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It’s Goal Time

January 1, 2023 by  
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Wow, it’s now a new year and the big question we all should ask ourselves is, “What am I going to do in 2023? It’s that good ole thing we call designing, planning and setting ourselves up for some significant progress and rewards. That is, if you do it right and, as I’ve preached to my reader and followers before, be sure, very sure, that you write down those goals and objectives and put a time deadline on them.

Here are a few parts of our life that we could, and probably should, aim to improve its.

TYPES OF GOALS TO SET

  • Fitness
  • Family and friends
  • Social life
  • Financial objectives
  • Career objectives

And here are a few more that you may want to set as goals for this great year of 2023.

SPECIFIC SUGGESTED GOALS

  • Enjoy life more.
  • Create a list for a better diet.
  • Drink less.
  • Play more.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Read and research more.
  • Stay current in writing your diary. This could even turn into a book.
  • Write down long-term and short-term goals.
  • Be specific in your goal setting.
  • Write goals that are measurable.

Now, after creating this list of yours, maybe it would be a good idea to share your hopes, wants, and goals with your family and friends. But, of course, pick those people that will give you positive and helpful feedback, then maybe you can motivate them to do the same. Work back and forth with them, sharing what your goals are as you work them out. See if some goals that they are considering or have set can help you set more or better goals.

The great thing about going after your goals is that it gives your life more purpose and pushes you to do more and more. You will look back on the goals you’ve reached and get tremendous satisfaction, especially seeing how it will have lifted your life. It will motivate you to keep doing it and maybe, in the process, it will motivate your family and friends to do the same thing.

Go ahead and get started now!

Enhancing Your Accountability

November 13, 2022 by  
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Some years back, I had a profound thought with huge life enhancing potential for everyone on the planet. Practicing this particular idea has changed and helped my life for a long time, but it was only then, when I really identified it and put it into words, that I was able to share it with others.

It’s a simple concept. Any goal, habit, human quality, or desire that I preach, teach, or otherwise pontificate about automatically, and almost without effort, pushes me to do more of it myself. Those spoken and written pontifications are like a truth drug for my mind, pushing me to do the things I have encouraged and taught others to do. I am totally convinced it will and does work that way for everyone.

If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you might recall that I set some pretty ambitious work out, weight loss, and healthy eating goals for myself. This was particularly true back when I was counting down to my big 70th birthday. 90 days before my 70th birthday, I set some of my toughest health and workout goals ever and in those 3 months, my mind fixed heavily on those self-promises. Yes, it was all advice I gave to myself but I also started to share it here, with my readers, and I believe that practice was one of the reasons I was able to do so well and keep it up.

I guess you could say that my brain pushed me to remain “true to myself” and to my readers. You see, if you teach and preach to others what they could and should do for self-improvement, or just about any subject, your inner self gives you the message that you must live up to what you put out there.

We all know the saying “practice what you preach” and our inner most brain and soul does not want us to be a hypocrite, therefore our subconscious pushes us to be true to our words. I am pretty darn convinced that is how we automatically become better at whatever subject, goal or life enhancing ideal we talk about and teach to others. It’s a concept called accountability. Only when you teach it, you’re not only putting yourself in a position to be a shining example of what you preach, but you are deeply reminded of the value of your words.

I challenge you to not just work on self-improvement, but to start teaching others about the things that you want to improve in your life. As always, write down your goals and objectives so you can stay on track, then share and teach what you know. In a few months, take a look back and see what this enhanced accountability has done for you as well as for the others you taught new things to.

I would suggest that you think deeply and intently about this and then put it into practice. See if it doesn’t profoundly enhance the aspects of your life that you aim to drastically improve. Whether you want to get in super great shape or become a much better partner, or even make a few million dollars, you can do it if you follow these ideas with commitment and reinforce it by putting it out into the world to help others.

The Brain’s Influence on Age

October 16, 2022 by  
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Recently, my son Marcus gave me a little pamphlet entitled “1944 Remember When: A Nostalgic Look Back in Time”. It’s a great look at 1944 which was the year I was born. I was blown away as I turned the pages and especially when I read about prices in 1944.

