(#3) A New Year
What up y’all. Happy New Year! I hope 2018 treated you well and you were able to progress your health and wellness in the right direction. Let’s keep it moving into 2019.
As per my Instagram post, I wanted to share with you a couple things related to my weekly goals for this next year.
But first let me clarify my overall goal/focus for 2019, which is to continue to develop my relationship with the Lord. That’s super general, and loaded, I know… but within that falls all the joy, hope, health, grace, humility, patience, confidence, etc. that I could ask for. What means will I continue to adopt to help me achieve this? Prayer. Reading of scripture. Reading of books. Worship. Meditation on the word. Memorization of scripture. Fellowship with friends and fellow believers… and more. These things are baked into my daily routine, and aren’t activities I need to “monitor” because I know I’ll be doing them regardless.
I do however have specific weekly goals related to health and wellness that I am going to be tracking. I’m using an app called Tally to do this, which is actually really dope. Its interface is easy, usable, and effective. It’s free for up to 3 activities, anything more than 3 requires a one-time $5 purchase (which was necessary for me).
My first goal is a 16 hour fast at least 3 times a week. This leaves me with an 8 hour consumption window for that day. I typically do a minimum 12 hour fast every day, but I wanted to extend it a couple times a week to reap the benefits. As discussed in episode #3 of the podcast, Intermittent Fasting has been THE MOST tangible and effective biohack for improving my energy, sleep, weight, and muscle management.
I’m also going to take 5 cold showers per week, and considering it’s currently 30 degrees outside, this one will be tough. The benefits from acute cold exposure are amazing however, and I crave the superhuman feeling that occurs when exiting the freezing cold (whether after Cryo, ice bath, shower). My go-to is to take a cold shower immediately after I workout. My body temp is already way up, and that makes it a bit easier to deal with the intense cold. Couple the cold exposure with the Wim Hof breathing method, this biohack has been a game changer for my energy, mental clarity, and immune system. I dive into the Wim Hof method and the benefits of cold exposure in this episode of the podcast. I also may sometimes substitute a cold shower for cryotherapy, or jumping in a local river :)
Between being a father, teaching, prepping for a podcast, writing a blog, being an adequate husband, working out, studying for CSET exams, cooking… it’s hard for me to make time for friends, which I am not proud of to say the least. This is perhaps the most important goal for me on this list: connecting with a friend at least 3 times a week. This could be meeting for coffee, shooting hoops, going on a run, watching a UFC fight… whatever. I really don’t care what it is. Being around people whom I respect and enjoy is energizing, motivating, and brings me joy. They say that you are the average of your 5 closest friends, so I’ll definitely be taking that to heart as a make time for this one.
Next, I’m going to be reading every day of the week. And not internet reading, but book reading. There’s something about progressing through a physical copy of text, advancing through the pages, underlining key ideas, etc. that is more satisfying and fulfilling for me. I pretty much already hit this goal, but I want to make it a point this year to not skip any days. I’m currently on a John Eldredge bender… just finished “The Utter Relief of Holiness” (for the 2nd time in 3 months) and am about 20 pages into “The Journey of Desire.” I highly recommend both. Reading makes my mind feel optimized and healthy.
I was never a “runner” - it just didn’t really interest me. I’d much rather put in the headphones and get a cardio-sweat going on the basketball court. This however changed last year, when I started running this 2.7 mile trail near my house. During the summer I was hitting it like 6 times a week, but that number has dwindled severely during the winter. On a good day, I can leave my front yard and be back in about 21 minutes, on a bad day about 24. It’s a dirt trail, there’s plenty of incline and decline, and there’s never a soul on it. I think out of the 50+ runs I’ve gone on in the last year, I’ve seen 2 people on it. It’s become my sanctuary yo. I no longer run with headphones, because I’ve found I have the most transformative experience when it’s just me, my breath, and nature. I never regret running that trail. Sure, it sucks at times… but I’ve never once regretted it. The trail has strengthened my legs tremendously, and has been a key factor in getting into the best shape of my life.
The last goal I want to hit is going in the steam room or sauna at least twice a week. I freaking love the steam room. The blissful euphoric feeling of stepping out of a 15 minute intense steam sesh is AMAZING; plus, the research behind the health benefits is piling up (search “Dr. Rhonda Patrick Sauna” and you’ll find a ton of info on the positive effects of acute heat exposure). I currently have to drive about 15 minutes to the closest gym with a steam room, but that’s all changing shortly as we are adding one into the enclosed shower at our house. After that occurs, I will most likely up the heat exposure goal from 2x to 5x a week. Suuuuper stoked for that.
What are some things you want to work into your 2019 schedule? Feel free to comment or leave any thoughts below…
Much love to you all.