I think about these figures a lot. At the core of how I set goals and evaluate myself is the belief that nothing is constant, this means that either things improve or they decay. As an example, in 2016 I ran a 1.32 half marathon, which is approximately 4:22 minutes per kilometre.
Due to changing my priorities and dropping down the amount of mileage and training hours generally, I currently can maintain something in the region of a 4:44 pace for half an hour. I’d predict that a half marathon would take me a little over 2 hours.
Likewise, if we are not careful, giving insufficient thought to our food, lifestyle, sleep, fun can led to poor health outcomes, dis-ease, and burnout.
Life is a one day at a time game, aiming straight for an Ironman or cooking a complicated soufflé is perhaps setting up for disappointment. It’s considering what stage our life is at and which bars we are attempting to lift.
Dr John Demartini lists 7 life areas: spiritual quest, mental space, career, family, finances, social and physical health. Ranking each of these 7 out of 10 provides an excellent framework for identifying what to work on and what we have succeeded in.
I understand that we all have commitments and things in our lives that take up lots of our hours. In the 168 hours in a week, say 40 are work-related, say 65 are asleep – that leaves us up to 63 hours to address any shortcomings.
Dr Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor and research at the University of Toronto, talks about the idea of starting small, and in fact, starting by ‘tidying your room.’ For me, whilst certainly true literally, the idea expands to include all those little tasks that have been on my mind… doing the washing-up, taking books to the charity shops, tidying social places and cleaning the oven. It’s preparing our environment to free our headspace to focus on improving what matters.
I don’t know about you, my bedroom certainly has symptoms of gradual decay. Applying the method is just using 5 minutes to put some things away and make order.
Start with the simple things, and apply in each area one day at a time. Settling at any time means decay, so managing time to work out the areas of biggest return is awesome for holistic life improvement.