Right now, is your life going as you thought it would almost halfway through 2020? I'd bet a large amount of money that your current situation is at least a bit skewed from what you were planning it to be one year ago. Global pandemics have a bad habit of doing that. Despite the fact that we can't control the spread of viruses across the globe, we do still have the power to plan for tomorrow, and make steps towards the future. With that, I pose a question:
What are your daily habits setting your life up to look like one year from now?
Making healthy decisions and finding ways to save money are two easy examples of things that will almost certainly provide benefits in the future. If you haven't picked a good place to start with some small changes in your life, these may be the easiest places with the highest returns. But let's say you're already doing these things or something similar; will these things get us closer to the life we actually want to be living in the future?
The best analogy I can provide when it comes to my thinking on this is the classic "hamster wheel" metaphor. To the hamster, they're moving constantly, which is better than no movement, but that's about the extent of their activity. There's a stark difference between moving and going forward, and I think it's important to be mindful about which of the two patterns you're in.
If you want to make money writing online but continue to post only on the same sites without any new mediums or outside promotion, you're more than likely on the hamster wheel. In one year, with those same habits, you'll be in nearly the same place you are now. If you're looking to feel healthier and more confident in your body, and have a moderate workout plan but keep processed food as snacks around the house, a year from now things may not have changed much for you.
This is how years go by without us noticing. We fall into routines, healthy or not, and then keep living them day in and day out, unaware that we're no different than the hamster running until they tire. If growth is what you're looking for, if you want to look back in May 2021 and say you hardly recognize the life you're living now, a change in habit could be just the spark you need.
One way that I'm personally trying to implement this tactic is with my eating. I eat a pretty clean diet, with no added chemicals/substances whenever possible (my #1 rule is that the food should have only one ingredient if possible). But, in eating "clean", I gave myself permission to overeat for every single meal I ate, for years on end. Every single one. Since it was healthy, I figured there was no problem eating until I legitimately couldn't handle another bite. Based on some research as of late that showed me just how bad this is for my metabolism, along with the simple fact that I knew after every meal I would feel upset both in my stomach and my brain, I realized it was time for a change. I didn't want to be struggling with the same issue in one year, but knew my habits were sitting me up to be. Now, at every normal meal time I have a reminder in my phone to eat as mindfully as possible, and almost always am able to stop at about 80% fullness. Lo and behold, I feel phenomenally better both physically and mentally since I became more cognizant about this. In one year, I hope to be able to say I've made that a routine, and broke out of the pattern of accepting self-caused discomfort as something that's just a necessary part of life.
Our days become our years, and our years become our lives. Healthy habit-building is the foundation for a happy time spent on this planet. But I urge you to consider what facets of your life could be due for a review, no matter how positive they may seem. For most of us, improvement trumps stagnation. What hamster wheel can you climb off of?
"A Single Seed" is my attempt to get out one idea every day that I've learned or accumulated over the years, with the hope that it may stick in someone else's memory bank as well. The idea may be related to fitness, business, life, or philosophy, but I think you'll find that many can change domains if you wish them to. With each seed planted, a new life awaits.