Spring is in the air. The smell of mud and the opening of tree buds just seems to wake up not only the world outside our windows, but it seems to awaken something in us.
Men, let’s take advantage of the natural cycle of the universe to reinvigorate our lives!
Start by refreshing your mind.
1. Read Books. Are there books that would help you to break through any particular areas of your life? Any information that you need to learn?
To refresh your mind, I recommend reading a book of fiction – something exciting and adventurous. Something non-fiction – maybe self-help, or a biography of someone you admire. And read a book of poetry! You might not be a poetry person – but I think there’s value in the rhymes and rhythms.
2. Take inventory. Examine your attitude. Examine your behaviors. Examine your influences. What things need to change? Make a physical list of things to change, and start making it happen.
3. Get aggressive. If you notice that you have been negative – make it a point to fight against the negative thoughts, replacing them with positive thoughts. Make a concerted effort to practice rebuking each bad thought. (out loud, if you have to!) “No. I will not think like this way!”
Reboot Your Body
I’m in the process of losing weight – and so I’m particularly aware of my body right now.
But i do know this – our bodies do respond to the seasons! During the winter time, it’s not unusual to pack on a few extra pounds, as we fight off the cold and are often less active.
A reboot in the spring is a great way to get things moving, and add a little more energy into your life as a whole.
I’ve found that adding movement to my routine helps me to fight off depression, keeps my focus on track, and just in general, makes me feel better!
Here are some tips for your body reboot.
1. Revisit your eating plan.
If you aren’t regularly tracking your calories, tracking them at least for a few weeks gives you a good snapshot of what your diet looks like, and if you need to adjust it. Use an app like fitbit or myfitness pal to see how many calories you should be eating, and how many you are eating. Remember – if weight loss is your goal, you have to burn more than you take in. If you want to bulk up- you’ll need to make adjustments to your diet as well. Consider paying a few bucks to meet with a nutritionist.
This isn’t for everybody – but many people say that a three day fast from solid food, or maybe fasting from a particular kind of food for a week helps them to reset their cravings. There are some mental and spiritual benefits too, as the act of delaying your cravings tends to build a different layer of focus in your life. Don’t try this if you have any health issues, or without talking to a doctor.
3. Change your workout.
Fitness folks call them “plateaus” – those times when you stop losing weight (or stop building muscle) despite all your hard work. Sometimes, you need to radically change your routine to shock your body back into performance mode.
I’ve found in general, if I do the same thing all the time, I get bored with it anyway.
Take a hike instead of the treadmill. Swim instead of yoga. Mix up your strength training to try something different.
Reimagine Your Situation
The winter is in your mind.
You know those times when everything has gone WRONG for so long, and you feel like you just can’t get a win? When you’re tired of just going through the motions? When you feel weary from the road?
Take a minute and fast forward to your desired outcome. What does your life look like if you were to lose the weight? What does your marriage look like if you fix the problems? What do your kids look like when they grow up?
Try not to imagine the worst case scenario, but the best one. Then trace your steps back to where you are standing. What steps do you have to make to get there? What changes do you have to make? What sacrifices and hard work will you have to put in?
These rough patches sometimes feel permanent -but they usually aren’t. Especially if you are taking the time to imagine a better path, and to make the changes and put in the work to get there.
Reignite Your Spirit
Many men have a hard time with the spiritual. They struggle with the idea that spirit exists. Why? Because it’s not knowable. It’s not tangible. And talk of the spiritual gets muddied up by 18 million different religious viewpoints.
I may subscribe to one of those viewpoints, and I’m sure my writing will reflect it. But I’m not here to preach about why my viewpoint is right and others are wrong. (even if I do believe so)
What I’m here to do – is to tell you that the spiritual is real, and you’ve got to keep that fire going. Inside each of us is a spirit that drives us. It’s fueled by creativity, art, poetry, beauty. It’s fueled by thought, conversation, reading.
If you neglect the spiritual part of you, the rest of you will feel hungry for purpose and passion.
How do you reignite it, after a long “winter”?
1. Do what makes you feel alive.
I’m not saying, “ do whatever you want” or “just make yourself happy”
I’m saying, there are moments in your life when you felt alive. For me – it’s often when I’m performing music on stage, speaking to a large group of people, hiking in the woods, or writing. You might feel alive tossing the football in the backyard, hunting that big buck, or building a house. Take some time to identify what makes you feel alive – and do more of it.
2. Define or revisit your code.
Spirituality has a code of ethics. That’s why religion usually has a list of do’s and don’ts…. Because morality is closely tied with the spiritual. I know. People don’t like to think about it. I’ve already lost some of you – who can’t handle the fact that anyone would dare tell you to be moral. Take the time to define your code of ethics, or to revisit that code to make sure it lines up with who you are.
3. Try something new.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone, and doing something NEW can give you a fresh perspective, and open you up to seeing things from a spiritual perspective. I think the thrill of pushing yourself a little harder, coupled with the rewards of a calculated risk can often help you see things in a new light.
Spring is here. It’s time for a renewal. Why not take this time to renew yourself as well?
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