A new house was a little bit under $3500, with the average income at only $2378 for an entire year. A new car was only $975, a gallon of gas was just 15 cents, and the average rent came in at about $50 a month. Wow, have things changed since then!

The years since 1944, for me, seemed to have past so fast, and now I’m less than 2 years from the big 80! But the good news is I don’t feel a day older than when I turned 40 or maybe even 30. Yes, I am very careful about what I eat, and I work out my body, including having a daily goal of 20,000 steps. There is a lot of research showing that people who keep moving as they age live much longer and are healthier than the average person.

The older I get, the more I see how our thinking can also make a big difference in our lives. If you think you are going to live a long and healthy life, your body will do everything it can to fulfill those beliefs. Those brain thoughts really do influence your body.  

I’ve quoted before from the book Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age by Jo Ann Jenkins, but much of what she writes needs to be repeated and given a lot of thought and action. Such things include focusing on health and wealth, developing a sense purpose, going from mindless activity to mindful living, and feeling good about where you are age wise.

For instance, don’t ever put yourself down by saying, “Oh, I’m an old man or woman.” Instead, say things like, “Yes, I’m almost 80, but I feel young, like I’m 30.” Also, try new things, take chances, don’t live in fear of aging, and set goals aimed at living past 100 or more.

We all need to realize that our daily choices when it comes to our health, mental fitness, and outlook are very important. Yes, a lot of aging advice focuses on good diet and exercise habits, which are very important, but never forget that your brain and what you think about aging also has a great influence on your health as well as how long, and how well, you live.

The Time For Healthy Habits is Now

September 18, 2022 by  
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I had a bit of a fit while I was in Paris last week. That fit was a big trip next to a busy street. I went down and my right eye got hammered. The good news is that I didn’t get hit or run over by a car. Yay! Always try to find the bright side, right?

I recently read Stephen Perrine’s book, The Whole Body Reset, and recall the section where he talks about what we can do to live longer and healthier lives. He discusses two different ways that we can dramatically change our lives and our well-being. It’s all about what we eat and how active we stay. It’s the part about staying active they came to mind after my little incident.

The fall was my fault and, I believe, a big part of it was the simple fact that I have not been working out very much. I’ve had a lot going on and became lax with my exercise routines. As a result, I’ve lost a lot of muscle strength and flexibility, so when I lost my balance, my muscle reaction time was slow, and I went down very hard.

I’m sure I could’ve avoided such a bad fall if I’d only followed some of the advice I found in that book. Stephen Perrine says you should try to do exercise that “fits your lifestyle and your body — walking, running, biking, hiking, dancing in the kitchen — along with some strength and resistance training. Shoot for about 30 minutes a day, about five days per week.”

Not only could this kind of easy exercise routine help someone avoid serious injuries, Perrine says this will help you live longer. But it takes more than just exercise to increase your longevity. Most of his advice and research has shown that what you eat each day has even more to do with health and longevity than exercising.

The most surprising and advice he gives is not so much about calories as it is about what foods you are eating. His research and experiences with people who have followed his plan is that if a person eats 3 meals a day, eating mainly foods that are high in protein and fiber, that will help keep the weight off.

So, between trying to avoid injuries and aiming to live longer, healthier lives, it’s obvious that we all would benefit from keeping up with an exercise routine and healthy eating habits. And now is a good time to recommit to living your best possible life. You don’t want to wait until you get hurt or have a health scare to work on those things. Commit to living a better, healthier life today and every day.

Good Mood is in Your Food

July 31, 2022 by  
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Depression. it’s something none of us humans like but, at certain stages of life and under various circumstances, many of us have been hit by the big, bad D word.

In 2020, there were about just under 15 million cases of major depression in the United States. Not surprisingly, when Covid it, there was a 25% increase in depression cases. It’s also interesting to note that more people get depressed on Sunday than any other day of the week. Perhaps it’s because, both during pandemic restrictions and on Sundays, we have less structure in our lives. During those times, we may have gone without goals or plans and, certainly during the pandemic lockdown, routines were often thrown out the window.

