Habits

Reading Lists and Life Changes.

If you will notice I have not updated my reading lists in a few years. Going through some difficult times with family has pushed me to read more. Better myself and make my life better.

On Dec 31st 2018 I set the small goal for myself that 2019 was the year to better myself and my life no matter how small of an impact that might be. This may mean changing a small habit or purchasing something that would enhance my life even if that habit or item was as simple as saying “Thank you’.

A simple goal I started back in 2018 was to lose some weight and get off my medication for high triglycerides. A few years earlier I had lost weight and felt pretty good about myself, then I contracted Lyme Disease and things just were not the same. I never got back on the diet train and gained much of the weight back. I didn’t really go overboard, but still didn’t feel the best. Considering my families history of heart disease I wanted to be proactive rather than reactive.

Baby Steps

A New Hobby

The first thing I did was to try and shake the “funk” I felt after Lyme Disease. Things just felt foggy. I am not 100% sure that this was an after effect of the disease or just me falling back into the old habits. I started looking into the effects of green tea. First as a source of caffeine and second as a healthier alternative to soda. I found I really liked certain black teas more that green teas. Earl Gray is one of my favorites. I never understood peoples obsession with Coffee and the caffeine buzz they said they needed. After almost 6 months of experimenting I can say the caffeine has helped clear the fog I was once in. I discovered a new hobby and a whole new world in teas, experimenting with different flavors and finding out what I liked best.

Earl Gray has some additional health benefits that also helped with weight loss and keeping appetite in check. Early Gray isn’t for everyone and some people are more sensitive to the caffeine than others.

Habits

In 2015 I read quite a few books. This was partly because I had a 45 minute commute and I could listen to audio books the entire time. I really miss that commute sometimes. I struggled with finding a way to read more. I had every excuse in the book. Too little time, could not find a book I liked and so on. Finally I read “Replay by Ken Grimwood” I could not put it down. Then I read “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson. This book changed my life and I highly recommend it.

2019 is the year of small changes. One of the things Mark Manson says in his book and on his blog that I have slowly come to realize is small changes can make large impacts on your life. Cutting out carbs and sugars has brought my weight down almost 20 pounds in 4 months. Drinking teas has helped clear my head. Walking 30 minutes a day has helped get me back into shape. These didn’t come from I am going to do all of this one day. I started with the tea, then cut out carbs, then walking and so on. Next is reading. Small steps, baby steps. Start small then once you have built up the habit, move on to the next thing or increase your current habit.

I have the goal to simply read 12 books in 2019. Small goal, I know. I see all these other blogs out there of people who ready 50 to 100 books in a year and I want to get to that point. It just isn’t going to happen for me over night and I am alright with that. I know that there may be books that I start and don’t finish. I know that there are going to be books that I can’t put down. I also know there are going to be days when I don’t get time to read or I am just simply too tired to. Knowing these things are going to happen I am able to plan around them and get back on the hoarse when I fall off. With my weight loss I know I am not going to lose every day and there will be days when I gain a pound or two. I have come to terms with those things are going to happen and I don’t bring myself down because of it. I simply say today wasn’t a good day and move on.

Conclusion

Small habits can have an immensely large impact on your life. This is a scientific fact. Even making the small habit of brushing your teeth every day (which I hope you already do) will have lasting life changing impacts on your health and well being. Pick a small thing, start doing it every day, then reward yourself for doing that thing. You will soon look forward to the habit and will miss it when you don’t accomplish it. One more thing, don’t get down on yourself if you miss a day or two. It’s normal. We get sick, the kids get sick, we run out of time in the day, or we just don’t feel like it. Make the small effort to get back into the habit the next day.