September’s been going well, my curious friend. (You know. The one who reads this blog.)
I’m not tracking my success/failure at this 10-month adventure, but I think I’m safely north of the 80% success rate one should hope for in any enterprise.
There are some changes. Good ones. I’m sleeping better, getting fitter, and in some ways, I’ve been happier. Life is good, which is sort of radical, I suppose.
In a separate document (my notebook), I wrote some ground rules that sort of define my approach to life change over the next 10 months, and I thought I’d share them today. Why not? Two-thirds of this blog will be boring AF, so what’s one little boring post?
Yep. Kinda flies in the face of most self-improvement literature you’ve read, huh? Well, I’ve dropped the spreadsheets, the charts, the guilt…I’m just focussing on each hour as I’m living it.
There is no past.
I don’t know about you, but my morning failures often turn into entire days in which I make no progress, and likely go backward a bit. “Well, I already blew it,” I think, “might as well eat an entire Dominoes pizza.” Days turn to weeks, weeks turn to months…you know where this is going.
Take one day off each week on purpose.
You probably don’t need me to describe what this looks like to you. Yes. It’s limited hedonism. Lots of studies have indicated that this isn’t just healthy, but important when trying to stick to something difficult.
Celebrations don’t count.
This one’s tricky, because my brain could easily use it for an excuse to abandon the program at will. That’s not good for business, so allow me to define what this means exactly: No, I can’t eat that Dominos pizza just because the Broncos won a game, but I’m eating Thanksgiving dinner and probably not writing a damn word on Christmas.
If I’m a guest, I graciously do my best.
With all respect to my friends who are passionately committed to a lifetime of this lifestyle choice or that (being vegan, hating Coldplay), I just can’t bring myself to allow my personal choices, regardless of how passionate I am about them, to fly in the face of my host.
When it comes to eating and drinking at someone’s house, if I have a dietary choice I’ve made, it simply doesn’t apply. If I have options, I’ll choose the option that fits, but I don’t expect my friends to know my current requirements and whatever they put in front of me, I’ll smile, thank them, and enjoy every drop and every bite.
I realized just now when writing this that so much of what I write about involves food and drink. This isn’t by accident. Food and drink are central themes in my life, and very, very important to me. They simultaneously give me life and make my life better, despite being my most dangerous vices. You’re going to notice that I use food metaphors quite a lot, and that’s just who I am. I should probably write a post dedicated entirely to food…
Those are my ground rules, and quite honestly are what keeps me on this path. I don’t think I could continue without regular “breaks” from the schedule. It’s an inhale/exhale thing.