This hit me pretty hard when I thought of how my dogs saw me.
As in, they didn’t see me busting my ass at work
or they didn’t see me giving my all in the gym.
All they saw was a guy who would come home and be wiped out and lay there on the couch.
My intentions and words told me I loved my dogs and wanted to do stuff for them but my actions, especially to them, suggested otherwise.
So, do I really care about my dogs, or am I just paying lip service to it?
Well, yes, I love them….a lot.
And I’m sure you want to be in shape,
And be a better parent,
And eat more vegetables,
And I’m sure you can say this until you’re blue in the face,
But living it is a different story.
What matters is what you do, not what you say.
Actions are more powerful than intentions.
Awareness is the first step when lining up your actions to the person you want to be.
Craig Ballantyne and Ed Mylett are smart dudes, they say to watch the movie of your day.
(Ed Mylett even takes it a step further and says to turn off the audio and relive your day).
This is a great way to bring awareness to the actions you’re consistently taking.
Are your actions lining up with your major values?
Are you living according to your identity?
Are your living out your major priorities?
Are you every bit the person that your words say you are?
Often times, awareness is enough to make change.
All it takes is the harsh realization that you are being a hypocrite,
Speaking lip service without taking any action,
And otherwise, blowing smoke…
But if awareness is not enough to kick-start you into action, here are some tricks you can use to start living like the person you want to be.
1. Combine values
If you say you’re a family man who likes to stay fit,
but you don’t have time to balance the two, try combining your values.
This could mean going for a walk with your family,
Playing soccer with your kids,
Or even making your Sunday meal prep a fun, family ritual.
2. Time diary
This next one takes some commitment, but the payoff will be extraordinary.
Pick a normal day and write down what you’re doing every 15 minutes of that day.
At the end of the day, make note of the activities that energize you,
Make you feel good
And add value to your day.
These are your time-warriors.
It might be that having a solid breakfast makes you more effective at work.
Or not eating until you’re absolutely stuffed makes evening activities way easier.
Next, make note of the activities that drain you,
Make you feel like you’re wasting time,
And don’t add any value to your day.
These are your time-wasters.
An example time-waster might be watching TV after supper or surfing the internet at work.
Then, simply eliminate one time-waster and replace it with one time-warrior.
3. Take care of your sleep and body
Having no gas left in the tank after a hard day can be a tell-tale sign that you busted your ass at work,
But in reality, it’s probably a lifestyle issue.
This whole site is centred around getting back into shape, so if that is your issue, pick a starting point and just go!
But, if you want some quick tips, try going to bed at the same time every day.
Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep is consistency.
So, that means getting to bed and waking up at the same time every day…even on weekends.
Ever noticed how hard it is to get to sleep on Sunday night after staying up late and then sleeping in on the weekends?
Fruits and vegetables have fibre that can help stabilize your blood sugar and thus prevent dips in energy.
Also, they contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can give you some high-voltage energy for when you get home after work.
Finally, try eating more minimally-processed whole foods that don’t spike insulin and drop blood sugar.
Many processed foods
cause your blood sugar to spike then drop, leaving you conking out at your desk
Or worse, conking out on the couch as you miss out on your kid’s lives.
4. Pick one thing to work on
Maybe you want to take action,
And you know what to take action on,
But you simply just take on too much at once.
And in so doing, essentially eliminate the possibility of achieving any one of those things you decide to act on.
If this is you, try the “one-habit” method.
As in, list out all of the things you want to improve.
All of them.
Then pair them off tournament-style,
If two of the things you want to do are:
eat more vegetables,
Go for a walk with your family every day.
Let those two priorities, “fight it out”.
Which one is more aligned with your major values?
Then take action on the winner for 2 weeks.
You can always come back to the “loser” priority but for now, the “winner” is all you need to focus on.
For more on the “one-habit” method, read this article here
5. Do some process planning
Process planning is setting up your environment to make taking action easy.
This could include things like:
Packing your gym bag the night before and putting it beside the door.
Cutting and washing vegetables so they are ready to “grab-and-go”
Making your lunch and breakfast the night before
Or even scheduling a walk or a workout with a buddy so you are accountable to them.
For more “process-planning” tricks, check out this article here
After you try implementing some of these methods,
And after you start lining up your actions with deepest values, identity and priorities,
Ask for feedback from others.
Ask your kids what they think you care about most?
Ask your wife what she thinks your major priorities are.
Ask your friends what they think you care about.
If what the most important people in your life see as important to you is similar to what you think is important to you,
You know you’re on the right track.
You know your actions are speaking to the person that you are inside.
The person you’ve always wanted to be.
When what you do speaks so loudly that no one can hear you,
The activities that you do day-in and day-out better be consistent with the type of person you want to be.
Ed Mylett talks about meeting your maker at the end of your life.
He says when you reach this point, you get to see the person you could have been,
The things you could have achieved,
And the experiences you could have had.
And to look at that person you could have been and be completely unfamiliar with them would be devastating.
Knowing that your potential was so much more than what you had actually realized.
But, conversely, to look at that person and be identical twins with them.
That is satisfaction,
That is fulfillment,
That is a life well-lived.
Use the strategies in this article to take one step closer to being identical twins with that person.