I’ve matured a lot in the last three years.
Back in 2017, right at the start of My Home Vitality, I wrote an article about preparing New Year’s goals.
Since then, I’ve changed my perspective on life and goals.
Yes, they’re useful for future progress and motivation but the real advancements are made right here and now.
It’s what you do every minute of every day that makes up your life, not what your future plans are.
These articles introduce concepts like:
Using Pareto’s 80:20 principle to focus on key tasks.
Assigning time effectively using Tim Urban’s 100 blocks a day.
Setting up the game to win by eliminating the need for willpower.
Focussing on achievable tasks instead of humongous farfetched goals.
I’ve been using these principles unconsciously for around 12 months now…
1. I start by creating my list of long-term goals, which include:
Being able to defend myself, being attentive and being mobile (physical health).
Being able to play the guitar and make music (creativity).
Being able to control my mind and emotions through philosophy, meditation and breathing practices (mental and emotional health).
Being able to create cool things that help people (creativity).
Having a good social life (relationships).
Avoiding illness, injury or impairments (physical health).
Growing as a person and achieving financial freedom (learning and personal development).
All of these goals are linked to happiness and I’ve just realised that none of them require the acquisition of material objects.
Maybe financial freedom includes owning assets, but the motivation behind that goal is so I can do the things I want to do, not to have fancy houses, cars or holiday homes.
You can’t take it with you after all!
2. I then break those goals down into shorter-term targets, which include:
Training and exercise targets.
Learning guitar sequences.
Minimalising, reflecting on mindful events and improving my BOLT (Blood Oxygen Level Test) score.
Learning and developing creative skills.
Practicing telling stories, jokes and public speaking.
Providing value to people and achieving business goals.
Again, I make sure that I am going to enjoy each one.
If I feel like any one of them is a chore, I reassess it. Remember, if it’s not a f*ck yes, it’s a no!
Enjoy here and now, your life doesn’t need to be a chore.
3. After this, I create just a few daily routines that satisfy my overall goals, including:
Exercise & stretch (BJJ, Muay Thai, weights, run, etc.)
These are tasks that I just do. No questions asked.
I have these noted on a sheet of paper that I carry everywhere with me.
Over time, they just become habits.
I don’t need to carry reminders to drink water, eat fresh vegetables, meet new people, laugh, joke or meditate anymore because, through routines, those things have just become my life.
I could probably take exercise, writing and reading off my list now and focus on the key tasks that sometimes get missed like soft, light, nasal breathing and guitar practice.
4. When I have created a list of daily routines, I setup the game to win.
I don’t rely on willpower to get these tasks done, everything is already in place:
I leave and enter the house through my gym (exercise).
I sit at my laptop every morning to write (write).
I carry a pulse oximeter around with me (breathe).
My Kindle is next to my bed (read).
I have a guitar next to my sofa and bed (play guitar).
This makes the development of routines easy.
I don’t need to drag myself off the sofa to practice the guitar, I can do 5 pullups every time I leave/enter the house and I can simulate high altitude training anywhere whilst monitoring my blood oxygen saturation.
I don’t put pressure on myself to work for a certain time, fulfil a certain regime or burn a certain number of calories, I just do something, that way, I enjoy the process more.
I enjoy going to Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, but if my body feels like it needs a rest, I enjoy having a stretch in the lounge, having a jog around the park or lifting some weights in the gym.
JUST DO SOMETHING.
Enjoy the present moment
I enjoy the process, the present moment, not the thought of the future, because the future is never real, it never comes, it’s never here.
By focussing on the future, you become less fulfilled with what you have now, what you’re doing now and enjoying now.
Being fixated with the future and the need to attain more is a mindset of scarcity.
A mindset that dangerously pushes you into the accumulation of more – more money, more food, more feelings, more emotions, more cars, more houses, more boats, more tattoos, the list is endless.
This mindset is dangerous because you can chase things into addiction, question your self-worth and drive yourself into a spiral of depression.
On the flip side, focussing on what you have now, enjoying this very moment and recognising that there is plenty to go round will make you realise that things are pretty good as they are.
I enjoy the present moment and, although the things I do are linked to long-term goals, my focus is not on the long-term, it’s on enjoying now.
So try it yourself, create routines for your goals and enjoy your life now, for the future may never come.