Life habits for the 20s

The biggest change in transforming my vision for life into a blueprint for life is the absence of goals. I began looking at habits in my 2019 goals. Although I fell short in achieving several goals in that life vision, I recognized the importance of habits in my life.

My blueprint for the 20s is based on adopting habits of making exercise a priority, quitting eating garbage, and caring and connecting. Habits shifted the reliance on numbers to taking positive actions leading to a healthy happy life.

Exercise is a priority

Being active has been a priority in my life since recovering from my heart attack in 2005. It took several years to take root. Younger Next Year had a major impact on how I look at being active. Three of the seven rules to becoming younger next year in that book involve a habit of routine exercise.

This habit focuses on developing a more robust habit of fitness involving a mix of low and high impact aerobic exercise with strength training. This will take time and involve a change in my current exercise routine. It may need professional guidance on developing this habit.

My sole numerical goal for the year is to cycle at least 2020 miles. I continue to focus on the quality and experiences of the miles rather than the number of miles. My plans for the year include several bicycle tours, the times when I am happiest on my bike.

“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.”

John “The Penguin” Bingham

Quit eating garbage

This habit comes directly from a rule of the same name by Dr. Lodge in Younger Next Year. It is straight to the point. I have slipped into a routine of eating poorly. I know the rules for eating healthy but have become lax in making them a priority.

This is not about a diet. It is about developing better eating habits. My takeaway from Dr. Lodge is that making small dietary changes over time lead to positive changes in health. He advises his patients to stop weighing themselves. Eating healthier and being active leads to a more positive impact than the punishing numbers of the scale.

My initial priority is to minimize carbohydrates and refined foods in my diet. Experts say that it takes over two months to develop a lasting habit. I know that this number is highly variable. I see the ultimate goal of stop eating garbage to be a life long exercise of developing smaller habits.  

Good nutrition happens in the supermarket, not in the kitchen.

Dr. Harry Lodge in Younger Next Year

Care and connect

Connectedness has been a priority in my life for years. I have been successful with this habit. Retirement brought a challenge to my life. My connections were suddenly two hours away. I met the challenge and built new communities while maintaining my connections to my prior communities.

Cycling and trails are at the core of my care and connectedness. Retirement gave me more time to devote to these passions. I am the treasurer for the Heart of Ohio Trail and a member of Ohio to Erie Trail board. My contributions make a difference in my life and the trails. My priority for the year is to continue this involvement.

I have worked on building a social cycling community in Knox County with limited success. A 2020 priority is to determine if this continues as a priority in my life. The Cyclopaths, modeled after the successful Spinoff Cyclists, may not be relevant in Knox County. I plan on exploring if the focus of a cycling community needs to be helping seniors lead a more active life.

Contrary to what we’ve been taught, the secret to a good life is not about having a positive attitude; it’s about taking positive actions.

Paul Boynton in Begin with Yes
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