First, I dedicate this post to the spirit of Gord Downie, who passed this very morning. News of his passing triggers thoughts of his poetry and spirit, including:
First thing we’d climb a tree and maybe then we’d talk
Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal, this is our life
— Ahead By a Century
This is our life, indeed and in deed. As far as any of us know, we get one. And, we know not for how long. That makes this life a gift, most precious. It is our very own responsibility to live it as best we can and know how, with the presence and occasional help of those who love us best.
With his spirit and poetry in mind… I am reminded that this past Sunday, I wrote on LinkedIn on 77 Days. It was a very personal blog post in which I stated…
- I am going to be taking a journey of 77 days. Yup, 77 days… from today October 15, 2017 through to December 30, 2017. Eleven weeks of pure and utter and fierce focus on finding my best and healthy balance; for going forward. These will be weeks of Honor; a virtue needed to take best care for the longer road.
Amongst other things, I have been reading more on the myriad paths after stroke. I am constantly reminded that my shot across the bow was just that… but it was a shot; and there are remnants. Those remnants remind me not that I am not so much limited but that my needs are different. They are redirecting and re-strategizing my use of personal energy. Indeed, I am excited to be sharing some thoughts on same at the next CAPS Cares event November 16 at The Learning Commons of the College of the North Atlantic.
With that in mind, I am going back to a process I researched myself some years back when I was dabbling in a road back to slimmer. In my own reading, I found that there were essentially 6 important factors in any road to health. Indeed, I wrote a small and free e-book addressing same that you can find right here… called SLOWER and BIGGGER Living that covered points on both health and wealth. I invite you to download it.
Still, everything is in execution; and execution relies heavily on motivation. All systems will work, if genuinely motivated. So, today I offer up two learnings that I strongly suggest are of value on any path to health, wealth or elsewhere.
SET A G.R.E.A.T. Goal
S.M.A.R.T. is the oft recognized acronym for goal setting but I have two major concern with it. The R is too often referred to as meaning Realistic and it’s order in the placement is out of sync, to me. Let me suggest that a G.R.E.A.T.™ Goal includes:
The GOAL, specific and well articulated. You can actually see it by naming it. My goal is not to lose some weight or get healthier. Right now, my goal is to be 245 pounds (I like the number :-), lean and strong.
RELEVANCE, not realism, is the R. Relevance is the motivation and needs to be up front. It is the leverage and it has to be palpable. For me, the relevance is (a) being on the main stage singing and speaking at CAPS Convention in Ottawa in early December, healthy and strong… and the deep and passionate desire to fend off the chances of another stroke… to valianly defend against same.
Then one must identify how you will EVALUATE or measure your progress. My me, I have opted for mirror, pant size and weigh scales… plus comments made. Reflecting on each measurement each day and week… will continue the motivation and momentum. Evaluation is akin to setting up mini milestones of motivation… steps on your ladder.
The ACTIONS are essentially 3-5 consistent and daily actions you can take to make sure it happens. This is where my S.L.O.W.E.R.™ acronym comes in… those 6 factors for health. I will get at least 8 hours SLEEP a day (sleep is one of the best lines of defense for the brain and body, I gather). I will find time to LAUGH each day by doing one thing in which I find great joy (laughter is one of the best medicines, indeed). I will breathe more deeply with daily breathing exercises to get more OXYGEN (oxygen is used by the body to burn calories, among other things). I will drink 1 litre of WATER a day. I will do one form of EXERCISE of my body each day for at least 15-30 minutes; but it will be something I enjoy. And, I will only stock REAL food in the house… bye-bye-bye to junk, retraining my the little gang I affectionately call The Taste Buds and that beast I affectionately call Jabba the Gut. 🙂
The T is TIME. For this leg of my journey, my deadline is December 30. I gather deadline, the term, was derived from a time when, if a servant did not achieve the task by a certain time, they were killed. So, I will choose LIFELINE. 🙂
THUS FAR, MY STORY
I have been on this journey for a while. 23 years ago I was in the best shape of my life, 220 pounds of strength and muscle and health; teaching business and dance. After stopping teaching dance 5 nights a week (it became more like a job), I continued with my high carb diet (nothing wrong with carbs in moderation) and I ballooned up some 70 pounds within a year or so. Then, after many somewhat successful (in the short term) attempts over the years, I increased another 26 pounds to 316 pounds as my life highest prior to the stroke.
That being said, I had no high blood pressure or cholesterol; and the reasons for the stroke remain a mystery. But, what I am realizing is (a) I have not done myself any favors with the excess weight and (b) the problem has been in the motivation and execution, to sustain weight loss and health gain.
Yes… no more. I am motivated, like never before. It is a fierce focus now. That is the leverage. These first few days of the 77, I feel good. I feel good for the deep motivation; the need. I feel good for practicing Honor, Respect, Detachment and Discernment… and Discipline. Character matters in any endeavor. My intent is to be 265 pounds by end of October. Then 255 by end of December and 245 by December 30. That would be 71 pounds down from my life high. That will feel magnificent; healthier, stronger and more. The Force is with me. 🙂
Yes, I have been making solid choices; but it is the motivation and relevance that matters. I humbly invite you to follow or join me on your own journey. Maybe we can help motivate one another; but get connected to your own motivation… and I will see you along the way.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.
Some other reads, of note…
- Character Matters: Leader Thoughts
- Leader ToC
- Character First
- For Leaders and Educators
- Perspectives on Fear and LIFE
- thoughts on Conviction and Character
- Developing Leadership Character
PPS (Other Resources)
- Our work is all about character. We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe. As part of that work, we offer you …
- and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.