Chew On It: Reassessing Priorities

How to have a wonderful 2021?

Good riddance to 2020. It has been our strangest and weirdest year – hopefully never again in our lifetime – but it has also been the most fascinating time, learning to live with the virus and the explosive events in the USA.

Many have found it to be most challenging, and yet there were many positives. Life challenges will always appear in our lives. It is a matter of how you deal with it that will determine the quality of your life.

2020 spurred me to reassess my priorities and gave me the opportunity to reset, and I have made some major changes.

My health priority shot to the top of the list with numerous wake up calls and my desire to delay my demise. It started with a significant change to my eating habits with the support of two dietitians, a great reduction of carbohydrates, increase of plant-based food and the necessary supplements that addresses my deficiencies.

Being a Chinaman, I never thought I could eat a meal without rice, but amazingly I have created a new healthy habit and found myself to be enjoying more greens.

To monitor my progress, I have had blood tests and a few medical tests to ensure I am relatively healthy and that I am on the right track.

I have ramped up my training regime to include cardio, runs of 600m starting from March last year and I am now running a comfortable 4-5km plus a series of flexibility work to ensure I have excellent mobility of my shoulder and hip joints.

The whole premise is to have an effective and efficient training routine that I can maintain for many many years that I do NOT perceive to be a chore – but a routine that I can and will comfortably achieve.

The key to success is in developing new habits. My son Dennan bought me a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear that I now highly recommend. It will definitely assist you to develop habits to achieve your desired outcome. There are suggested methods to develop a new habit that is most effective. It is also a matter of gradual changes.

Segments of the message are on YouTube that will provide you with an insight. If you wish to make changes in your life, Atomic Habits will show you extremely effective ways.

It is proven that adversity, money and power reveals the true character of people, and the challenges of 2020 have certainly done that. It has confirmed the people that I love to engage with, people that I am civil to, and then there are the ones that I cut out of my life.

I realise that I am very tolerant and patient with people’s frailty, but I do have my limits and when the line is crossed, I tend to hold on to a grudge for a long time. Yes, it is one of my major characteristic flaws.

It is imperative to me to ensure that I am not the problem and seek the best way to resolve challenges with the least amount of aggravation.

After forty years in the fitness industry, one thing that has been consistent is the same spike of interest to improve one’s health, but unfortunately many enthusiasm wanes.

From my experiences here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t burn out your enthusiasm in the early stages. Training 2-3 times when starting is sufficient. It is much better to do a little than too much. A little will make the challenge achievable, then the likelihood of continuing is high. Too much will dampen your motivation.
  • If you are doing your own training, invest in one of Elixr’s highly capable trainers in fitness or Pilates with 2-3 sessions to ensure your workout is effective, efficient and most importantly, safe – far more economical than requiring medical attention in the future and avoiding great discomfort from injuries.
  • Interest with ab exercises continues to be high. The knowledge on developing a strong core has increased greatly but unfortunately, many are still doing the old abdominal exercises that are ineffective and in time will likely cause injury. The core is not just the abdominal muscles but the whole body trunk.
  • Resolutions should not just be once a year – but ongoing as we need to keep adjusting to life’s challenges. A constant in life is change.

The key to a harmonious life is the ability to adjust to changes and adversities, so you should develop a realistic positive attitude to life and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

Here is a wonderful quote from William Arthur Ward; “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”