1/3/2020 0 Comments
I hope these first few days of your 2020 have been fabulous. I imagine that you have been rising early, with desire and intent, looking at the sun, and planning out the wonderful day that lies before you.
And now that 2020, as well as a new decade, is finally upon us, this year means one thing and one thing only… James Bond comes back to the big screen! Yes, that’s right folks. And you know something strange about that? Bond never seems to get old, his looks never change, and he’s always in shape. It’s one of the great mysteries of life. I’m fairly confident that he holds the secret to a long and healthy existence - despite being tortured and shot at on a semi-regular basis.
His favorite hobby is resurrection though, so I guess it all makes some sense.
And while most of us can’t keep up with Bond, we shouldn't be trying to either.
We should be out there living our own lives to the best of our abilities.
I wanted to start the year off with some tips for a better YOU. Some of these may be refreshers to you, some may be common sense, and some may be curious and new ideas. The tips, ideas, and calls to action below are basic, they are self-explanatory, and they are quite simply - easy.
But sometimes, putting easy ideas into action is a difficult task indeed.
I tend to think it’s because lots of people are running on the all-or-nothing train. And I’m here to tell you to get off that train right now; and to instead hop on board the all-encompassing train. While the all-or-nothing train is all about doing or dying, the all-encompassing train does it all without dying while on the ride.
While the world may not ever be enough, you can make the world everything and more, if only you want to.
So grab that remote, and turn off The Doctors, and don’t listen to Dr. No either.
You can make continual changes to improve your life, and these changes don’t need to be tackled all at once. Plus, they don’t have to be bold, harsh, rash, or dramatic changes. I basically mean that you don’t have to do something extreme to see and feel an improvement in your life.
Simply take what you like from the below pointers, and leave what you don’t. But just know that making a continual effort toward self-care is better than no effort. And that making a tiny effort, each and every day, may be much more beneficial than making a huge lump-sum effort come January one, and then quitting at some point after the first of the year comes and goes. Never quit on self-care, and never quit on YOU.
You don’t have to tackle or even master all twenty of the the below bullets to help improve your life. It is simply my recommendation to you, based on how these tips have helped me practice self-care, and practice giving to others, and really to help me lead an all-around better life.
To me, nothing on this list below is new. And that’s EXACTLY why I wanted to share this with you. While not new, they are also not old or outdated. I practice each one of these ideas ALL.THE.TIME. They’ve helped me have great success, and I want you to benefit from my experience in any way that I can help. So, while, like I said, none of this is new to me, at the beginning of each year I always go through my goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. These 20 are my keepers.
I have been actively doing this for a few years now, and have only been increasing and improving upon it all over time. If you are curious as to HOW I have been living my very best life, every single day, these 20 simple tips are a major factor. And each of them on their own, is one small act. I talk a lot about how small acts can become something grand. I’m simply presenting you with examples of small acts.
The list below is not in any particular order. Because life doesn’t happen in order. So, here’s 20 tips to help kick your 2020 into high gear. Also, shhhh… this list is For Your Eyes Only:
1] STOP Resolving... And START Goal Setting.
Not everything needs to be done on January ONE. Life happens during the year too. There are 364 other days in the year. Make each one of them as important to you as how you feel come January the first few days in January. And live to die another day.
2] Move More.
Yes, move more. It’s that simple. Stand up. Sit down. And stand up again.
Q gave me the best tool in his arsenal a while back: The Apple Watch.
I firmly believe is the best tool out there for movement. Hands down. I’ve had a Fitbit for years. And I’ve had Apple Watch now for years. I will not be who I am today without my Apple Watch. I’m not dependent on my watch in any way, but I also believe it is a fabulous TOOL.
And tools don’t have to become crutches. You can live with something every day, and if the power goes out, still know you need to move. You don’t NEED the watch. You may WANT the watch though. Don’t be dependent on it to tell you to move, but once you do start moving, you will simply keep going.
But however you get moving, just get started. It is simply my recommendation that the Apple Watch was Q’s best development in his research facility. It is the Quartermaster’s best tool he could possibly ever give a OO on his way out the door as he departs for his next mission.
3] Build Momentum.
Building momentum is literally built upon the previous step. After you have started movement, or taken on a new action, it becomes easier to build upon that action… To keep going… That’s momentum. Once you start moving, more movement will follow. Allow your body to build that momentum, slowly, and just keep going. So grab a set of keys to the bold and fancy Aston Martin, and hit the gas pedal for a wild ride amongst all the spies.
