We all know that if you take good car of your car, it will perform better and last longer. So, you make sure that the oil is changed, the tires are rotated, and it gets its regular tune-ups. The same is true of taking good care of your life. You need to perform continual maintenance on yourself to make sure that you are at your best. And no matter what area of life you are looking to improve, you likely won’t make much progress until you take care of maintaining your basic wellness. But what does “basic maintenance” mean? In my next four blogs, I am going to tell you what I have found to be the four main pillars of maintenance, which agree with Stephen Covey’s observations in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
Physical maintenance Mental maintenance Social maintenance Spiritual maintenance
For the next month, I will talk about how to maintain one of these each week. I challenge you to devote your week to each one, and see just how much of a difference it makes! Today, let’s talk about Physical Maintenance. The health and vitality of your body affects all other areas of your life. When I don’t take good care of my body, I notice that I am moody, less creative, less social, and less confident in my life. That is quite a penalty to pay. And so I have broken down Physical Maintenance into 5 main areas that I attend to on a daily basis. WARNING: This list is as obvious as “breathe air." You have heard these things a thousand times before. But the question is: are you taking care of this list in your life? If not, let this blog serve as a wake-up call that they are CRUCIAL and you need to get yourself in gear. You are a member of my community, and I am holding the bar high for you, because I want you to have that amazing life that is on the other side. If you become great at these 5, you will look and feel amazing, and you will see shifts in many unexpected areas of your life. 1. Eat well. I spent the past 3 years figuring out which foods make me feel great, energetic and clear-headed, and which ones make me moody and tired. I now eat a diet primarily of:
a few whole grains
a bit of fish and chicken
some seeds and nuts
no processed flour
no processed sugar
a limited amount of dairy
That’s it: simple and easy to follow because it’s so clear. Of course I sometimes stray and have a slice of birthday cake. But maintaining this area means that I continually check in on how I am doing, and bring myself back to the plan. Note: I am not a nutritionist, so it’s up to you to find the diet that works best for you… and then stick with it. 2. Exercise moderately. Are you currently exercising as much as you know you should? I find that for most people, the answer is “no." I exercise 3-4 times per week, walk my dog daily, and do 5 minutes of stretching each morning. I know that it’s tempting to fall back on justifications like “I am too busy,” but I have actually found that most people can make the time if they really make it a priority. 3. Get enough sleep. While it is tempting to stay up later to get more done, I have found that if I don’t get my 7 hours of sleep each night, I am far less creative and less on top of my game the next day. So it’s actually worth the investment in sleep for the increased efficiency and productivity that it brings. 4. Drink enough water. I keep a pitcher on my desk, and have a commitment that I will drink two pitchers-full of filtered water each day, or roughly 70 oz of water. I also start my day with a glass of water first thing in the morning. I was surprised at just how much this little change increased my energy levels and stamina. 5. Other maintenance that is important to you. These are the little things that you do to take care of yourself that make you feel great when you do them, and dumpy when you don’t. For me, this includes regular check-ups with the doctor and dentist, getting my hair cut, taking a salt bath twice a month, exfoliating my face regularly, my nails done occasionally, brushing my teeth and flossing twice daily, etc. What is on your list? Which one of these are you doing great at? Which ones do you need to pay more attention to? The whole point of maintaining a car is that you can then drive it where you want to go. The same is true of your life. Getting good at self-maintenance is JUST THE BEGINNING.
My dream is that every member of my community gets their basic maintenance in order so we can then use that foundation to make your wildest dreams come true... and then some. If you would like some extra help getting your maintenance going strong, drop me a note and I will be happy to help you figure it out. Join me and the rest of this community in consecrating this next week to taking exquisite care of your physical self. What actions will you take?