Welcome to another year! Maybe it was a fantastic one for hitting your goals, maybe you fell a little short or perhaps it was a complete disaster. Regardless of the type of year you had, January 1st is as good a time as any to wipe the slate clean. Here are 19 thoughts to take with you this year; some deep, some light, some pithy – all geared towards arming you with not only how to think about changing your health for the better (with a sprinkling of life nuggets).
1. In the coming days and weeks, you or someone you know may be tempted to jump into a diet grounded in restriction or elimination of many foods. Instead of focusing on the X’s/O’s of fat loss (nutrition and training), put your mental/emotional energies into building a healthy relationship with food and your physical energies into habits of grocery shopping/prep and more movement.
2. Long term health and fat loss often comes down to managing the self-forgiveness/self-reflection continuum.
3. Instead of relegating yourself to “I’m not ready for change”, be receptive of the idea that you ARE ready for smaller change.
4. We love having choices. We hate making choices. Having choices means having possibilities. Making choices means losing possibilities. And having so many choices increases the chance of regret. Variety may be the spice of life but when it comes to food and exercise selection, consider reducing your choices for better results.
5. There is value in quitting; We always think we need more: more help, more motivation, more energy. But in our current world the answer is often the exact opposite: we need less. Fewer distractions, fewer goals, fewer responsibilities. We need less of those things so we can go all in on our priorities.
6. Mentoring a young person is four times more predictive of happiness than your health or how much money you make.
7. Knowledge and intentions are hot garbage. It’s not about knowing it’s about leveraging the knowledge to action gap. Intentions are vastly insufficient without knowing the “when”, “where” and “how” of your plan.
8. If you can bring someone belonging, connection, peace of mind, status, or one of the other most desired emotions, you’ve done something worthwhile. The thing you sell is simply a road to achieve those emotions, and we let everyone down when we focus on the tactics, not the outcomes. Who’s it for and what’s it for are the two questions that guide all of our decisions.” Seth Godin, This is Marketing.
9. Self-compassion over self-esteem: Self-esteem is the greatest sickness known to man or woman because it’s conditional. People with self-compassion don’t feel the need to constantly prove themselves, and research shows they are less likely to feel like a “loser.”
10. It’s impossible to create work that both matters and pleases everyone. It’s also impossible to have a diet book that is both an evidence based and a best-seller..
11. Multitasking is a lie. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. The One Thing, Gary Keller, Jay Papasan.
12. If given the choice between “keeping things positive” vs “having a next positive effect”, choose the latter every day of the week and twice on Sundays. If keeping things positive means not challenging falsehoods, not criticising fads, not speaking up for those trying to change their lives, not calling BS on unsustainable/questionable claims, I want no part of it. A “net positive effect” is one where a voice promotes useful, actionable and evidence based content and acknowledging that this sometimes means calling out industry derpitude and other such dipshittery. (I don’t claim to be a paragon of such balance but I am a work in progress)
13. When it comes to improving your health and losing fat – seek out the root cause rather than treating the symptoms. Eliminating a long list of foods = treating the symptoms.
Working on on your personal narratives, your relationship with food and your mindset about activity, plus designing your life in such a way to help you make better day to day decisions and forgiving yourself when you don’t = addressing the root cause.
14. Identity goals matter most: Instead of asking “what do I want to achieve”? Ask “who do I want to become?” Align your actions with your identity.
15. Screw your feelings: You aren’t battling your ability to stick to a diet, execute a business plan, repair a broken marriage and rebuild your life, hit your goals, or win over a bad manager- you are battling your feelings about doing it. -Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule.
16. 1% Better: Habits are the compound interest of change. In short, a 1% difference either way will have an enormous compound effect long-term. Success is the product of daily habits. (based on James Clear’s Atomic Habits).
17. We spend too much time trying to be “good” when good is often merely average. To be great we must be different. And that doesn’t come from trying to follow society’s vision of what is best, because society doesn’t always know what it needs. More often being the best means just being the best version of you. Eric Barker, Barking up the Wrong Tree.
18.. Vulnerability is one of the most formidable traits one can exercise. A shared exchange of openness is the most basic building block of cooperation and trust.
19. Stop seeing happiness as a destination or contingent on externalities. Draw closer to those you love, do things you’re good at, try things you’re interested in and do good for others.
Read, re-read, absorb, apply to your own life.
Wishing you all an amazing 2019. ❤