2013: A Simpler Year

I’m not really one to make New Year’s Resolutions.

So this will not be one. It’s more of an experiment in intentional living. An improvement. A commitment.

I’ve learned a lot about myself this year. One of the most important things I had the pleasure of getting hit in the face with a couple times learned is that I have a difficult time saying no. This causes me stress. I take on more projects than I can handle and inevitably have to either let someone down by telling them no long after I said yes or overwork myself to try and please them by completing the favor.

This is going to change. It already has.

I’ve just turned down several projects that I could’ve said yes to. Heck, I really wanted to say yes to them because they were super interesting and were for good friends. But I said no

Because I’ve already made enough commitments to fill 80 hours a week.

And that’s enough work for me. I have no desire for more. We tend to, and I’m guilty of this myself, take a ‘get it done’ mentality instead of really savoring what’s in front of us, instead of really absorbing the material we read or listen to, instead of allowing adequate time for mastery of physical movements to make long-term physiological changes in our muscles.

We elect instead to quickly move onto the next item at work, or to grab the next book before absorbing the one we just finished, or move on to the ‘next best thing’ workout plan every couple weeks.

This year I am undertaking two very distinct, very intentional changes in my life – and I invite you to join me if these actions will improve your life too.

It’s time to cut back. To show ourselves how much we can do without. And why, in the end, the best thing for us may just be to focus deliberately on only a handful of things – and master them – instead of hurriedly plowing from one thing to the next – while being mediocre at all of them.

Because less is more.

The first change will be for my body, the second for my mind.

Two-Movement Mastery

I’m only going to do two movements this year for training.

  • The Muscle-Up
  • The Pistol Squat

Between these two movements I’ll be working every important muscle in my body for crafting/maintaining a strong and aesthetic physique. And my workouts will be shorter & more difficult.

Because these are not easy moves.

The constant – but laser-focused – challenge that this approach provides will not only make me really good at muscle-ups and pistol squats, but it’ll demonstrate just how minimalist you can go in an approach and still get outstanding results. I’m utterly confident I won’t lose an ounce of muscle and will be able to maintain a very well-proportioned physique using just these two movements.

Maybe I’m horribly wrong. We’ll see I guess. I’ll keep everyone updated, that’s for sure.

The 3-Book Diet

Shout out to Chris Brogan for this gem. Here’s Chris’ description of the challenge…

My reason for trying this is because I’d like to see just how deeply I can go in my practice and experiences by revisiting the text of three books over and over. I’d like to see if I can implement what I’ve learned deeply enough for it to matter to my life. I want my choices to influence my success in my life.

My thought is that so many people (myself included) rush from book to book without absorbing much. I intend to make a change in my life, and through it, learn to really appreciate what I have. I’ve set the time line to one year to really settle the point into my head.

After reading this, I instantly knew this is what I’ve needed.

Voracious book-a-day reader… guilty as charged. Bad short-term memory… yep, that’s me too. Great combination… not so much. 

So the next question is which books should I read? They better be good books because they ain’t gonna change. So I’ve picked with care… here they are:

  1. Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck? – by Seth Godin
  2. On Writing – by Steven King
  3. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

All three of these books are mindful and intentional. I purposely did not include a book on fitness or nutrition because there’s only so much information people can regurgitate before I get sick, and bored, to be honest.

Are You With Me?

Honestly, I don’t expect you to be. To many, this all seems ludicrous. That’s okay. I’ve got my reasons. It’s more of a personal endeavor than anything. But if you are… then yeah (fist pump)! Thanks for joining! Let me know you’re planning on doing something like this too and we can do it together.

Think hard about this though before committing. You don’t want to commit to something you’re not 100% into. It might seem cool at first but then you may regret the decision because it’s got no real traction behind it in your life. Maybe it does.