You know it’s time for a CHANGE. A Change you have been longing for. For way too long. But you just don’t do enough to make it happen. You keep pushing it back. Procrastinating… Every new year brings the thought of a New Year’s Resolution. This is when we all resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve our life. This could be your time to finally make things happen. Here’s a thought – we all got something we would have liked to change, but we keep pushing it back, we keep going back to our old habits. It seems so hard to change, especially as we age. But is it really so?
Standing in front of the mirror, I thought to myself, what is it that I would have liked to change, in me, in my daily habits. I stare at this reflection of mine and I realise how much I look exhausted, aging, old. No sign of freshness, lack of energy. Then I conclude that I need to go back to the basics:
- Eat well
- Sleep well
- Exercise regularly
- Keep calm and be Positive
In the past few years many scientists and other proclaimed lifestyle gurus had indicated the significance of the food we consume. Therefore, in the busy lifestyle of the 21st century, most people rely on processed food, chemically treated fruit and vegetables, toxic fish pulled out of polluted oceans, and meat produced by using conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, bio-engineering or whatever makes your food look shiny from the outside but ill from the inside. The obvious move is towards better nutrition, we cannot possibly be too busy to stop killing ourselves day in and day out, as bad nutrition is clearly correlated with the rise in human diseases and the spread of cancer in our generation. Put it this way – “what you eat is what you get” on the long term.
From nutrition, we continue to how well our body is rested. Are you resting well enough? do you go to sleep literally exhausted? do you wake up in the morning full of energy? Well, I don’t. I just feel like I’m dragging my exhaustion from morning to evening, and on the back of caffeine and sugar I give myself a boost to get on with my day and my endless list of tasks. The day is too short and you simply cannot fit all the things you’d like to do in 24 hours. And according to this calculation, we need to give up something, and I used to give up some sleep. Less than 6 hours of sleep a day, times who-knows-how-many-days, and you get a tired grumpy and non-efficient dude who thinks he’s about to conquer the world, but he’s much closer to collapse. Our body needs the rest, and aiming for 8 hours of proper “clean” sleeping is the only way. Here’s something I’ve learnt about clean sleeping, as apparently it’s a thing. To ensure your body is getting a proper sleep, follow these simple rules:
- Give yourself a bedtime – and stick to it even on the weekends
- Use the hour before bed as quiet, relaxing time free of technology (read a book!)
- Stop drinking caffeine from around 4PM (personally I adjusted it to 11AM)
- Avoid alcohol before bed (or avoid alcohol at all)
- Keep your phone on silent and away from your bed
- Get outside and exercise during the day
And this is where exercising regularly is linked to our plan of action. Exercise keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. Plus, it would boost your energy levels, improve your mood and promote better sleep. Amazing how it all connects! Remember all those times you’ve set up a plan to start exercising again, 30 minutes a day, at least 3 times a week? well, take it seriously because every day you don’t you are missing out from improving your overall physical condition and emotional state of mind. If you think you’re too busy to exercise because your life is carefully balanced between work and family, you could use your lunch break for exercise (most employers appreciate the contribution of a good healthy break to your overall performance), or take the kids to the oval in the afternoon and have a session with them. This way you demonstrate to your own children the benefits of healthy living.
And to the final point – refer to it as the foundation of your daily life, or alternatively the result of everything you are doing so far (eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly) – and no wonder why these words show up in so many slogans – “Keep Calm”. This is where your body meets your soul, it’s the place where you are focused on the right things, and with the extension of “Being Positive” you are on the highway to happiness, to being content with what you got and achieved so far, with your way of life, with your family, your loved ones. Walk around with your head up high, pride yourself and the ones around you, you only live once and you are grateful for the way you live. But of course – nothing is perfect, so strive to work towards improving those bits in your life which are not so great, cut down the time you spend on things that don’t make you feel good (maybe it’s time to change jobs, or redefine your existing job and focus on things you are more interested in doing), avoid negative people who make you feel bad (they are miserable, they should spend time with themselves so they don’t spread the agony to others). Enjoy life, take it easy, keep it simple, life is not a race, life is a journey, so take time to look around you and enjoy every moment. Even a high percentage of success is a great result.
Alright, the plan is out there, it’s all about changing your habits, and there’s no better time to start then TODAY. Ready, set, go! Aim for a New Year’s Resolution – here we come!
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
It takes a lot to change a man
Hell, it takes a lot to try
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
Jason Isbell / Bradley Cooper – A STAR IS BORN