Day 359-365 / 365 Days of Fulfillment Blog
Day 365/365 – December 31
“Take on a 365 Day Challenge”
This might sound like a tip that I’m totally only endorsing because it’s the final day of my 365 day challenge of writing a blog post every day for an entire year, and because i’m on this high…well, yeah, that’s part of it, but after conscious, non-emotional thinking over the past few days, this tip was a no-brainer. Sticking to a positive habit, ritual, and routine EVERY SINGLE DAY is not necessarily the easiest thing to do: there’s emotional states, unforeseen circumstances, and “life” that get’s in our way. But this is the exact reason why sticking to a 365 day challenge is so incredibly fulfilling.
A challenge like this grounds you, it holds you in a steady, logic based mind frame and gives you a healthy purpose to attend to for an entire year straight. This kind of momentum is hard to come by, which again, makes this tip so invaluable. The compound effect is truly amazing as well. People usually over estimate what they can accomplish today and underestimate what they can accomplish over a long period. A challenge like this truly showcases just how much we underestimate the power of time and consistency.
Lets use myself as an example. Writing a book sounds like a tall task, “So many words!” (average non-fiction book is 45,000-50,000 words) But let’s break this down if we just chip away at it 1 day at a time. On average, my blogs are 250 words. Lets times 250 (words) x 365 (days) = 91,250 words! WOWZA!! That’s the length of 2 non-fiction books, all by putting 15 minutes a day aside to write. This is the power of consistency.
The great thing about consistency too is that the more you do something, especially if it’s every day, the better you get at it, and the easier the task becomes, the more enjoyable the task is, and the more satisfying the ritual turns out to be. You begin to pride yourself on this habit, and the daily task becomes part of your subconscious habitual nature. Progress and pride are two great motivators.
This is my second “365 day challenge” in a row, and yes, I plan on doing another in 2020 (Dang, that means it start’s tomorrow!) The biggest reason is purpose. I know myself, and I know tasks that hold me accountable in some small way based around self-improvement make me feel awesome, and greatly increase my work load, efficiency and ability to create something pretty epic. My first 365 day challenge led to a completely new adoption of endurance racing over the past 2 years. I’ve experienced adventures of a life time all within this 2 year span, THANKS to my first 365 day challenge. I’ve been able to raise money for charities, been published and written about in over half a dozen magazines and publications, been on 2 TV stations (that was cool), set a Canadian Record and can now add wrote a (future) book to my portfolio. All this is fun and cool and all, but it’s all trumped by the self-pride of being someone who stuck out a year of consistency. This constant programming and consistency is life changing. You develop a stronger mind, a healthier approach to life, and your rationalizations, excuses and bullshit decrease exponentially. Priceless.
Build your 365 day challenge around something you really want to pursue, something that excites you, jacks you up, makes you happy and healthier or promotes a sense of true self-satisfaction and pride behind it when you do it. It can be as simple as walk 20 minutes every day (active walking); meditate every day, read 5 pages a day, stretch for 15 minutes everyday or it can be something ambitious like “I’m going to pursue a new project (musical, artsy, physical etc.) every month and work on that months project every day of the month for 12 months straight.
Think as big as you want, or think as small as you want. The key is to do something that will enhance your inner and outer well-being.
Have fun challenging yourself and I can’t wait to see what year long challenges you accomplish!!
Day 364/365 – December 30
“Make Space For More Fun”
Fun is one of the critical characteristics I speak, write and teach about, in order to a live a more fulfilling, rewarding and joyful life. “Everyone likes fun, it’s fun”. The key is to find what your fun looks like and do waaaay more of it. It’s easy to neglect our inner child-like enthusiasm when we have bills to pay, people to care for, and adult responsibilities that are in major need of our time and attention, but on the flip side, it’s that very same relaxed care free energy that will stop you from taking life too seriously, think more logically, and prevent you from over-stressing about things that can and will get done.
First step is to know what your fun looks like. Second step involves making fun a necessity in your weekly schedule, as you would work, care giving, and eating. Fun doesn’t mean hours and hours of neglecting responsibility only to be left with a worse situation that you left off with, but to intentionally let yourself enjoy life with laughs, connections, and experiences through variations of “fun nights” – like movie night, game night, or being part of a intramural sports league.
Fun encourages curiosity and creativity, so take full advantage of some fun, and be opened to accept any new experiences and ideas that come from a night of fun.
Day 363/365 – December 29
“Isolate the Problem”
Creating good habits is a well-intentioned concept and pursuit, but knowing how best to go about sticking to these habits is a critical part of this process and will greatly help prevent set-backs and inconsistencies. By isolating the problem (knowing where and when you are less productive) we can set ourselves up for success with much greater efficiency and promise. Isolating the problem means knowing yourself well; this means knowing when you thrive for particular tasks and just as importantly knowing when you don’t thrive to accomplish certain tasks. Do you constantly rationalize to not run errands after you come home from a long day out? Are you too exhausted to meal prep in the evenings during the week? Is your schedule too busy and overwhelming at night to motivate yourself to go to the gym? These are important things to know and be honest with yourself about, as you can build your schedule and structure around your tendencies.
