Sometimes you just need a break … a reset, if you will. I took the month of May for myself and for my family. I would list all the things that normally happen in my house and which ones ceased as of May 1, but you don’t *really* care. Just think about all the hectic things in your life and imagine doing away with all except the actually necessary obligations. I even stopped blogging for the month (and I had some great posts lined up)!
What did I do with all my newly acquired free time? I filled it up, of course! This post is all about what I actually did with extra time in the day versus what I’ve said in the past I would do with extra time if I had it.
First, I changed my diet.
On May 1, I started the Whole30. It was super easy for me for three reasons.
1) I will eat anything, so I don’t mind eating healthy food.
2) My wife is a rockstar. She packs my breakfast and lunch every day.
3) My brother is a superstar. He helped my wife understand most of what the Whole30 is about without either of us having to read the entire book, and he showed me how to cook several different Whole30-approved meals that are super simple.
The results are in. While the Whole30 is not about weight loss, I lost 16 pounds in 30 days. I did not start exercising – I maintained my sedentary lifestyle. Here’s the deal, though. This was a transformation. Note that I changed my diet; I didn’t go on a diet. I’m not off my diet now that it’s June. I had a diet before the Whole30, and I still have a diet today. It’s simply different. Here’s how I think about it.
Most people can attempt to tell me about their diet, but will fail. Your diet isn’t what you think you should eat or what you wish you’d eat or even what a book, doctor, or web site says you should eat. Your diet is what you actually eat. You can follow a documented diet to the T (even if it reads “I will eat at least 4 candy bars per day”) or you can log what you actually eat. Those are the only two ways I know of to be able to describe your diet. I chose the former because I do not trust myself to log every bite of food I take.
I ate very well in May, I lost weight, I require less sleep, I feel better, and I don’t crave a lot of the unhealthy foods I ate prior to my diet change. This was a success, and I highly recommend a diet improvement if you’re interested any of these results.
Second, I got rid of stuff.
Occasionally, I look for an item my home office or in my garage, and I can’t find the item, but I usually find quite a bit of stuff that I don’t care about. It’s frustrating, to say the least. So, I had a yard sale and got rid of a lot of stuff. I did not have enough space to go through all my unlabeled boxes, but my house feels bigger now, and I’m starting to enjoy it more than I already did. I will put the remainder of the stuff in next year’s yard sale.
Third, I worked on home improvement projects.
I enjoy improving things, so it’s not uncommon for me to think of a project to take on around the house. I listed all the projects I could think of that I had started in the past or thought of doing at some point in the future. I culled the ones that no longer made sense, and got rid of the materials for them. Then, I prioritized the list based on interest level, necessity, feasibility, and other factors. The only thing left to do was start working on them, so I did. It felt really good to mark some items off the list and have a better home.
Fourth, I spent time with my family.
I stay fairly busy between work and home obligations. While I do make a point to spend quality time with my family each day, it’s never enough. While this is arguably the most important item on the list, it came fourth because I was already sort of doing it, and it’s continuous. If I am successful at the other things, I will naturally have more time with my family.
Things I didn’t do.
I have said in the past that I would exercise, start my own software company, learn to trade stocks, write an ebook, and many other things if I had a little more time each day. Turns out those things weren’t the most important things at this point in my life. Maybe I’ll try for them the next time I need a reset or when I finish all of my home improvement projects.
All in all, May was one of the best months so far in 2019. I got back to the basics, corrected the course in some areas of my life, and I’m ready for whatever the remainder of the year has in store! Note that I didn’t commit to completing everything at once. I’m careful not to burn out. As long as I’m improving and reaching the goals I set for myself, I’m pleased.