We at Boomers Rock believe that the solution to improving your life is to get your mind right about the problems you face. It’s an attitude adjustment, but not like the one the warden made for Luke (in the movie “Cool Hand Luke”) when he broke a man’s spirit through domination and punishment. That is to say, you do not have to spend a night in the box to improve your life.
Step 1 — Clean the Slate
The first step to getting your mind right is to forgive yourself any mistakes you’ve made in the past. We are all afflicted with the disease of American Abundance. I could go into the great many fallacies that confound and confuse our best intentions. But you are worthy of forgiveness, at least where your quality of life is concerned.
Step 2 — Baby Steps
The second step is to fix your processes, not the results. We all have routines, habits, and triggers that lead us through our daily life. We get up a certain way, get ready and go to work a certain way, get through the day, and home, and to bed. All those very many processes. They may cause us joy, or stress, or anxiety. They may excite or exhaust us.
If you worry about the number of calories you consume during the day, or the amount of exercise you did or did not do, or the number promises you kept or broke, you will likely exhaust and disappoint yourself further.
So we’ll pick one thing at a time, such as stretching or light calisthenics in the morning, or a walk at lunch, or visiting a gym on the way home — but just one. Work on that one thing until it’s a habit, and see how you feel about it, and if it helps your attitude, and how it effects your energy levels.
Step Three — Rinse and Repeat
Has it improved your quality of life? If you’ve done it for a few days, congratulate yourself on that. It can take two to three weeks to make a habit, and to begin to notice changes. Your mind will work against change, but if you recall how we are here to take care of someone we love (i.e., we have to take care of ourself) then it will help reinforce the positive attitude.
Let’s recall the bit about happiness:
- We have something to do — take care of ourself
- We have something to love — ourself, our family, and our home
- We have something for which to hope — improved quality of life
How Many Baby Steps?
There are probably a lot of processes that can be improved. I used to quip that it took me doing about 17 things correct before I made a lasting improvement. It may take you more or less. But I struggled for a long time. What helped was finding a positive partner to encourage me (thanks Tom!) and to do things better. I did things better; when I occasionally made mistakes, or simply didn’t see the positive results, I reminded myself that I’m improving the process.
Tom picked up a phrase somewhere that goes: “Make the habit, and the habit makes you.” (It’s in the book!) I changed my processes and I started to see improvements in my quality of life. I ate better, exercised more consistently, added movement to lots of little parts of my life (I walk at lunch a lot, and walk the dog in the evening) and my physical fitness improved, and lost weight along the way, and stayed in shape. I feel better.
I improved the quality of my life.