4] Make fitness a priority.
And this one builds on the previous two. Start moving, build momentum, keep moving. Once you are moving, fitness follows. Fitness does not have to be extreme - and it can really just be all about making movement in your life a priority.
It’s kinda like how James Bond is really, really good with a deck of cards… He didn’t just magically become a good card player, he has had years upon years of regular practice, right? He really seems to make the game a major priority in his life. Whether he’s working or on vacation, he seems to keep the game a part of his day. That’s how you should treat fitness. As part of life, regardless of where you are at, make it a priority.
5] There are no cheat days to any place worth going.
Poor James Bond, he never gets a day off. Even when he’s on vacation, M finds him wherever he may be. He is always needed in some fashion. He can never truly go out on a luxury yacht, in the Italian Riviera, without MI6 bothering him in some way.
Bond may think he’s on vaca, but the government knows they own him. He can never escape their wrath and their power.
There are no days off while living a healthy lifestyle. Going back to the beginning. There are 365 days in a year. Not 1, and not 364 other days. Make EACH day a healthy day. There are no cheat meals because… There are no cheat days in life. Make each meal, and each day, as important as the next. This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself, or eat anything you want in moderation. It’s simply about lifestyle. And lifestyle means repetition, routine, balance, and moderation. Live life every day, the healthy way.
6] Cook More - Process Less.
The more time you spend in the kitchen, the healthier you will be for it. The next time you want to hit the McDonald’s drive thru, just be bold and tell your taste buds you’re giving them some time to contemplate their life.
And spend some real quality time in the kitchen.
Drive home instead of drive thru. Drive as fast as Bond does, away from that fast-food joint, and head straight into your own garage.
Then cook something amazing, even if it’s a bag of frozen steamable green beans in the microwave that Q gave you. You will be so proud of yourself, your tummy will thank you, and you will realize you hold all the power. You have all the tools you need. You have all the tricks already at your disposal.
7] Don’t drink your calories. Period.
Simple. Or, Drink Less Calories. I tend to think James goes heavy on the drink. It may be one area of his life he can improve upon?
8] Drink More Water.
Whether it’s 8 glasses a day, a large tumbler full, or you drink straight out of a gallon, add water into your lifestyle. If you don’t like water, tell you brain:
Or, “So What.”
And get over it, and get chugging.
This one time, James drinks a poisoned drink. But then, you know what? He saves his own darn life afterward while he was dying. Well, Vesper and others help. But he does help save himself too. It was a very famous scene in Casino Royale, and I’ll never forget watching it the first time. And every time I do watch that scene, I still breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over. Why is that? Every time I see it I know he saves himself, he survives... I guess I just think at one point he may do something different? Or maybe he won’t even drink the poison in the first place?
Get over the boring taste of water, and save your own life with it. I believe in tough love sometimes and I think this is a real tough one for some, and may be real easy for others. But it will change your life, and anything that changes your life is a bit tough to handle at first. I promise you’ll start to like it after a while. And your body will be glowing from the inside out with the healthy vibes you’ll be giving off. So stop with all the sugary drinks, all the Coke, and all the poisons and digitalis, and detox your life, and save your own life, with one of Earth’s greatest gifts. Water.
9] Learn to Love Black Coffee.
Did you know black coffee has zero calories?
I went from being a full on large Dunkin coffee cream and sugar drink person to a zero calorie plain The Best Part Of Waking Up IS Folgers In Your Cup kind of a gal. If I can do it, you can do it. And the best part of it is I LOVVVVE the new me. I wouldn’t trade my Folgers, or basic store brand coffee grounds for anything. It really is the best part of my day - scooping out those grounds into my basic Mr. Coffee pot each and every morning.
You CAN acclimate to black coffee. Even if you don’t like it at the beginning. I promise. And the sky won’t really fall either.
There is much power in the pen.
We - meaning us humans - are a whopping 40% more likely, or even more, to act upon something if we write it down. ON PAPER. And - Nope, your phone apps do NOT count on this one. Buy yourself a journal. It’s a treat to your body. It can be the fanciest, funnest, brightest colored journal that comes with a thousand stickers included, or it can be a notebook from the Dollar Tree. Either way, just find some paper. The kind made from wood, and not from a digital keyboard that floats away into the digital diary you keep yet you can never find in your cloud... This message will self-destruct in five seconds...
Oh wait - wrong film franchise.
