By the time I finish typing this and publish it, I will most likely be forty. I don’t really care about birthdays that much and am more of an “age is a number” guy, which I’m finding myself pointing out more as I get older, by the way. I’ve always been a night owl and thought that yoga and meditation and all that mindfulness crap was just a bunch of hippie nonsense. It just wasn’t for me because I’ve seen myself as an alpha male and will just power through and make shit happen. While everyone else was asleep, I would grind. While they were sitting cross-legged chanting weird shit, I would be that much further into my day. Who needs it, right?
Well, I’m also learning as I get a little older that maybe I should open up to some new ideas. After all, I’m a firm believer in the Einstein definition of insanity. There are some definite changes I’ve been looking to make and it just so happened that the opportunity to try some new things came up just in time for me to blame it all on my oldness.
Einstein’s Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So, here’s my list of recent changes and my thoughts on each in case you were considering any of them:
1) Exercising More Frequently/Eating Healthier
Once upon a time, I worked out somewhere between 3-5 times a week. Call it my old age, but I honestly don’t know why I stopped. I really didn’t even think too much about it until I noticed the roundness of my mid-section getting rounder and I hadn’t been drinking more beer, so I could only blame it on food, lack of fitness, and football season. In March, my wife and I went to Hawaii for the RPAC President’s Circle Conference and stayed. It was amazing, but what was more amazing was what my scale said when we got home. Despite eating and drinking there, I only gained about 2 pounds after a week of vacation. I also noticed I felt better. Sure, part of that was that I had just spent a week in paradise, but I realized that both were a result of how active we were while we were there. So, I just said I would be more active. Since then, I’m working out 2-3 times a week, being more conscious of what I eat, and even doing little things like walking and listening to books on Audible.
You don’t have to be a fitness guru or a body builder or yogi, but you should pay attention to your health and wellness. The main thing that increasing my activity level has done for me is increase my energy level naturally, which has, in turn, lowered my reliance on Coke for energy which has, in turn, helped with the overall health.
2) Reading More
I’ve always been a reader as far back as I can remember. It started out as an escape for a little while and then mixed as an educational vehicle that evolved into a personal development tool. I do still read for enjoyment, but find that I get enjoyment from different subjects now compared to a decade or two ago (that kinda hurts to say). I’ve always been a paper reader. I tried the tablet but it doesn’t work for me and the audio versions were no good because my mind wanders. However, as I said before, I’ve started to listen to some books on Audible as I walk the track at the school my daughter swims at a couple of nights a week. I like it and I’m active. I’ve also been taking time each day to actually sit and read, which brings us to…
3) Waking Up Earlier (a.k.a. the bane of my existence)
Seriously, y’all, I hate waking up early, and understand that hate is not a word I use often. A few months ago, the Book Club at our brokerage read The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents. It was ok, but I read it, set it aside and never thought about it again. Fast forward a few months and my wife gets assigned the “normal version” of the book The Miracle Morning by her business coach. She then informed me that if she was doing that shit, I was doing that shit. So, here I am waking up an hour earlier every day, for now. I say for now because it will probably be two hours early before too long.
I am a night owl. If you don’t believe me, look at the time stamps on the blog posts here. I have always been able to function on very little sleep and a little caffeine. But, I was also a wake up at the very last moment that would allow me to get up, get ready, and get to where I need to be that morning. As often as not, that meant I was starting my day rushed and stressed and that resonated throughout the rest of the day. As much as I truly hate to admit it, I really like getting up early. My wife and I have an hour each morning to read, enjoy a cup of coffee, and get mentally ready for the day. I haven’t started incorporating all of the Miracle Morning steps yet, but plan to once we finish the book and plan it all out. Which brings us to…
Bring on the hippie, new-age nonsense, people. It seriously pains me to admit that I am doing this because I have always found it super silly. If I’m being entirely candid, I probably found it silly because it is nearly impossible for me to be physically and/or mentally still for more than about…squirrel!!! The first step in the Miracle Morning regimen is silence. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some quiet time. I’ve got over a hundred agents, a wife, two kids, and a dog. I am all for some silence. I’ve never really done intentional silence though.
I downloaded the Headspace app and decided to try it out. Surely I could sit still for ten minutes, right? Yes, yes I could and have. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I’ve done it daily like you are supposed to, but I’m halfway through the first ten steps in about an 8 day span. That’ll work. Again, as much as I hate to admit it, I can tell a marked difference in my day when I do the ten-minute guided meditation in the morning. I’m more calm, more controlled, and far more purposeful. I genuinely feel like I have accomplished more in the past week to ten days than I have in the past 3 months. I feel like my direction is on point and that we are effectively moving towards our goals and not just acting for the sake of action. It’s really weird, but the ten minutes of purposeful silence in the morning is the common denominator. It’s surprisingly powerful. I highly recommend downloading the app and trying the ten-day plan.
5) Coaching, Again
This one I am in no way, shape or form embarrassed to admit that I’m doing, but it’s in line with the new stuff in my life so I figured I would include it. I hired a coach to help me with some perceived weaknesses and to provide some general business consultation. I’ve written about getting a coach here before, so I won’t go into too much detail. I will just say that my enthusiasm level, purpose, and approach are already better than they were a couple of weeks ago and we’re just getting started.
The bottom line here is that change is daunting, but rarely not worth doing. I had found myself getting stagnant and needed to shake things up. While it may seem that I’ve bitten off a lot here, it’s actually played out in a way that everything really complements each other. The struggle is, has been, and always will be time management, but that’s a topic for another day.