Certainly, having a set routine and goals for the day can help a lot with depression, but there are several other methods for avoiding or getting rid of depression if you get hit with it. There is even one surprisingly simple way to reduce the likelihood of depression. Would you believe that simple thing is the foods that you eat?

I’ve read a lot about this and, from what I’ve found, I have been able to create a list of some of the most helpful foods for getting you out of a depressed state of mind. Here are some that I focus on:

  • Nuts, especially almonds
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain bread
  • Celery
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Ginger tea
  • Foods rich in vitamin B, C, D, E, and zinc such as avocado, peas, spinach

There are certain vitamins and supplements that help a lot as well:

  • B vitamins, especially B12 and Folate
  • Vitamin C, D, E
  • Ginkgo biloba extract
  • St. John’s wort
  • DHEA
  • 5 HTP
  • Turmeric
  • Folic acid
  • DHA
  • Folic acid
  • L-tyrosine
  • Magnesium

You also want to drink lots of water and drink very little or no alcohol.

I eat and take most of the above and it has helped me big time. There are a lot more foods and supplements that help reduce or eliminate depression though. So, if you are struggling, or someone close to you needs help in that part of their life, look up options on the internet and, most importantly, talk to your doctor about changes to your diet and supplement regimen.

Although diet is very important, don’t forget those other simple things you can do to get out, and stay out, of those depressive moods. Set agendas and routines for yourself, get outside, and try new things such as walking through new neighborhoods, meeting new people, or planning a vacation or weekend getaway to some place you’ve never been and know very little about.

Remember, the mind craves unique places, novel experiences, new friends, and interesting new people, and when we are not getting those things, increases our chances of falling into a depression. So, push yourself to find those new places and people as well as switching up your diet to support a healthy and positive mood.

2022: A Year of Action

January 2, 2022 by  
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Here we are again. We have a whole new year in front of us and many of us are making plans, renewing commitments, and generally trying to figure out what we want to accomplish this year. I know I have more than a few things that I’m ready to get to work on!

Regardless of what any of us plan to do, there is one thing we all have in common. We MUST take action, real solid action, for any plan, goal, or dream to become reality.

That first step, the one that shows true action and commitment, is more important than any other step you take because it will be the impetus and motivation for every step afterwards. But don’t fool yourself about what a first step is.

Reading a book, looking stuff up on the internet, or asking your friends’ opinions may feel like first steps, but they are really just part of the planning, and planning is not what actually makes things happen. The first real step occurs when you invest something valuable or take a real risk with your money, time, or ego.

For example:

  • Throwing out all the junk food in your house is a true first step to a better diet.
  • Paying a lawyer to draw up your business organization papers shows a real commitment to starting on your entrepreneurial path.
  • Joining a writer’s group that requires you to write 10 pages a week makes you accountable and shows yourself and other how serious you are about writing that novel.

So, what is that first important, substantial, and invested step you need to take to get your plans rolling? If you’re not sure, take the time to write out what your first steps are. Then ask yourself which of those steps require so kind of personal, time, or financial investment. The ones that do are your first real steps, the ones that will get you truly get you on your way. So, make those your priority.

If you feel like you might still need a little push to take those first substantial steps, or you need some additional inspiration, try reading my book again, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. If you haven’t read it, then definitely get a copy and read it. Then get to work.

Let’s see what wonderful things we can make happen in 2022 by taking action now!

The Benefits List

January 31, 2021 by  
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In these tough times of COVID it’s easy to become very negative about so many things. In the book Letting Go, David R. Hawkins talks about choosing the positive thoughts to push out negative thoughts. He says, “There is an inner reality that we can term our ‘inner greatness’ or ‘higher self’. It has much more power than the inner negativity. In return for letting go of the payoffs that we were getting from the negative position, we are now surprised by the positive payoff. We are subject only to what we hold in mind…The body will respond to what we believe.”

Years ago, I came up with a simple trick that keeps my mind on a positive track. I know how easy it is to let goals slip away from me so I take time to write down, not only the goal, but all of the benefits that sticking with and achieving my objective will bring me. And then when I think of more benefits, I add those to my benefit list. I called this B-RAM, which is short for Benefits, Rewards and Motivation. I also call it my “Big Brain Booster”.

