I’ve been thinking and rethinking a few of my behaviors and attitudes. What makes me a good person and what can make me a better person? Every now and then I find I could use help in areas I thought were fine but were revealed to be otherwise. This self-evaluation of core beliefs, what we are taught or what we have learned should be nurtured and constant.
Sleep early, wake early
I can better organize my day with some sort of routine or ritual when I am more energized.
Get more than 7 hours sleep
I’ve only recently discovered this the past few years. I wish I had learned it sooner.
Pray or meditate
Clarity or focus? Why not both? It is difficult to plan if your head is scrambled with multiple thoughts and distractions. I need to take some time to get my mind write. Prayer and meditation allows this better than anything else.
Do something different
Why be boring? Or bored? I need new stories and new adventures. I want to try things I’ve never done before. Take some risks. Have more fun.
Stop depending on stimulants
“We love the things that destroy us, because in that destruction we truly feel alive.””
I never understood this fascination with coffee. Or drug abuse. Although people think they perform better with these, the truth is, they really don’t. We’ve become so dependent on these things that we feel like we are incapable to perform without it. The problem isn’t the caffeine. It is the dependence to do daily tasks that don’t need it. It is possible. I know because I do without the coffee. But I do rely sometimes on sodas. Internal motivation, sleep, and some form of exercise can produce better energy than any other stimulant.
Stop consuming processed sugar
I enjoy sugary foods. I enjoy sugary foods knowing it hurts my gut but also my head. There is nothing of value to refined sugar that is depleted of vitamins or minerals. It makes me stupid, makes me fat, gets me cranky without it. How much more enjoyment can there be in my life without it? I don’t know. I’m hooked. I don’t know what to eat without it.
Write a short note
I enjoy leaving little notes behind in the most creative way to people I care about. I do need to have something else besides the drab yellow sticky note, though.
Write in your journal
Improve your writing skills, gain clarity, become your own therapist, detail curate your own history, plan your goals.
Read 1 book per week
Want to see the world differently? Try reading more. Try reading more than one genre. Change it up. You’ll be knowledgable on multiple topics and then realize you are able to connect these topics intelligently. Extraordinary people seek continued education and are always learning.
Podcasts on 1.5x speed
Listening and learning to faster audio helps cut your time in half. You learn faster. I use the Overcast app that uses Smart Speed. It automagically removes dead air, long pauses and even longer intros.
Make a bucket list and check some things off
Wether you have thirty days to live or thirty years, how would you organize your life for quality and enjoyment? Just like writing, try to have the end clearly in mind. And then plan around that. Focus on the priorities of life first and you’ll find time to rest and enjoy and play. Doing good work supports the lifestyle you choose based on these values and priorities.
No one lives forever and if you plan for this in mind, you can tick off some of those items. Take care of your personal planning needs and also your wants.
I’ve heard a few people try doing without food and drink, except water from anywhere between 12-24 hours at least once a week. While the idea sounds great, the practice is elusive to me. The idea that the digestive system can take a little break and that the other organs can have time to heal themselves is appealing. Supposedly a frequent practice of fasting can improve digestion, remove toxins, focus on mental clarity and improve mental/physical vigor. It is mentioned frequently in the Bible and other spiritual practices.
Fast from the internet
Reconnect with yourself and others as opposed to staying connected to the world. I’ve mentioned stimulants, sugar and other media. The internet counts. Reconnect with loved one instead. How much more attention and love can you give them? How much attention can be used towards your life goals, reading, writing, enjoyable activities?
Fast from the mainstream media
I’ve weaned off of this crap since right after the 2016 presidential election. No one is reporting the news, just stating their opinions. Everything is cyclical. The same stories, ideas, and agendas were discussed twenty years ago. Just change the names involved. I don’t care. Neither should anyone else.
Drink water frequently
This really does not need commentary
“I love you”
Saying and meaning this phrase not only changes them but it changes you. Not saying it has the same effects.
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
Genuine gratitude is refreshing and rare.
“No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.”
It is an easy word to say. “No” is a one syllable word but it is often the most difficult to say. I’ve found it easier and easier to say “no” recently.
I messed up. Or, I messed up again. Now’s the time to apologize sincerely. Now is the time to make amends and let it go.
Remove all non-essentials from your life
Minimalism, essentialism; whatever you want to call it. Most of the possessions we have we don’t use frequently enough to justify having them around. I am frequently looking around for things to dismiss and saying “your services are no longer required.” It may be true that in 8 months after that I will need it but it will get replaced. Or I find I can make do without it after all.
Relax, guilt free
Ever see someone stop working only so they can ingest stimulants and get right back to working even longer? This is bad for creativity and productivity. It isn’t sustainable or healthy. Every hour I stand, stretch, walk around, refill the water and breathe deeply (so grateful for the apps on my watch that act as reminders)
Take a walk
The easiest, and most beneficial exercise we can do is walk.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
The dreaded question every supervisor asks. Mine just did recently during my annual review. Five years is too long. I prefer to cut that in half. I personally do this by not having such long term goals but to have frequent projects or experiments. How can I shave it down from five years to two and a half?
Save a minimum of 10%
I am at a point in my life where I am content. Finally. I am also at a point in my life where I am restoring my good name and credit due to some mistakes. Once this is finally addressed I can put even more money into savings. I can boost my retirement savings as well. I want to pay myself first and then pay the rest.
Or more. The world gives to the givers and takes from the takers. Find somewhere that will benefit and invest both your time and your money. Invest those things in your home that are no longer needed because you decided to pare down.
Faith or trust in something else
Believe in something greater than yourself, whatever that looks like. Or, whatever the mind can believe, the mind can achieve. Trust in yourself. Trust in others.
Practice daily kindness
One of the benefits of meditation for me has been appreciation and gratitude. This helps me become more sympathetic and empathetic towards others. I’ve complimented more. Listened more. Offered to assist if possible. Become nicer and more patient. Compliment others more. You’ll barely remember you did it, but the other person may never forget that you did. Kindness has unlimited upside.
Count your blessings daily
Thankfulness and gratitude is one of the best ways I can appreciate my life and those in it.