The change in season Down Under has had me thinking. While the changes aren’t anywhere near as drastic or noticeable as in the Northern hemisphere, there has definitely been a shift. Humans have responded to seasons since we were hunter/gatherers so it’s hard-wired into us that new weather, new air, new hours of daylights means a change in behaviour. In the UK the modern day equivalent is that when you get a slither of sunshine and 12 Degree Heat in in March you are officially allowed to just wear a vest and flip flops.
Seasons do mean change. But how do I avoid it being tokenistic? I’ve always been a fan of the 30 Day Challenge. Primarily because I’m a pretty intense person who likes fixed timeframes. The issue with them is that 30 days only really allows for flash in the pan results, if any, and can be too short to really develop habits or to get sustainable change embedded. With that in mind I have decided to go a bit further with this one and work towards ‘6 Months of Feeding the Foundations’
All or Nothing
As I think I have mentioned elsewhere my predisposition leans heavily towards an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. It’s either:
a.) Eating Only Natural Foods;
b.) Inhaling a Litre of Ice Cream a day or Spending so Much Time at Chickens Plus that you get a Marriage Proposal from the serving lady (true story).
Or it could be:
a.) Training Twice a Day – Resistance and Weights;
b.) Wondering whether my whole life could be managed from the comfort of my duvet/doona.
The crux of the above is that if I’m not careful I swing like a pendulum from one thing to the next. This is not only bad for #gainz but can actually be damaging to one’s mental health. What I really need is sustainable, gradual and compound change.
Running away to find my self could be quite tricky when I have a job/commitments etc, plus I’ve already moved to the other side of the world AND it’s actually my day to day, sleeping/eating/going to work live which I want to influence. This is why, for six solid months (01st April to 01st October) I am going to engage on a little seasonal jaunt of my own.
‘6 Months of Feeding The Foundations’
- Edifying Content (Literary or Audio-Visual Content that builds me up, adds value or brings me joy);
- Edifying Nutrition (Ensuring I am feeding my body with nourishing food, free from sneaky sugar, additives and chemicals e.g. processed foods, alcohol) – aka Clean Eating;
- Edifying Rest (Prioritising Sleep and Screen Free Down TIme)
- Edifying Relationships (Ensuring I am investing into life giving relationships)
- Edifying Speech (Seeking to encourage and build up others with my words)
You’ll notice that I’ve tried to avoid framing my foci (still love that word) with ‘NO doing X’ or ‘STOP being a total X’. The reason being, as much as I want to strip certain things out of my life, research has proven that it is far better to focus on what you are going to do as opposed to what you need to remove. The fact of the matter is that whatever you focus on will consume you, so if all you can see is what you can’t do, you can feel frustrated, hemmed in and seek a one way ticket to binge ville.
I’m an analyst. I’m also a grammar nerd. This means I love processes and structure, but only to a point. The danger with any new programme or framework for none-linear, emotional, complex beings (humans) living in a complex, demanding and ever changing world (Anywhere on Earth) is that we don’t fit neatly into a 12 Step Plan. We can’t indefinitely be our own Personal Dictator. Nor can our goals. Especially as we first start out on a new direction, our body and mind will often seek out the path of least resistance to protect ourselves. This is where cheat days come in with diet plans as they give people a guilt-free opt out to scratch the proverbial itch and self-soothe.
This is why I will be giving my self an Off Day a Month to watch/eat/do what I want (witin the parameters of Australian Law, that is). I have a few significant parties I need to go to and while that isnt an excuse to binge or throw good habits out of the window, I equally dont want to be Captain Buzzkill as I start to adjust to my new habits.
The Ultimate Objective
Self-Investment. New Life, New Energy, New Foundations. Bringing Sexy Back in Beyonce Speak. I am looking to build sustainable change into my life in such a way that I not only become more empowered to take my self where I need to go but also that I am more the man I need to be to take others there with me. It’s never just about you. We are born to be in community and when any one person is hampered from achieving their full god-given potential we all lose out big time. That said, if you can’t look after your self then you are no use to anyone! So choose to feed your fire with good fuel and see where it propels you. Or come watch me try to do just that 🙂
So I won’t be scooting off on a pilgrimage or retreating to a kibbutz for winter but I will be steering this bacon loving ship in a new direction. I’d be glad of the company. Plus, there will obviously be epic snacks.