I would strongly suggest that you try it out. Take time to write down all the benefits that sticking with your goals will give you. We certainly have enough time in these COVID days to think these through and come up with lots of benefits we’ll get from reaching our goals.

Now, we may not be able to get out and about to pursue all our goals, at least right now. But given time, this pandemic will be over and we can be so very ready to go after our preset goals and find ourselves glued to them because we can see all of the benefits as we review our list.

Here’s how I came up with this B-RAM concept. Years ago, I had been reading a great book called Beyond the 120-Year Diet by Dr. Roy Walford, a leading expert on longevity. As I read the book and saw how difficult some of the calorie restrictions were on the diet he recommended, I began writing down the benefits that would help me stick with this tough calorie restricted diet. I needed extra motivation so my list made it much easier to stick with the diet. After that, any time I got discouraged, got weak, or got diverted on this diet, I looked at my list and it remotivated me and reminded me of why I set the goal in the first place.

It can be easy to forget why you set certain goals but when you go back to your list of benefits, it’s easy to remember why and it keeps you on track to achieve your goals. And believe me, it’s not easy to stay on a very restricted calorie diet as you probably can understand, especially if you’ve ever been down that road.

As I’m sure you know, if you have followed my posts or read my books, writing down your goals and objectives, putting a timeline on those goals, and revisiting what you wrote increases the chance of you reaching them. It doesn’t matter whether your goals are health or wealth. It works for those goals and many more.

So, now, in these COVID times, let’s all spend more time making benefit lists for our goals. And don’t forget to put your list of goals and benefits in a very convenient place so you can visit them often and easily!

Appreciating Great Health

August 9, 2020 by  
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Most of us humans don’t really think a lot about good health when we are totally healthy. It’s so easy to take our good health for granted when we are feeling great. But when something bad happens and we become very sick, then we sure look back at those healthy days and want to be back there again.

This brain of mine certainly has me looking back before my fall and my big, bad concussion. It’s been about a month now and I still have dizzy spells and vertigo plus my memory has been damaged. I’ve been doing better each day although it did suddenly get worse recently. However, the trend is that I am getting better in the long run.

Man, oh, man … talk about big changes in a few seconds. My life is so different now. It’s not just that I miss playing that tennis that I love so much, but I’m also not supposed to watch movies, TV, or even look at the computer screen (which I’m doing now, of course!) but I bought some special blue light glasses that help protect me. And, until yesterday, I was not even driving my car.

I started thinking about a book I wrote in 2006 where in one chapter entitled “An Umbrella Goal for Life,” I talked about how important health was in our lives. Many people think that more exercise is the most important key to living a long life. Quoting from my own book I wrote, “If you had to choose calorie restriction versus a lot of exercise to attain a longer and healthier life, animal studies prove beyond a doubt that eating less calories, and calories that are nutrient packed, will lengthen your life and cut disease by a huge factor compared to exercise alone. So, the plan is do both but especially watch my intake of calories. When I recover from this darn concussion, I am going to watch my diet more carefully and exercise more because I want to live a very long life which is more important than so many other things to me.

Next week, I want to give you a list of items you can do that will help you stay healthy and live a very long time.

Habits That Hinder

January 19, 2020 by  
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Wow, how stupid am I or, I guess I should say, what a habit driven man am I?  A few days ago, my wife and I drove our SUV to do a little shopping.  We spent maybe a half an hour at Walmart, walked back to the car, and were surprised to see, when I turned the key, that the car was already running! The SUV is the vehicle that my wife drives, while I have become totally used to driving my Tesla that doesn’t use a key and starts by putting your foot on the brake pedal. When you leave the car, you just walk away, with the electric engine stopping on its own and the car doors locking when you are a few yards away. So, my habit from driving the Tesla was so strong that when I drove our SUV, that habit took over and I didn’t even know it.

Most of the time, when we talk or read about habits, we are usually referring to bad habits.  One interesting and good thing to know, which sadly many people don’t, is that there are methods that can help you change your bad habits and develop good habits. It takes time and you need to consistently stick with the plan or method to make those changes but it can be done.

