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New Tools for the New Year: Lifestyle

New Tools for the New Year: Lifestyle

    With the new year fast approaching, there’s no better time than to tweak what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. So far in our New Tools for the New Year series, we have explored some new tools for the new year that can help you level up your communication and management skills, and have looked at technology for you to dive into as well. Today we’re going to broaden out the scope and talk about an awfully big category: Lifestyle.

    The thing about this category is that it doesn’t just have an impact on your life outside of work; it impacts your style of life – that includes your work and your life outside of work. In a time where we seem to dive deeper into work and less into life outside of it (as the two seem to be coming more and more intertwined), these tools are meant to connect you with your overall “lifestyle”. That includes health, wellness, food, leisure time and how to live outside of the zone we call “work” when it is called for.

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    Time

    Time is one of – if not the – most valuable resources we all have. No one has more of it in a day than anyone else. It’s how we spend it that can be the difference-maker in our lives. Lifehacks can help you really make the most of your time – but they can also serve to steal it if you’re not careful.

    It’s important to manage your time in a way that allows you to be both efficient and effective in all areas of your life. That may mean using a tool like RescueTime to monitor your computer habits or lessening the amount of information you absorb on a daily basis through curation so that you can keep up with the times without losing any of the time you’ve got.

    Time is most certainly a tool; and you get new time every time a new day dawns, let alone every time a new year begins. Spend it and invest it wisely and you’ll find that you’ll have an improved lifestyle as a result.

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    Energy

    Without this, you’re not going to be able to live much of a life. Things like eating right and implementing a fitness routine are crucial in setting yourself up for a tremendous lifestyle. The best – and worst – part of the quest for energy is the choices we’re faced with along the way.

    There are numerous diet and fitness plans out there, such as adopting the Paleo Diet and through resources like NerdFitness. Spending time looking into them is part of the equation, but it’s one of the most important parts. Think about adopting these routines as being similar to the making of a movie.

    When making a movie, most of the time is spent preparing the movie and after the movie has been shot. Pre-productiion and post-production take up the most time, while shooting the film takes up the least (in general). The same goes with these healthy lifestyle routines. Figuring out which ones to go with involves research and sticking with them through the long haul takes up even more time. Yet starting them is easy, especially at the start of a new year.

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    In order to live a better life on all fronts, you need energy. What routines you use to help you get that energy is up to you. Just don’t use up all of your time figuring that out. Spend more time gaining the energy as a result of the routines, not spending it while searching for them.

    Journaling

    Journaling is one of the best ways to capture your thoughts and connect you with the life you want to live. By creating a record of the thoughts, events and moments that happen in your life – at work and outside of it (such as moments directly related to the areas mentioned above) – you can better reflect on the life you’re living. In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, taking the time to journal slows it down enough for you to reflect and connect with the person you are and also helps you direct your energy into the person you want to be.

    It doesn’t matter whether you use a paper-based journal or a journaling application such as Day One, LifeJournal or even the cross-platform app Evernote (as Brett Kelly does in chronicling his life); it’s the act of writing it out that will give you something to look back on and see how you’ve crafted the life you’re leading and how to shape the one you want to be leading.

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    Conclusion

    The beginning of a year is a time where we look at the type of lifestyle we’ve been leading and decide to make changes to improve it. These tools don’t just help you do that right away, but they’ll help you keep doing it for years to come.

    (Photo credit: Carefree Outstretched Arms via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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