arrogant), it does seem to help people who are interested in their personal self-improvement. So here is another one of those posts.
Here are some things that I have learned over the years that have allowed me to thrive in my own personal health, lifestyle, and ‘spiritual’ (for lack of a better word) journey. I would also recommend you read this book while you’re at it (https://www.amazon.ca/Heavy-Brain-your-affect…/…/ref=sr_1_1…)
Don’t try to do too much too fast in 2019. Think of small, manageable improvements you can make that will positively impact your life over time. Don’t try to make significant changes in the hope that they will change your life overnight. Those significant changes (even if they lead to big short-term results) will not last in the long run.
Say you’re sorry. All the time. Even when you’re angry. Even when you think the other person is wrong. Even when it is painful and uncomfortable.
Go to sleep by 10:00PM and stop pretending that there is a positive reason why you’re staying up late. This is probably the simplest action you can take to improve all aspects of your health.
Do breathing exercises. ‘Meditate.’ Be still. If you are a modern human being, you are likely living life in the red zone. Balance the gas pedal by intentionally pumping the breaks a little each day.
Learn to cook. Then learn to love cooking. It is an art and a skill that takes time to develop. If you can’t sharpen this tool, your health will suffer, and you will be at the will of a food environment that is interested in keeping you fat.
Unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself. Unfollow people who make you angry. In fact, only use these platforms to help others or interact with those you actually have a relationship with.
DO NOT USE INTERNET PERSONALITIES AS YOUR ULTIMATE SOURCE FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS ADVICE. That goes for me too.
Stop following a ‘diet.’ As soon as a name, specific structure, and defensive tribe organizes itself around a way of eating, it loses its use. See paleo, carnivore, veganism, etc. Be an individual and remove yourself from dietary groupthink.
Do something meaningful in the evening. Stop sitting on the couch, watching T.V., or surfing the internet EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Do breathing exercises, stretch, read, write, or do at least one meaningful activity to break up your sedentary downtime routine.
Look for less information and seek knowledge instead. We consume 100 pieces of data per day and spend little time learning any of it profoundly or actually implementing it successfully. Use fewer resources and spend more time in the actual application of information.
Don’t join a gym that is not a community. If you don’t have friends, mentors, and a ‘home’ in the place that centralizes your health and fitness efforts, you will not get much out of it. A place to lift weights once in a while misses the entire benefit of a ‘gym.’
Walk more. Walking is the most underrated exercise in the world. It can clear your mind, burn fat, slow you down, and it does not stress the body like more intense forms of exercise. If you don’t have time to walk, walk every day.
Learn a martial art. Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and Wrestling are all great ways to get in shape while learning a skill that makes you more confident and more difficult to kill. At this point in my life, any exercise that does not increase an element of expertise is not of interest to me.
Read 1-2 books per month, and no more. In 2015 I read 52 books. Of those 52 books, I retained ½ a percent of the information I was exposed to. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing, but if you are not taking time to implement the tools the book(s) have to offer you are wasting your time and money.
Spend more time in nature. Walk, camp, take a ‘vision quest’ in a remote area. We are designed to be close to nature. Technology has removed us from our natural environment, and we are suffering because of it. Get out there.
Grow a garden. Big, small- it doesn’t matter. Get your hands in the dirt, grow some stuff, reconnect with your food.
Set a clear purpose that revolves around helping others. There are many ‘time sucks’ I fall into that I regret putting my time into. Helping people has never been one of them, and it won’t be one for you either. If you are unsatisfied, sad, lost, or incomplete, you need to spend more time outside of your own self-absorbed box.
Throw out (or better, give away) everything you did not use in 2018. Clothes. Technology. Kitchen stuff. Anything and everything. You don’t need more stuff.
Be vulnerable and share your story. We are self-conscious, scared, and reserved when it comes to our life experiences- but sharing our experiences with others is the quickest way to connect with and impact those who surround us. I don’t mean by pissing and moaning on facebook so enablers will say ‘oh, poor you’ which is the standard form of ‘vulnerability’. I mean talk about the stuff that you are terrified to let others know about because you are afraid of being harshly judged. These experiences are the experiences others around you are secretly holding onto and suffering from. If you talk, they might too. And if they talk, they might heal themselves.
Happy 2019, everyone.