The most common bad habits make up quite a list. The following is not even close to a complete list of bad habits, but take a look and ask yourself if you suffer from any of these:

  1. Smoking
  2. Heavy alcohol drinking
  3. Watching too much TV
  4. Being on the computer or smart phone too much
  5. Spending too much time playing video games
  6. Eating unhealthy junk food
  7. Eating way too much food
  8. Consuming too much sugar
  9. Eating late night snacks
  10. Not allowing enough time for a full night sleep
  11. Complaining about almost everything
  12. Behavior that leaves you angry, worried or stressed
  13. Overspending your way into debt
  14. Being consistently late
  15. Being rude to others
  16. Road rage
  17. Driving too fast
  18. Losing your temper
  19. Lying
  20. Procrastinating
  21. Always bragging
  22. Being a know it all
  23. Letting fear stop you from doing something new
  24. Spending time with negative friends to bring you down
  25. Being pessimistic
  26. Always interrupting other people
  27. Swearing constantly
  28. Nail biting
  29. Picking your nose
  30. Slouching and poor posture

And, yes, that is just a very short list compared to some of the lists I have seen. So how many, if any, of these bad habits do you have and would like to get rid of? What causes bad habits in the first place and what can you do to drop a bad habit and take on good habits? I will address the answers to those questions in next week’s blog.

Keep Moving!

January 12, 2020 by  
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So, we are already nearly 2 weeks into the new year. Have you finished writing your New Year’s resolutions?  If not, it’s still not too late to begin. Hopefully you have a detailed, clear, and measurable set of goals by now. If you’ve got that, then fantastic! But, now, when do you start on your list? Without an actual start date and a few actionable steps planned out, what chance do you have of your dreams, goals, and resolutions becoming real. So, if you haven’t finished your list or have yet to start acting on it, I would say do it now!

As we begin this new year, I have a few bits of advice that I think are so very critical. For one, to live longer you must have a big picture of what you want to achieve and not just have a routine you work away at. Secondly, never stop working on your health!  Keep moving!

From Ilchi Lee’s great book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, there are a couple great bits of advice that really stand out in my mind. He states that people who have a positive perspective on aging live, on average, 7.5 years longer than the average person. He also makes the point that to live longer you need to have a goal and a design for the time you have left.

He shares lots of statistics and information on a very critical part of living a long, long life which is to keep moving. No, you don’t have to run a ton. Long walks every day give the same great health benefits and longevity to your life. Even just 150 minutes a week of walking can add 2.4 years to your life and 3.4 years if you double those minutes.

Six years ago, on my 69th birthday, I really started to think much more seriously about my age and how much longer I might have to live. It was on that birthday that I decided to start moving more and came up with my plan for walking, walking, and more walking. A huge part of my decision to do lots of walking was the small but great birthday gift my wife Kimberly gave me – a Fitbit. You put it on your wrist or put it in your pocket and it counts every step you take.

I began by setting a goal of 5,000 steps a day and soon was going more than that, so I move the goal to 10,000 steps and later to 20,000 steps every day. I’ve stuck with it since that birthday and, wow, I feel so much better, plus my tennis game improved a ton and I’m am convinced that those steps are increasing my life span. It is such a simple and easy exercise routine that gives such great rewards.

In his book, Mr. Lee lists 7 common statements that he has heard over the years from people who walked a bunch.

  1. I didn’t realize the way you walk is so important.
  2. Walking is so fun and exciting.
  3. The heavy pain that was in my legs and feet has vanished and they are lighter now.
  4. I used to suffer from insomnia, but now I can get deep sleep.
  5. My complexion has improved and my body feels lighter.

6, I usually become anxious and tense, but I have much more peace of mind now.

  1. My body has more energy, my head is clearer, and my focus on work has increased.

Hippocrates agrees. He is quoted as saying, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” I love that quote.

So, let’s all keep moving and moving. Get a Fitbit and start keeping track of your progress. If you do, and if you are anything like me, you will find yourself competing more and more with yourself. As a result, you will feel better and your health will most likely be lifted up a notch, if not two!

 

 

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