But really, just things down. Every day. Write your goals, write your thoughts, write the list of books you want to read this year. Write a good old fashioned Rory Gilmore pro-and-con list. Write anything. Write everything. Use your goldenfingers if you must. You’ll thank yourself later.
11] Read REAL books.
Again with the paper here: Books on paper. One of the finest gifts you can give yourself is the act of taking the two hard-bound covers of a book, closing it after finishing it, and telling yourself how much you enjoyed what happened in between those two book covers.
I’ve got nothing on Bond for this one. It’s just that important. No joke.
12] Burn MORE candles - And burn LESS anger.
Candles set the mood.
Bond was really into mood-setting.
Think of candles as an important factor that adds to the setting and character development of a good story.
A form of self-care for YOUR character.
So Light one. All. The. Time - if you must. Invest in cheapo ones straight from the dollar store, from your favorite candle shop, or even from your local farmers market.
Right now, I’ve been tending to love the ones from any farmers market I happen to visit. They will most likely cost a tad more money, but with that purchase you are supporting a small business venture in the process, and they are almost always 100% all natural, which means safer for you to breathe in too.
So never feel bad about burning a good quality candle, and treat yourself. And become a happier person soaking in all the good vibes that fire brings into your home. Mood. Set.
13] Bake something delicious.
And share the creation with someone you wouldn’t normally share it with… A neighbor you rarely see. A friend whose house you drive past all the time, but you rarely if ever stop on over. Or the evil villain who wants to destroy the world with a nuclear bomb. Go ahead and drop a plate at their doorstep, with a note that says ‘Hello!’
Tip - the barista extra for no reason whatsoever other than to pay it forward.
Give - extra to the server who was too busy to spend a lot of time on your table.
Give - More.
Give - what you don’t have.
Give - when you don’t want to.
Give - when you don’t have the time.
Give - when you don’t have the strength.
Give - when it’s the hardest.
Give - Solace.
I promise you will get back what you give to the world even when you think you have nothing to offer.
15] Try a new hobby. Easy.
Sign up for a class, join an interesting and intriguing new club, go to a craft store, join a book club. Watch a film you’ve never seen before. Or paint a canvas… It may become a life-changing experience. And, if it doesn’t change your life, I promise it will add some benefit to your day, and... boom, that rocks, just like a thunderball.
16] Get on your social media - and then got OFF your social media.
Set time-limits for social media. And/or scheduled times of day to check it. Don’t randomly check and scroll throughout any random time of day and night. Key word here being random.
Make and commit to a designated time frame that you will be amongst the Twitterverse or the Insta or the Zuck or YT or the pin boards. See it, conquer it, and then, most importantly, GET OFF IT. And then Get Going with your own life. I promise you, this will change your life.
While it’s not impossible to live without social media - in fact, I took a long 69 week break from it all at one point - it has become increasingly difficult for most people to maintain a social media-free existence if you want to remain at all social nowadays. It’s just how people communicate, it’s how people find out about events, it’s how people stay connected to friends and relatives who live great distances away. And it’s free...
But remember this… just as freedom isn’t free, the “free” social media apps on your phone do come with a hefty price. Your time.
How valuable is your time to you?
Do the social thing…
Do the media thing…
But then do your OWN thing.
Life is not lived on the phone. But the phone can be utilized as a great tool. Just don’t use that tool as the key to your own survival on this planet.
So get on the social, then get off the social, and live the life that is for your eyes only.
17] Pet your dog.
Or your cat - as you plot to take over the entire world.
Or feed your fish; watch them swim in their tank.
Look down at your pooch and look deep down into the eyes that are always looking straight up at you for everything. See the world from your furry babies point of view. Perspective matters. It’s important to view the world from a different vantage point. And if you don’t have one, consider getting one. Dog - or point-of-view, that is.
18] Say NO to more stuff.
And say YES to a simpler existence.
Follow the rule of one in and one out.
Don’t buy what you don’t need, unless you can use it to really benefit your life in some manner.
Learn the power of your voice with the almighty dollar.
And remember that diamonds are forever.
19] Invest in yourself when you wake up - even if it means waking up a tiny bit earlier.
Get up before the living daylights.
20] Stop wanting and start obtaining.
Nothing on this list matters a bit if you don’t start to take some action. So get out there, and start DOING.
Don’t just breathe,
And don’t just survive.
You don’t just live twice.
So don’t just die another day.
And don’t just make it through another day of life - make your life make it through another day with you.
Get out there and live.
Remember, you have a license to kill - it. ~
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