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Mid-Life Reset

Last week, I hit a bit of a breaking point. My therapy session did not go well, and I was beyond frustrated. Luckily, my wife was working, so when I got home, I had time to play some video games, listen to music, and think. A few hours later, I knew what I had to do. I had to save myself.

For years, I’ve struggled with the idea that the calvary is coming. That someone or something is going to show up and help through the tough times or guide me through the hard decisions. I don’t have the family/support system to do that, so I’m not sure why I expect help to come. Time after time, I’ve found myself sitting around waiting for help to arrive that never does.

Armed with frustration, I spent the next day writing out what I jokingly call a manifesto. Basically, I disassembled every element of my life (mental, physical, career, financial, etc.) and then dissected it. I got down to what was working, what wasn’t working, and what I wanted. I took control and responsibility for how my life is and then I began making changes.

With thousands of words spilt on the topic of my life, I knew I couldn’t just flip a switch and change everything, but I could start small. I feel like my journey for better physical and mental health is already part of the equation, I just need to add the new realizations and goals.

Time is one of the biggest problems when trying to make changes, and continuing to do things the way that I was, which wasn’t making me happy, seemed ridiculous. So, I decided to take my time back. The biggest time suck is the internet, so I put in the strictest boundaries I’ve ever done. The access I give myself online is limited and is almost entirely restricted to positive and productive sites and communities. No more entertainment news or rumors or video game reviews. None of that helps me reach who I want to be, so it’s gone. I cut down the noise and almost instantly I felt some relief.

I decided it was time to truly cut ties with some things that no longer served me and so I removed myself from those online worlds. I began cleaning up my RSS feeder, unsubscribing to newsletters, and cutting anything that I could do without.

The internet quickly went from being an entertainment device for me to a tool. It’s pulled out when needed and put away when not. The same way in the 90’s, your desktop existed in a dining room or a random office, and you went to the computer, booted it up, did what you needed to do, and then turned it off and went back to life. That was my goal, to disconnect.

Armed with more free time, I was able to redirect my attention to the various other changes and goals I established for myself. Some are simple as meditating five minutes a day; others are a bit more vague like making sure I don’t take advice from unqualified people.

I also began to tier my goals in a way that makes sense to me. For example:
I want to spend the next two weeks meditating five minutes a day. Just getting into the habit of sitting for five minutes. After those two weeks, I’ll try and extend it to seven minutes, and so on.

The same thing goes with my fitness. Right now, I’m working on bodyweight exercises, trying to reactivate these underused muscles. Once I’m feeling stronger, I plan to implement weights. Once I lose weight and feel stronger, I plan to take Muay Thai classes.

Every goal has a second or third step, that way it’s reasonable and will give me benchmarks to celebrate success on the way to the next step.

It’s time to stop talking about changes and start making them.

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