There is an inherent error in our thinking that one needs to be an expert or learn a lot about something before they can get started. That is likely what stops most people dead in their tracks after they get the inspiration. An essential part of curating is to think about what it is that you want and then start doing anything simple and low risk to begin the journey. This blog will be a step in that direction for myself. Thankfully blogging does not require expertise and it is a relatively inexpensive and low risk way to enjoy the process of writing. Gone are the days of needing the permission from large publishers as self publishing is a viable alternative.
One needs to start getting into the habit of not asking for permission to begin things especially from our own cautious selves. How many bloggers who eventually became extremely successful started off being anonymous. Plenty. Then after their wild success. they decide to introduce themselves to their readers. Fortunately I have neither the base need for recognition and thus this blog will likely remain anonymous forever hopefully. But I do not pretend to predict the future.
Many people argue themselves out of starting and keeping up with activities and habits that they value. There is likely a part of their subconscious that believes that they can not do it. My argument is rather than wasting effort in thinking of reasons why not to do things, take the effort to plan ways of thinking of how they can.
Spend time daily tending to your relationship with yourself. This could involve simple routines such as prayer, affirmations and visualizations. Keep it simple. You do not require a lot of time to do this. I regularly do this while I am still laying in bed and it is a peaceful way to start the day. Spend some time meditating. I have regularly read about the profound impact that this brings to most practitioners’ lives. Email a good friend to stay in touch on a regular basis. It is a human trait to be enjoy being thought of. And smile regularly. It costs you nothing and makes you happier as a by product.
Health and Fitness
Eat a mainly whole foods, plant based diet. Fast occasionally. Eat the same meals over and over again. The belief that one needs variety is highly overrated. Go for a daily walk. Listen to podcasts or walk with a good friend and enjoy good conversation while you are at it. Your weight is probably determined about 80% by what you eat and 20% by your exercise. Thus enjoy the activity, since you are much more likely to stick with it. And keep track. Tracking is way more important than wishful thinking and inspiration to get closer to one’s goals.
Think about the kind of life that a lot of money would actually bring. For many in the developed world it is likely not all that much. Keep track of your spending. Are you seeing a theme here? Tracking is vital. I am often impressed by how people track the details of celebrities’ lives but completely ignore tracking their own lives. Everyone has a base level of spending. This is the number that you want to develop a very clear picture of since this is the basis for what your financial plans will revolve around. You need to figure out your percentage of savings versus your after tax income. It is what you keep that matters. It is also what you get to spend so do not focus on gross income as much. Watch how many ongoing expenses are insidiously being funneled out of your pocket. The worst expenses are the ones which come out each and every month. Think cellular phones, internet fees, gym memberships, clubs and activities that you are not fully taking advantage of.
Just Do It
Pick something that you want to change after dreaming of a life that you would love. It might involve diet and exercise or financial matters. But before all that just start tracking. I believe you track what you care about. For myself, I track my diet, exercise and financial numbers.
This could begin with keeping a blank journal with you and keeping track of daily expenses, your food consumption as well as your exercise schedule. And there is no willpower involved. You simply track. It is this habit that is crucial. There is nothing to judge when you track because your job is simply to track. This is your one and only life. Why not be awake for it and track what matters most to you.
You will notice in time that you will have enough data to begin working with excel spreadsheets but beginning with a simple paper journal would work as well. Subconsciously you will develop the sense that your life is important enough to you that you actually want to track certain parameters. Then the fun part of habits will begin. Hopefully the positive ones will almost be effortless for you to maintain in time.
Aside from tracking. Pick one habit you want to commit to and find the easiest option to begin. For instance, I started running in 2018. I knew that I could run 5 miles regularly. However I decided to start with a walk and run for 2 miles. I ensured that there were no barriers. I laid out my running clothes the evening before. That minimized the friction that occurs every morning when you would rather not be running by becoming distracted by looking for running clothes. Then I have no rules during my run. The only plan is to get home whether by walking or running. That turns the run into an enjoyable process for me since I know that I could walk any time without judging myself. I used to be an all or nothing person. As I have gotten older I see that for longevity, it pays to be kinder to oneself. Whether we reach our plans or not, enjoying the process allows you to win immediately.
Until next time- start tracking!