By Jim “Pappy” Moore
Tired of making resolutions you cannot keep? Starting out strong and fading by February? Focus on what you want to change, and make it fairly easy to achieve.
What must you do to live? You have to sleep. You have to drink water. You have to breath. You have to eat. You have to move around and get some level of exercise. You have to engage others. You need to develop routines for doing all these things.
Sleep is critically important. Your goal is to get good, restful sleep. If you can do that in one night’s sleep of 7-8 hours, great. If you get the same solid sleep by sleeping less at night but getting a nap or naps in the daytime, do that. Do what works for you. Make sure you get good sleep. Tossing and turning in bed for two hours, then getting up five hours is NOT 7 hours sleep. It’s 5 hours sleep with two hours of infuriating tossing and turning. Don’t do that. Get up. Do something. Don’t lay in bed worrying for more than a half hour. If you’re not asleep by then, get up and get something done. Do chores. Watch a show. Write something. Get your mind and body right, then go back to bed. You are not helping yourself when you lie in bed worrying.
Water. We are 70% water. If we run low on water, it affects us negatively. You don’t have to drink water to get water. It comes in most fruits and some vegetables. That V-8 you drink counts. So do coffee and tea. Go easy on colas, though. Whether with sugar or artificial sweeteners, both have negatives. Try drinking water several times a day straight up – nothing added to it.
Breathing and moving around go hand-in-hand. Get up out of your chair frequently. Walk to the other room. Walk outside. Move about. Do little chores. Make a habit of not sitting for more than 15 minutes without getting up and walking around. These things will help your posture, help your muscles and soft tissues, and they will help keep you breathing and exerting energy. Sitting on your duff for hours at a time is really bad for you. I get up many times a day and take 1 or 2 pieces of trash to the trash container in the garage. This ritual keeps my place clean and picked up, and it gives me a reason to get out of the chair and move about for a couple of minutes. I walk outside several times a day to see the sky, get fresh air, and soak in sunlight, which is good for getting Vitamin D, which is good for your health.
Eat what you like, but eat less of it. Portion control is your number one tool in managing weight. Eat more protein and less carbohydrates. Don’t jump into a diet that will fail because it includes things you don’t really enjoy eating. Cutting back on your food intake shaves pounds. Exercise helps, but it’s mostly about cutting the intake of calories you don’t need. Try to avoid fast foods and processed food like bologna or sausage. My number one rule is: don’t eat anything you don’t really enjoy eating. Try fasting. For ten hours, or twelve hours, or longer. It works.
Engage others. This can be done online in venues such as Facebook. Don’t simply look at what others say. Contribute. Post things yourself. Respond to others yourself. If you’re only posting things without replying to others, you’re doing it wrong. Part of what you need to do is express yourself, and acknowledge others for making their thoughts, for sharing their points of view. If you’re only lurking, you’re missing an important part of the process.
Engage others in public. The cashiers you see at the stores you visit. Notice their names. Call them by their name. Look them in the eye and let them know you appreciate them, that they are a person, and that they contribute to your day. Making eye contact and briefly talking with them is important for you and important for them.
Don’t be afraid to approach strangers. I park a long way from the front door of many businesses. I like the long walk to get there, and I like not getting my car dinged by car doors. I like seeing people who are unloading their purchases into their car or truck. I like to approach them and offer to take their empty basket to the receptacle. Most are quite happy to do so and may take an opportunity to say something they might otherwise have never said. Sometimes someone will ask me to pray with them or for them. Of course, I do that. Sometimes they want to do the praying. Sometimes they ask me to do the praying. I do it however they like.
Your life is yours. If it isn’t as much as you’d like it to be, make it more satisfying. Offer to keep those grands. Offer to take them places. Offer to pick them up and take them back. Invest time and energy in people you know and people you don’t know. Get up, get out, engage the world almost every day.
You are the architect of your life. Demand more of yourself, and make it more if you want it to be more.
Copyright 2024, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.