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 at least one singular 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 gets in our way- But is the exact reason why sticking to a 365 day challenge is so incredibly fulfilling.
A consistent challenge like this grounds you, it brings you back to a steady, logic based mind frame and gives you a healthy purpose to attend to for an entire year straight – a major contributor to our well-being. This kind of momentum is hard to come by without structure, which again, makes this tip so invaluable. The compound effect is truly amazing as well. People usually over estimate what they can accomplish in 1 week 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 and this 365 day blog as an example. Writing a book sounds like a tall task, “So many words!” (the 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 (x) 250 (words/day) x 365 (days) = 91,250 words! WOWZA!! That added up fast. That’s the length of 2 non-fiction books, all by putting on average 15 minutes a day aside to write, edit and post. 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 to stick to, the more enjoyable the task is, and the more satisfying the ritual turns out to be. You eventually pride yourself on this habit, and what this habitual routine says about your character – you have grit, discipline and ambition – and the daily task becomes part of your subconscious habitual patterning. Progress and pride are two great motivators.
This is my second “365 day challenge” in a row, and yes, I don’t plan on this being my last either. The biggest reason is purpose. I know myself, and I know tasks that hold me accountable in some small way based around self-improvement or big goals, make me feel awesome, and greatly increase my workload, 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 and led me to pursue strength and endurance as a side career as of now. I’ve experienced adventures of a lifetime all within this 2 year span, all 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 (more to come) 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 and saw something through for an entire year – not something many people can claim they’ve done. 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. This is 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 (conscious walking); meditate every day, read 5 pages a day, stretch for 10 minutes everyday or it can be something bigger and more ambitious like “I’m going to pursue a new project (musically, artistically, physically etc.) every month and work on that months idea 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. The compound results will be life changing, I promise you that.
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 educate on, in regards to living a more fulfilling, rewarding and joyful life. “Everyone likes fun, it’s fun”- genius insight! 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 carefree “fun time” 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 than you left off with, but to intentionally disconnect and let yourself enjoy periods of laughs, connections, and experiences through variations of “fun activities” – like movie night, game night, shooting hoops with some buddies 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 certainty. 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? After you eat dinner, are you too tired to organize, workout or work on that project. These are important things to know and be honest with yourself about, as you can build your schedule and structure based 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 remember 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 a 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, as well as enhances our excitement, thrill and pursuit of bettering ourselves. But a life focused primarily on the future, absent of the enjoyment of the present, prevents true happiness from blossoming. You see, when you constantly focus on the next thing to come (“there”), you forget to be “here”, and if you consistently neglect the “here”, you will never reach “there” with any true meaning behind it.
The key is to balance these long term pursuits of great accomplishment and satisfaction while consuming 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. Who knows if we’ll have this in the future.
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 are probably used to around this festive season.
Organizing your boxes with cohesiveness and with labels is a great place to start. When you put Christmas items and decorations 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 what’s 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 absurd 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 right after the holidays are over. This does take some proactive long term gratifying thinking, but the savings will be totally worth it. Why buy a $50 wreath in November when you can buy one for $25.00 in January 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 dive into relaxation mode 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 sunlight and the time of day, which makes planning our meals according to the time of day, and with seasons for that matter, a helpful and easy way to efficiently optimize our eating schedule. There are a number of health and wellness studies and researchers that advocate eating your largest meal of the day at the time of day where you use and need most of your energy (typically lunch), and in terms of being in sync with the sun when it is at its highest point. The research also suggests eating your smallest meal of the day at night, when the sun begins to go down and your body is starting to produce calming state hormones like melatonin in preparation for optimal sleep. **just a note, depending on your schedule, workout routine etc. this advice might not be your best bet.
Your metabolism rises throughout the day, peaking mid day around lunch time (12 pm) which means your body’s furnace is burning calories at an incredibly efficient rate (more so now than other time) 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, when your core temperature decreases, the temperature falls and your body clock stops signalling active hormones. Studies show that during this time we burn the least amount of calories, which makes perfect sense considering your internal clock is preparing for bed, not activity.
Timing your eating to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm is only going to make things easier on your system and harmonize your body and mind, rather than fight against it. Sleep will be improved, gut health will improve, and the body will do a better job of removing inflammation, tension and stress. This small, simple, basic foundational tip is a great place to start without switching or adding in a complicated or difficult habit to your life’s structure.