If you know that you are too tired to meal prep during the week, accept this, and meal prep for the week for an hour or two on Sunday (when you have more energy and time); workout in the morning or mid-day if you’re too exhausted after work, and force yourself to run errands before you come home and decompress.
Having “lazy tendencies” isn’t the big problem, if you are aware of them. When you isolate the obstacle and understand how your mind and body work best, you can hack your environment and schedule to take advantage of the times in the day when you are most motivated, energized, alert, focused and free. Doing this will lead to much greater likelihood of you sticking to your positive, life changing and fulfilling habits.
Day 361/365 – December 28
“Focus on ‘here’, rather than the ‘there’ “
Our life is a roller coaster of emotions consisting of highs and lows. Our dreams, desires and visions are no doubt a critical aspect of what makes life rewarding and in which enhances our excitement, thrill and pursuit of bettering ourselves, but a life focused on the future, absent of the enjoyment of the present, prevents true happiness from blossoming. As you see, when you constantly focus on the next “there”, you forget to be “here”, and if you consistently neglect the “here”, you will never reach “there”, as “there” is constantly changing.
The key is to balance these long term pursuits of great accomplishment and satisfaction without ignoring the blessings and joy of the present day. The present day and how we approach it, is the true indicator of our well-being; looking ahead diminishes the joy, connections and happiness we could be embracing now, and as a result, prevents ourselves from being truly happy with what we have, compared to what we hope to become or achieve.
This balance is incredibly difficult for ambitious people, as the thrill of the next great challenge or venture is a large part of what wakes us up motivated, but again, without the ability to engage in the now, we drastically limit our ability to perform optimally and miss out on an incredibly large aspect of true happiness.
Be aware of the challenges that drive you, use them as inspiration to propel you forward, but never at the expense of the greatest gift we are given, which is life in the current moment. Life in the current moment is where the people you love are around, the health you cherish are high and where gratitude thrives.
360/365 – December 27
“Fight Your way through the Post Holiday Haze”
This is a tip in organization and productivity that will surely reduce a great deal of stress for next years holiday festivities, and help you manage your time and mind more optimally than you’re probably used to around this season.
Organizing your boxes with cohesiveness and with labels is a great place to start. When you put items around the house back into boxes, I suggest organizing your decorations accordingly – garland together, ornaments together, lights together, up stairs vs down stairs decorations separated etc. – You also want to put a label on the side of the boxes telling you whats in each particular box. This makes finding decorations for any season so much easier and efficient, and also makes the clean up go by much faster as well.
Another way to fight holiday haze and save money in the process is by buying things you will need for next year, right after Christmas is over. This down-the-road thinking prevents potentially absurb spending and eliminates some in-store chaos for you next year. The deals on ornaments, gift tags, napkins, crackers (the ones you pull apart), and decorations are way cheaper after the holiday’s are over. This does take some proactive long term gratifying thinking but the savings will be totally worth it. Why buy a $50 wreath when you can buy one for $25.00 now. As a bonus, you can put all the money you saved (i.e. 50% off a $50.00 wreath – [$25.00] ) in a Christmas Jar for next year, that can be used for next year’s Christmas Shopping or to be given to Charity.
And finally, a great way to protect yourself from the post holiday craziness and haze is to set yourself up for some new excitement relatively soon after Christmas. It’s easy to get all worked up over the holidays, only to completely embrace the relaxation afterwards, with little to be excited about once it’s all over. To prevent the post Holiday blues and boredom, set up resolutions, and/or plan a fun night a couple weeks down the road, or a trip a couple months away. Have something to get you back on track and excited for what’s to come; this will make embracing the present moment and easing back into a productive routine more enjoyable.
359/365 – December 26
“Eat in Rhythm”
The body is very attuned with the weather, and the time of day, which makes planning our meals according to the time of day, and with seasons a helpful and easy way to efficiently optimize our eating schedule. There are a number of health and wellness studies and researchers that advocate to eat your largest meal of the day at the time of day where you use and need most of your energy, and in terms of being in sync with the sun when it is at its highest point, while the research also suggests eating your smallest meal of the day at night, when the sun begins to disappear and your body is starting to produce hormones like melatonin in preparation for optimal sleep.
Your metabolism rises throughout the day, which means your body’s furnace is burning calories at an incredibly efficient rate (more so than others) while the body also receives signals to process nutrients most effectively at this time of day as well. At night, this system begins to slow down: your metabolism slows, your temperature falls, and your body clock stops signalling active hormones.
Timing your eating to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm is only going to make things easier on your system and work with your body, rather than fight against it. Sleep will be improved, gut health will improve, and the body will do a better job of removing inflammation and stress. This small, simple, basic foundational tip is a great place to start without switching or addingin a complicated or difficult habit to your life’s structure.